Join us!
Magyar Nemzeti Gallery

Global Chess Festival 2019 Budapest


 12th October 2019, Hungarian National Gallery



Watch the video about the 5th Global Chess Festival.

Judit Polgar presents the 5th anniversary of the Global Chess Festival, held every second Saturday in October in Hungary’s stunning capital city Budapest. This year the festival will be held in a very special location – The Hungarian National Gallery, located in the castle district of the city.

The festival is free of charge for all participants. We aim to bring friends and families together to have a memorable experience while playing, learning, and enjoying the rich cultural atmosphere the event provides.

One of the main objectives of the festival is to highlight the diverse nature of chess in four main ways: Chess as a Sport, Chess as a Science, Chess as an Art and Chess as an Educational tool.

Participants will even have the opportunity of playing in a simultaneous exhibition against the Polgar Sisters on the day of the ‘Future Champions of Europe’ event. We will be keeping an eye out for any special talents, so make sure you bring your A-game!

The ‘Chess Palace Cup’ and ‘Chess Challenge’ will be available to amateur players who may even be competing in their first ever tournament. Children and adults are both welcome!

For the first time at the ‘Chess Connects’ conference, lecturers will provide insight on how science influences modern chess, including chess as an educational tool in the 21st century and the challenges modern chess presents within the context of sport.

As always, a number of very special guests will be in attendance this year. It’s always great to have so many influential figures from both on and off the board join us at the festival. We will announce their names in due course!

Main Sponsor of the event is





A fun edition to the program this year will be the ‘The Inspiration Cup’ where specially selected pairs will be playing against each other, all of which will be streamed online with exciting and expert level commentary.

During the event, you will also have a chance to gain insight into Judit Polgar’s Educational Program – ‘Chess Palace’, as well as other educational tools and activities. These activities include robotics, maths and much more. Hand crafting will be part of the daily program, as well as making marzipan chess pieces and other artwork activities for kids.

We are looking forward to welcoming chess enthusiasts and aficionados to Budapest on October 12th at the National Gallery where you’ll have an unforgettable experience. You’ll also be treated to a selection of charming musical performances at the opening ceremony.


Reaching out to organizers from around the world

In the past 4 years we have had more than 300 locations, in 40 different countries involved the #ChessConnectsUs initiative. If chess is important to you, we would like to inspire and encourage you to organise your own event! Forward your information and let’s show the world that chess can connect us all.



The Global Chess Festival promotes the 1000 faces of chess all around​ the world. We aim to share the beauty of chess with 5 million people by 2025, to connect and enjoy chess-related activities on the day of the festival! CHESS CONNECTS US


In case you cannot join us in Budapest, follow us on the LIVE stream or organise your own event on the same day of the festival. 
Register here



Please review the summary of Global Chess Festival 2018:



250 venues from 23 countries took part in the 4th Global Chess Festival initiated by Judit Polgar
The event was followed online by nearly 100,000 people


The special venue of the Hungarian National Gallery recently hosted the fourth Global Chess Festival on October 13, where participants of the event could play among fine art masterpieces spanning hundreds of years. Olympic chess champion Judit Polgar brought together 250 locations across 23 countries from around the world, with representatives from many nations - ranging from India and Chile to China and the US - also taking part in the festival’s programs.


For the first time at the festival the Goodwill Ambassador of Artistic Values of Chess was awarded to a number of artists whose work has been inspired or influenced by the great game of chess. These include French composer Jason Kouchak, who opened the ceremony with a concert, and the Chilean singer-songwriter Juga, who amazed the crowd with her singing. Others were also bestowed the award, such as artist Yoko Ono, who will receive the award from Polgar in New York this November. Ono’s long-time collaborator Sam Havadtoy was also honoured with the award, as was Hungarian pianist Gergely Bogányi.


The festival itself even received praise from famed Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, who expressed his support for the festival in a letter that emphasised his message that chess eliminates the differences between people. It is in this spirit that the special circumstances of those with visual or hearing impairments were also playing on the festival, allowing for their chess technique and tools to be a focal theme to this year’s event.


Nearly 100,000 viewers watched Polgar's simultaneous online game on the eve of the event via Twitch TV, which streamed the event online in conjunction with Sam Copeland, a director of the latter, said that simultaneous online streaming tremendous treat for the entire chess community, and Polgar’s dynamic and energy was a blast to see on screen.

It is with the spirit of Polgar’s personal motto, “#Chess Connects Us”, that the fourth Global Chess Festival was held. Chess, the world's oldest board game, was able to show it's many faces during the event - including competitive sports, art and education - proving that chess truly does not have any boundaries. The Budapest-based local event was also joined by venues from across globe, including - among others - the United States, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, India and Nepal. The Netherlands participated with eight locations including the small island of Schiermonnikoog with a tiny population of almost a thousand inhabitants, who renamed the island in celebration of the event to become the Isle of Chess for the day. China was also a major partner of the Global Chess Festival, with 200 locations representing the event.


The stand out event of the festival was the simultaneous match held by Judit and Sofia Polgar, for which hundreds of people applied. Ultimately nearly 50 players sat and played against the two multiple Olympic champions in tandem. All ages were represented by this mix of players, from the retired to the very young, with the central motto for the event strengthened when a visually-impaired little girl sat at the chess table to compare her skills against the Polgar sisters.

The young Argentine Grandmaster, Damian Lemos, also arrived in Budapest at the invitation of the festival, allowing for the most adventurous of players to test their abilities against the champion of Argentina. At the close of the festival, Lemos noted the surprising strength of the Hungarian chess players he was facing, regardless of their age.


The ability for chess to educate was once again highlighted this year, with Judit Polgar’s Chess Palace and Chess Playground educational programs also playing a major role at the festival. These programs were developed for the younger generation to help them tackle the challenges of the 21st century and to teach them how to navigate the digital age and face the constant barrage of information that we are all required to endure on a daily basis.


“Chess is a world, but a precious one, without the lies. It is a pure form of art” - said Arkady Dvorkovich, the newly elected president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), who acknowledged the festival’s motto of connectedness. “It gives us an opportunity to have an honest relationship with others and ourselves. This Festival has the power to gather all the generations, and to bring everyone close to everyone, to meet each other in socializing and to transmit that energy further. The idea that Judit Polgar put into focus, fact that chess have power to connect people, is the guiding principle for all of us.”




  • Date

    12th October 2019

  • Location

    Hungarian National Gallery

  • Event name

    Global Chess Festival 2019 Budapest

  • Event's address

    1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2.

  • Organizer

    Judit Polgar Chess Foundation

  • Website

    Click here

  • Time


Judit Polgar Chess Foundation
Halhatatlan Magyar Sportolók Egyesülete
Judit Polgar Chess Foundation
Halhatatlan Magyar Sportolók Egyesülete