Monday, July 20, 2009

Media Obsession

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Laszlo Polgar - Creator of Geniuses

László Polgár - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
László Polgár (born 1946) is a Hungarian chess teacher and father of the famous "Polgár sisters": Zsuzsa (Susan), Zsófia (Sofia), and Judit. He authored well-known chess books such as Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games and Reform Chess, a survey of chess variants.

Although László is himself a mediocre player, whom Judit could beat at the age of five,[1]), he is an expert on chess theory and owns over 10,000 chess books. He is interested in the proper method of rearing children, believing that "geniuses are made, not born". Before he had any children, he wrote a book entitled Bring Up Genius!, and asked for a wife who would help him carry out the experiment. He found one in Klara, a schoolteacher, who lived in a Hungarian speaking enclave in the Ukraine. He married her in the USSR and brought her to Hungary. They have three daughters. He homeschooled his three daughters, primarily in chess, and all three went on to become strong players. An early result was Susan winning the Budapest Chess Championship for girls under 11 at the age of four.

He read biographies of famous intellectuals, and agreed with his wife, Klara, that ordinary schooling would do nothing to further his plan.

Laszlo Polgar's experiment in manufacturing genius was a controversial one; it actually provoked the opposition of the Hungarian government. Critics claimed that Laszlo Polgar used questionable methods to train his daughter, and armed government officials once arrived at the door of their home in an attempt to save them from what they saw as a potentially abusive situation.

Although Polgar's parenting philosophy raised eyebrows, his strict supervision of his children's education has resulted in a trio of geniuses. Zsuzsa is the women's champion and Zsofia is ranked seventh worldwide. Judit broke the record of Bobby Fischer by becoming the youngest grandmaster ever at the age of 15 years 4 months. At age 11 she earned an International Master title - younger than Fischer or Kasparov. At age 13 she was the World Under 14 Champion for boys and FIDE's highest rated woman.

This man's work is credible and there needs to be more research on the methods that he has proposed. Because he has clearly succeeded in what he set out to do.