Apr 13, 2013

How to Raise a Genius

Laszlo Polgar was a Hungarian psychologist who decided to make his children part of an educational experiment. Polgar believed that "geniuses are made, not born" and argued that children could achieve exceptional things if trained in one subject from an early age. He set out to turn his children into prodigies of whatever they showed interest in. The goal was to make the children happy with what they achieved

Laszlo wrote a book on how to raise a genius and proved the hypothesis by raising three chess grandmasters, two of them became record-breakers and one became the first female to beat the top ranked male.

He and his wife Klara raised three daughters, and decided that their specialist subject would be chess. He trained the girls in chess from when they were very small. Despite their intense training, the girls were happy and well adjusted.

Their youngest daughter, Judit, was a child prodigy. At age five, she beat a family friend in chess without even looking at the board. She started competing in tournaments at age six. Eventually at age 15, Judit achieved the status of Grandmaster and became the youngest person to do so.  She has beaten Anatoli Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky, and six other world champions. Her older sisters are Grandmaster Susan and International Master Sofia.

Judit Polgár was ranked number 36 in the world on the July 2012 FIDE rating list with an Elo rating of 2709, the only woman on FIDE's Top 100 Players list, and has been ranked as high as eighth in 2005. Last month, March 2013 she was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary Commander's Cross with Star.