By Mike Nietman, Local Organizer, 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace
In July of 1990 Fond du Lac’s Marian College hosted the Under 14, Under 12 and Under 10 Open and Girl’s sections of the World Youth Chess Championships. Over 170 players from 40 countries and six continents descended on the small liberal arts college located sixty miles northwest of Milwaukee. Many famous players competed in the event. International stars included Romania’s Gabriel Schwartzman and a then-relatively-unknown Peter Leko of Hungary. The Americans were led by Tal Shaked, Morgan Pehme, Josh Waitzkin and eventual Under 10 champion Nawrose Nur. But the biggest name was the world’s number one rated woman, Hungary’s Judit Polgar who arrived with her contingent and her father Lazlo.
Most teams that flew came thru Milwaukee’s Mitchell airport; this included the Hungarians. We had staged greeters at the airport to welcome the teams as they landed and to shepherd them to waiting buses for the final leg of their journey to Fond du Lac. We knew the flights most of the teams would be on, so we asked the Milwaukee representatives to notify Hungarian-born and retired Marquette University Physics professor Arpad Elo about Judit’s itinerary, as he had always wanted to meet her.Read more: Arpad Elo Visits the 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace