I'd been looking forward to this book for some time and I can say straight away that I wasn't disappointed.
The Polgars - and Susan in particular, being the trailblazer - had to overcome many obstacles on their way to the top. It seems like a description of another world when Susan relates not being able to compete in the World Championship cycle, even though she qualified, purely because it was then known as the Men's World Championship.
I used a good number of Polgar games. They were always exciting games, usually featuring a snappy finish but I was also able to show that chess is not totally male-dominated. At that time, local chess playing girls were almost completely non-existent. Within a couple of years we had changed all that and for a while we were ahead of most counties with our achievements. The point is that without good role models, the girls would never have flourished and seeing the top-level break though of the three sisters was inspirational and influential in our own local efforts.
The opening section compromises of an autobiography by Susan, followed by a good selection of her own games and combinations, all well-annotated. Susan then covers the lives of her sisters, with plenty of anecdotes from around the chess world.
Judit made it to the top ten of the world ranking lists and recently competed in the World Championship tournament.
Sofia doesn't play very much these days, which is a pity. Her performance at Rome in 1989 shows what we are missing. If you are unfamiliar with her success at that event, go and look it up on your database now!
Four shorter chapters finish off the book. These cover a variety of subjects, including the plans for the Susan Polgar foundation and the successful rebuilding and training of the US Women's team for the 2004 Olympiad.
There's also a plethora of interesting photos, featuring not only the Polgars but also a whole host of chess luminaries, including Fischer and Kasparov.
Amazingly, the obstacles go on appearing. Following the tremendous and unprecedented success of the US Women's team at the 2004 Olympiad, the Olympiad Training Program was cancelled as politics once again moved in to spoil things.
The biographical sections make fascinating reading but I'm sure a lot of readers will be more interested in the pure chess content. Rest assured, there are plenty of terrific games here with all three sisters showing a remarkable flair for tactics.
Despite all the `mines in the road', Susan has remained incredibly optimistic regarding chess and its place in the lives of young people.
VERDICT: The inside story of a remarkable rise to chess success, against all the odds! This is an excellent and inspirational book on several levels. A good one to put on your Christmas list, methinks!