by Sam Sloan

NEW YORK - May 10 - The much awaited book by Zsuzsa Polgar has just been released today. Here is a quick review.

"Queen of the Kings Game" by Susan Polgar, Woman's World Chess Champion, and Jacob Shutzman, is a beautifully designed and produced book which is sure to make a big hit in the chess world. This book has just the right balance. It provides for the first time the life story of Zsuzsa Polgár. While appealing to the general reader, it contains more than enough chess to attract the hard core player and games analyst.

The book contains 18 color photographs. It tells the life story of Susan's difficult rise to the top, where her principal opponents did not face her across the board but rather stabbed her in the back.


Not only will this book make it big among chess players but, in the first time for a chess book, it could hit the best seller lists.

At age 15, Zsuzsa was the strongest 15 year old player in the world (male or female). She was higher rated than Karpov at this age. Her meteoric advancement was stopped due to the troubling factors and the controversies around her. She was the first woman in the history of chess who earned the "Men's Grandmaster" title. (Two women previously had been awarded the title on an honorary basis.) She was the first woman (and probably the only woman ever) to defeat Bobby Fischer, albeit in friendly chess games.

Zsuzsa was opposed by hard core Stalinist Sándor Serényi, an old cellmate of János Kádár, the President of Hungary. As a result, many great achievements of Zsuzsa Polgar were never known to the outside world. For example, at 16, in 1986, Zsuzsa Polgar qualified to play the "Zonal" of the "Men's" world championship when she tied for second in the Hungarian National Championship. Sandor Serenyi, the President of the Hungarian Chess Federation, prevented her from playing in the Zonal on the grounds that it was for "The Men's World Championship". Similarly, Zsuzsa was denied permission to play in the World Junior Championship during years when she probably would have won that title.

It was impossible to go over Serenyi's head because Serenyi had spent 17 years in prison in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Janos Kadar, who was also in prison, had sometimes been in the same cell with him. When Stalin died, Serenyi got out of prison. Kadar wanted to give him a high position, but the only thing he could do was play chess. Indeed, his strength had improved during his years in prison when he had nothing to do but play. Therefore, Kadar had made him the President of the Hungarian Chess Federation.

Zsuzsa has suffered terrible discrimination throughout her career. Whatever she won, she had to win twice. For a period of nearly four years from 1981 until 1985, she was banned and blacklisted from playing chess almost everywhere in the world. The only country in which she was allowed to play freely was Bulgaria. She played in 36 tournaments in that country and emerged in 1985 as the top rated woman chess player in the world at only age 15. The chess establishment was so shocked by this unexpected development that the top officials, including present United States Chess Federation President Don Schultz, conspired to give every woman chess player in the world, except for Zsuzsa Polgar, 100 free rating points. Zsuzsa defeated 13 male grandmasters in the 1985-1986 rating period, but after receiving the 100 free points, Maya Chiburdanidze, who had defeated no grandmasters in tournament games at all, was placed 35 points above her.

But that is only a minor part of the story. The vilification she suffered in her native Hungary even as a child, the efforts to forcibly prevent her from playing chess, the efforts to put her father in jail, the bans and blacklistings, the tournaments she was not allowed to enter, the newspaper articles constantly attacking her, no normal person could have survived this. The worst years took place during the 1981-1985 period when her name was virtually unknown to the outside world and there was nobody to advocate her cause.

Because the book has just been released, it is not available in stores. It can only be obtained by mail order.

To order, send $24.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling to:

Compchess Consulting
95-60 Queens Blvd., Suite 807
Rego Park NY 11374

TEL: (718) 252-4612
FAX: (718) 997-7877

E-mail address is: compchess@worldnet.att.com

Here is a link: The Zsuzsa Polgar Home Page

To Order the Book - please send e-mail to the following address: compchess@worldnet.att.com

New York Residents add sales tax of $2.35 (Total: $30.80)

Here are links:
Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page

Sam Sloan
Sam Sloan

My Home Page

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com