Your move, ladies: World chess queen calls for women to get on board

Susan Polgar, the five-time Olympic champion, played against 10 international opponents simultaneously in a two-hour exhibition — and beat them all. (KAUST photo)
Updated 26 January 2018

Your move, ladies: World chess queen calls for women to get on board

JEDDAH: The first woman to break the gender barrier in chess has challenged Saudi women to take up the game.
“Chess is available for everyone,” the Hungarian-American grandmaster Susan Polgar told Arab News. “It doesn’t limit your dress code and your physical strength doesn’t matter. Gender or age are not limitations.”
Polgar, 48, was speaking at an event at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, where she played against 10 international opponents simultaneously in a two-hour exhibition — and beat them all.
The grandmaster, who was ranked the world’s top female chess player at the age of 15, challenged a Russian grandmaster herself when she was 4 years old. She lost — but it was a memorable and educational experience. “Hopefully, I will give the same pleasant lifetime memories to my opponents here, regardless of the result,” she said.
Polgar’s visit comes a few weeks after the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz chess championship in late December, which she described as “a fantastic opportunity.”
“It is fortunate that the government decided to understand the value of chess and support it with the championship last year. This is a chance for all Saudis, including women.”
Polgar, a five-time Olympic champion, believes chess teaches people to be objective and to look at both sides of the coin. “I think a shortcoming in society is that people think too much only from their point of view and don’t look at the whole picture or from the other side’s perspective,” she said.
Entering the male-dominated world of chess was challenging, but it did not deter Polgar. She paved the way for other female chess players by becoming the first woman to qualify for the Men’s World Chess Championship. Initially, she was not allowed to enter, but the World Chess Federation changed its policy to include women.
“I think there are still very few women playing chess and, therefore, there are only a few good women players. If you go to a chess club, you will see that about 90-100 percent of members are men,” she said. Specialized women’s championships can be empowering “as some women don’t feel socially comfortable in the environment — being one of the very few women in a room full of men.”


Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and Greek counterpart discuss bilateral ties

Updated 22 September 2020

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and Greek counterpart discuss bilateral ties

  • They discussed bilateral relations and regional and international developments

RYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call on Tuesday from his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.
During the call, the two ministers discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance frameworks for coordination on issues of common interest, in addition to reviewing regional and international developments and means of tackling them.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan later on Tuesday met Russia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom, Sergey Kozlov, at his office in the ministry in Riyadh.
During the meeting, they reviewed the efforts of the G20 countries, which Saudi Arabia holds the presidency of this year and is set to host the 15th summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22.
They also discussed strategic relations between the two countries and ways to enhance joint cooperation in a number of fields, in addition to regional and international developments and issues of common interest.