Polar graphs are a common generalization of bipartite, cobipartite, and split graphs. They are defined by the existence of a certain partition of vertices, which is NP-complete to decide for general graphs. It has been recently proved that for cographs, the existence of such a partition can be characterized by finitely many forbidden subgraphs, and hence tested in polynomial time. In this paper we address the question of polarity of chordal graphs, arguing that this is in essence a question of colourability, and hence chordal graphs are a natural restriction. We observe that there is no finite forbidden subgraph characterization of polarity in chordal graphs: nevertheless we present a polynomial time algorithm for polarity of chordal graphs. We focus oil a special case of polarity (called monopolarity) which turns Out to be the central concept for our algorithms. For the case of monopolar graphs, we illustrate the structure of all minimal obstructions; it turns out that they can all be described by it certain graph grammar, permitting our monopolarity algorithm to be cast as a certifying algorithm. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.