Judit Polgar (Hungary)

RAKESH RAO

ARVIND AARON

World ranking: 8. Rating: 2735. Date of birth: July 23, 1976.

THE strongest woman player in the history of the game, Judit Polgar gets a chance to become the champion of the world.

For someone who stayed away from woman-only events from her early playing days, Judit is a part of a psychological experiment carried out by her father to determine whether women could achieve the same or higher mental aptitude than men if trained from an early age.

The success of Judit and her sisters Zsusza and Sophia surely vindicates their father's viewpoint. The trio went on to help Hungary win the Olympiad gold ahead of the mighty Russians.

Judit broke Bobby's Fischer's record of the world's youngest Grandmaster. In 2003, she entered the world's top-10 bracket when no other woman was in the top-100 list. She remains the only woman to beat Kasparov in a rapid game. Judit has victories over each one in the fray at San Luis but is yet to win a major title ahead of the male challengers. Back in the chess elite after missing the entire 2004 due to the birth of her son Oliver, Judit finds a place in the fray because of Vladimir Kramnik's decision to stay away.