Chess Roll

What I Learned From the Father of Chess Grandmasters

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Habits build our lives more than we know it because our brain is capable of building networks as a result of growth, reorganization, storing memories, or mastering a new skill. It is a great influence in everything we do from thinking, doing, and feeling. Chess is an abstract strategy game that requires focus and critical thinking skills. To become good at it, desire is not enough but one must also put in practice, strict training, and discipline. 

Stacking good habits is essential to be productive, happy, and become a good chess player. In 1965, a man named Laszlo Polgar claimed that with deliberate practice and good habits, a child can be nurtured to become a genius in any field. The hard work of compounding continuous good habits and nonstop making improvements is better than the idea of innate talent. 

“A genius is not born, but it is educated and trained.” -Laszlo Polgar

Laszlo doubtlessly believed the idea that he wanted to experiment with his children. He then courted a woman named Klara because he “needed a wife willing to jump on board.” Klara was a teacher and believed that with the proper education and training, anyone could be excellent in anything. Laszlo figured out chess would be a good field for the experiment.

Laszlo and Klara had three children named Susan, Sofia, and Judith. He planned out everything to raise his children as chess prodigies and decided to put the children in a home-school, and their house will be filled with chess books and pictures of famous chess players. The children would play with each other and compete in every chess tournament they could find.

The family diligently keep track and record everything, even the history of their every competitor. Chess became their life and within a few years, Susan, the oldest, began playing chess at four years old and six months later, she started to defeat adults. Sofia, the middle child did even better and became a world champion at fourteen and later on became a grandmaster.

The youngest, Judith, was the best of all. At the age of five, she defeated her father. At twelve, she became a world champion, and at fourteen and for months old, she became the youngest grandmaster of all time — even younger than Bobby Fischer. For twenty-seven years, Judith stayed on top as a female chess player in the world. Therefore, Laszlo succeeded in making all his children become the best in the field of chess. 

The family displays a real-life advantage of building healthy habits because it is shaped by the systems in your life. The environment also had a tremendous amount of influence on the children. In life and even in chess, each move is crucial, so the effort of planning on reaching certain goals is needed. 

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