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The Making of Grandmasters – A Mother’s Influence

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Research shows that a mother can have a great impact on whether the child has happy and healthy adulthood and old age. It shows that a child’s mental and physical health is highly influenced by various factors such as early psychological conditions from childhood, including support from the parents. Nurturing a child at an early age will help him or her to develop a larger part of the brain, specifically the hippocampus, the region for learning, memory, and stress responses.

Playing chess at an early age contributes to discover talent, develop intelligence in a more effective way, planning, imagination, focus, analysis, vision, critical and theoretical thinking skills. Being a mother is not an ordinary role that women have to play, but it is the most important role in every child’s life. Exposing children to various sports or board games like chess will help them produce lifelong and inter-generational benefits for health and productivity.

The Mother of Three Chess Grandmasters – Klara Polgar

The Polgar sisters are probably the most popular siblings in the world of chess not only because they are champions but also because of their journey. We all know their father is the one who initiated to experiment on his children because he believed that geniuses are made and not born. To start, he first needed a wife that will agree to do what he believed in, so he finally found Klara and courted her. 

Fortunately, Klara – a teacher, was impressed and agreed to experiment. The experiment began in 1970 where Laszlo decided to homeschool her firstborn Susan and teach her chess. After a few years, Judit and Sofia came into their lives and also learned chess. Their father exposed them to chess that everything in their house must be chess-related. Although people would mostly see Laszlo as the mind of the experiment, without Klara and her support, they would not reach this point where three of her daughters are Chess Grandmasters.

Without the help of Klara, Laszlo’s experiment will not be possible. The Polgar sisters speak German, English, and high-level math. (All three are multilingual; Susan speaks seven languages, including Esperanto, fluently.)   

Mother of Chess Champion – Klara Kasparova

She was the most important support behind all his successes because no matter where Gary Kasparov was in the world, he would always take the chance to call his mother. When he was young, Kasparov wrote on this Facebook account, she placed a handwritten over his bed with an inspiring word “If not you, who else?”. He said that his mother is the only person that would offer him, honest counsel, no matter what the problem. 

In an interview, “At critical moments, you hear a voice which you’ve got used to trusting over long years.” Kasparov said. After Gary turned 18 in 1981, his mother decided to give up her work as an engineer and devote herself to her son’s chess career. He went on to win the world championship in 1985 and became the youngest champion in history, a record that he still holds. Her mother was his fiercest defender both in the world of chess and even in politics.

How Do You Spot A Grandmaster? – Mother of Magnus Carlsen

According to his parents, Magnus Carlsen is just like any other kid. He had a pretty enjoyable and fun childhood with his parents and his sister. Later on, His father and mother learned that Magnus has very special traits that made him stand out. They observed that their son could focus and concentrate for hours while playing lego, high-level math, sports, especially in chess. So, they thought that it would be great to teach their children to how to play real chess.

Through the dedication and support of their mother, the siblings finally allowed themselves to grow and nourish. During his first tournament, both of their parents are there to support Magnus in his training at the cabin, that’s when he first defeated his sister. After winning his first tournament, the family decided to left Norway to travel Europe.

It was a challenge for the whole family to live in and travel by car. For his mother, it was also difficult to manage a moving home but they have finally realized that the little things are the only ones that matter. 

The Beth Harmon and Alma Wheatly Story

We all know that story of The Queen’s Gambit is fictional but the story of Beth and Mrs. Wheatly as a mother and daughter can be encouraging for most of us. Although Beth was orphaned at an early age of seven, Mrs. Wheatly changed her life more than she could imagine, Beth is adopted by Alma and Allston Wheatly. However, after the adoption, Allston left and abandoned the family with providing very little for Alma and Beth to live on. 

The series of unfortunate events for Beth turned out to be in Beth’s favor. It opened a lot of opportunities for her additional income, to pursue a flourishing chess career, and to get closer to her adoptive mother Alma. Alma becomes Beth’s manager and traveling with her every country for her to support and win various chess tournaments. 

She was more than a mother to her; she was her everything. She was there when no one believed she could do it. Without Alma, Beth feels she has no one to depend on but herself, and this forced her to face the fact that she does not like herself that much. But later on, she learns to pick herself up and welcome the quiet voices and self-doubt, which made her stronger. 

Final Word

There is no exact word or gender to describe a mother. You do not have to be a woman or to be blood-related to be a mother. As long as you can love unconditionally, you can be whoever you wanted to be. Giving life to a human being does not automatically allow you to be a mom, but a mother will nurture, guide, understand, and love her child with all of her heart.

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