The best female player of chess history, who holds the highest Hungarian state honour, the Magyar Szent István Order (Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen), has received an honorary doctorate from of the University of Physical Education (UPE) as decided by the University Senate on Thursday. Judit Polgár becomes the 45th person to hold a degree of the kind awarded by UPE.
Prof. Dr. h. c. Lajos Mocsai, the Rector of University has made the following comment in relation to the acknowledgement of Judit Polgár’s lifetime achievements.
’This title is awarded to excellent personalities who make notable achievements as sportspeople or sport diplomats, and who have tight relations with the University of Physical Education. As our mind sports department will be launched this summer, we have serious plans in which we count upon Judit Polgár. Her past has made sport history, and her diplomatic activity is outstanding in sport development and education as well.”
The Hungarian chess player, whose father, László Polgár has raised all of his three daughters to become world-class players in order to prove his education theory, carries out outstanding educational activities. Her organisation, the Judit Polgár Chess Foundation was launched in 2012 with the aim of developing children’s competency in public education with a unique method. As a framework curriculum, competence development chess has made its way to the National Core Curriculum, and as of 2013, lower primary schoolchildren can choose it as a subject to learn. In order to help children’s learning process, a print series consisting of handbooks and exercise books called Sakkpalota (Chess Palace) has been made. The package also includes a teacher’s book.
Judit Polgár has become the 45th honorary doctor of the 95-year-old university. Her name will be printed on the University of Physical Education’s marble slab along with other world-famous sportspeople and leaders such as Juan Antonio Samaranch, Joao Havelange, Primo Nebiolo or Jacques Rogge, who were also received the title.
“A serious appreciation like this gives me a lot of energy,” said Judit Polgár on the university’ homepage. “I feel honoured to get an honorary doctorate from the University of Physical Education that is an outstanding institute with almost a 100-year-old history. I hope that the title will turn young people’ attention towards the work I have been doing. Every time I receive an award or my name is mentioned I become a little bit nostalgic. The same happened to me when I was awarded, for the first time ever, the title of the European Chess Legend by the European Chess Association last November. I can recall what I have achieved so far and what directions I should take. As far as I can see, the competitive spirit, endurance and perfectness in chess is as important as in education and in the promotion of chess. It really makes me feel relaxed that other people recognise and acknowledge it. Feedback has always been important for me because it gives me strength. Receiving the honorary doctorate from the University of Physical Education is a nice and positive feedback on my career and the work I have done”, finished Judit Polgár the telephone interview following a two-hour international lecture she presented.
The world-class chess player, who is also a mother of two, is considered to be among the three most famous Hungarians in the world, including Ferenc Puskás and Ernő Rubik. Judit Polgár will be presented the title at the university’s opening ceremony of the new academic year in autumn.