Susan Polgar is the world’s first female chess grandmaster. But she wasn’t born with her brilliant brain – it was created by the unique experiment that dominated her childhood. From the age of four her father trained her for up to six hours a day at chess alone.
Growing up in the early 1970s, no woman had ever held the title of chess grandmaster. It was widely believed that female brains weren’t wired with adequate spatial awareness for the game. Nowadays, memory and pattern recognition are recognised as they key areas used by experts in all fields – everyone from waiters to fire-fighters.
Neither of these however, has the trained memory of a chess grandmaster. Able to recreate a chess game glimpsed only on the side of a passing van, Susan’s true genius is revealed when she plays an entire chess match over a mobile phone. Her opponent can see the board but she can’t, instead using her memory to imagine the game.