Festivals & Awards

Jerusalem International Film Festival 2014 - Official Selection

The Polgar Variant

The Astonishing Story of the Polgar Sisters, Judit, Susan and Sofi Polgar, three Hungarian sisters which changed forever the world of chess.

Documentary 72 min
Languages: Hungarian, English, Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew


Directed by - Yossi Aviram
Produced by - Amir Harel, Ayelet Kait
Written by - Yossi Aviram
Associate Producer- Eli Berger

In participation with
Lama Films, The Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts – Cinema Project, The ,Second Authority for Television & Radio, The Marc Rich Foundation

Editors: Yossi Aviram & Sari Ezouz
Cinematographer: Yossi Aviram

world sales: Ruth Diskin



The Polgar sisters, Suzan, Sofi & Judit, did not choose to be the heroines of this story. It was their father, who, driven by his educational vision, determined their destiny before they were even born.
László Polgár believed that "Geniuses are made, not born," and he set out to prove it. The canvas he chose was his three daughters. The medium he chose was chess.

No kindergarten, no school... Three girls, isolated from the normal world of kids, studying & practicing chess every day, all day long, for years.

Polgar's goal was a total victory against the prevailing stereotypes no less than against the girls' opponents. The game was played both on the B&W board and in the grey world of communist Budapest, where the family lived. He wanted to home-school his daughters, but the authorities wouldn't have it. He wanted them to play only against men, but men didn't like it. He wanted to teach them to win, when other boys and girls were content to just play.