Polgar Chess Festival 2012

Great ambiance for EU 27 kids simul in Budapest against Judit Polgar

On 17 November 2012, the three famous Polgar sisters (Judit, Zsuzsa and Zsofia) organised the 6th Chess Festival in Budapest. Under the patronage of EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou the event offered a full day of chess activities for children and adults. Among the several highlights were several lectures and simultaneous exhibitions from the world famous trio, a blindfold play of Judit vs. the Hungarian conductor Fischer (currently with the Konzerthouse orchestra in Berlin), a live dance choreography with chess symbols, chess related arts and crafts activities for children and so on. A fabulous video with music and impressions can be found here.

A new feature occurred with the EU 27 kids simul. The world’s strongest female player, Judit Polgar, had invited children up to twelve years from all EU nations to represent their home country. Many of the young talents came travelling from far-away places to Budapest and enjoyed this special moment. Europchess President Frank Hoffmeister opened the simultaneous event and made reference to the “chess in school” resolution passed by the European Parliament in 2012. Indeed, support for our artistic sport in school could help children to enjoy playing by rules, using their logic and new ideas and help learning how to concentrate.

Playing behind their respective flag, a number of kids showed enough strength for a normal game. In particular, the boys from Romania, Belgium and Austria excelled in the field, whereas others lost their queen early on or were mated on move 10 or so. For Germany, Kalojan Hoffmeister (who just had turned 13 years) had the pleasure to face the legend with Black. He survived the opening with a solid position, but struggled in the middlegame what to do against Judit’s strong passed d-pawn. Lacking experience in a queen and double-rook ending, he lost the thread and soon after the game.

In the afternoon, Judit Polgar displayed another exhibition, this time against Hungarian mayors, celebrities of public life (inter alia, George Soros) and invited guests. Here, Frank was kindly offered to participate, and as he recently specialized on the isolated d-pawn (in internal Europchess lectures), he had the pleasure to play a relevant middle game against Judit as well. As White was not mounting a dangerous attack, Black got the better game, gained the d-pawn and later converted the slight material advantage in an ending. So , finally, the match Polgar-Europchess ended 1:1 – fair enough!

Judit Polgar facing strong opposition: Semi Tarrasch variation in the Queen's gambit as recommended by Hungarian GM Pinter!

Kalojan Hoffmeister before the game

Susan Polgar explaning underpromotion 1. f8 rook!

Judit smiling at George Soros' Sicilian Defence!

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