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Yifan Hou 
World Junior Championship, Gaziantep, 2008
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Yifan Hou
Number of games in database: 1,071
Years covered: 2003 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2686 (2614 rapid, 2704 blitz)
Overall record: +352 -177 =341 (60.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      201 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (201) 
    B93 B42 B90 B30 B92
 Ruy Lopez (125) 
    C78 C67 C65 C95 C84
 French Defense (58) 
    C11 C10 C18 C03 C05
 Caro-Kann (53) 
    B18 B17 B10 B13 B11
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (52) 
    C95 C84 C92 C89 C96
 Sicilian Najdorf (45) 
    B93 B90 B92 B94 B91
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (166) 
    B84 B22 B90 B81 B50
 Nimzo Indian (61) 
    E32 E37 E34 E46 E58
 Queen's Gambit Declined (50) 
    D38 D31 D30
 French Defense (44) 
    C11 C07 C18 C01 C13
 Sicilian Scheveningen (41) 
    B84 B81 B80 B83 B82
 Queen's Pawn Game (37) 
    A46 E10 E00 A40 D05
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Yifan Hou vs M Sebag, 2011 1-0
   J Smeets vs Yifan Hou, 2008 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs Judit Polgar, 2012 1-0
   A Giri vs Yifan Hou, 2013 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs N Dzagnidze, 2014 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs Le Quang Liem, 2012 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs V Gunina, 2013 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs Y Yu, 2013 1-0
   A Das vs Yifan Hou, 2015 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs Sasikiran, 2009 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Women's World Team Championship (2007)
   37th Chess Olympiad: Women (2006)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2011)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Sharjah (2014)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Lopota (2014)
   SportAccord World Mind Games (Women, Basque) (2013)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2012)
   Women's World Chess Championship (2010)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2009)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Kazan (2012)
   World Junior Championship (2008)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2015)
   World Junior Championship (Girls) (2006)
   Chess Olympiad (Women) (2014)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Blunderdome's favorite games of 2012-2013 by Blunderdome
   Omnis stultia laborat fastidio sui。 by hanwubai
   2004 WYCC (open) U-10 by gauer
   Girl meets boy by englishplus
   Hou Yifan by Nicocobas
   Sicilian by Nicocobas
   2005 WYCC (open) U-12 by gauer

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Yifan Hou
Search Google for Yifan Hou
FIDE player card for Yifan Hou

(born Feb-27-1994, 21 years old) China
[what is this?]
Grandmaster. 13th Women's World Champion from 2010-12, and again from 2013. Having lost the Champion's title in 2012, she regained it in 2013.

Yifan was born in Xinghua City, Jiangsu, China. She is the youngest female in the history of chess to acquire the GM title, and was the youngest GM in the world when she acquired the title. At 14, she was the youngest ever finalist in a Women's World Championship contest. Winning the Women's World Championship title in 2010 at the age of 16 made her the youngest Women's World Champion ever, beating the mark long held by the legendary Maia Chiburdanidze who won the title in 1978 at the age of 17. In 2011, she successfully defended her title by winning the best-of-ten Hou - Koneru Women's World Championship (2011) by 5.5-2.5 (+3 =5 -0), also making her the youngest Women's World Champion to defend her title, and the youngest to do so successfully.

Yifan started playing chess at age 6, and in 2003 she won the U10 Girls division of the World Youth Championships in Halkidiki, Greece. In 2004, she contested the Boys' U10 World Championship in Heraklio, Crete, placing third. She came fifth in the 3 Arrows Cup in 2005 in Jinan, recording a performance rating of nearly 2400. At the age of 12, she contested the FIDE Women's World Championship (2006) in Ekaterinburg, Russia, defeating Nadezhda Kosintseva and Natalia Zhukova in the first two rounds before falling to Nino Khurtsidze in the third round.

Yifan played in the 37th Chess Olympiad: Women (2006) on the Reserve Board (Board 4), winning the silver medal with 11/13 and a performance rating of 2596. She scored 9/12 in the World Junior Championship (Girls) (2006) and secured second place on countback behind Yang Shen. In June 2007 she broke through to win the Women's Chinese National Chess Championship in Chongqing city, a title she successfully defended in Beijing the following May. Also in 2007, she won a team gold and individual gold and silver medals on board 2 at the 2007 Women's World Team Championships. In 2008 she also won the Isbank Ataturk Women Masters (2008) outright by a clear point ahead of Pia Cramling, and came third in the World Junior Championship (2008) (for both sexes) behind Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negi . In 2009, Yifan came equal third in the 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship (2009) (open) with 7/11, half a point behind GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly and GM Zhou Weiqi, qualifying her for the World Cup (2009) in which she bowed out in the first round after losing to Arkadij Naiditsch. Also in 2009, she won team gold and individual bronze playing top board for China in that year's edition of the Women's World Team Championships. In April 2010, after relatively modest results in the Moscow Open (2010) and Aeroflot Open (2010) in February, she won the 3rd Kuala Lumpur Open with 7.5/9, came second with 7.5/11 in the Women's Grand Prix in Nalchik after Tatiana Kosintseva and won the FIDE Women Grand Prix (2010) in Ulan Bator, Mongolia with 8/11 and a 2649 performance rating. Later in the year, she then lead her country to a silver medal in the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2010); she also won bronze for her efforts on the top board where she scored 8/11 (+5 -0 =6). Yifan capped 2010 and her career so far by becoming the Women's World Champion in December, defeating Ruan Lufei in the tiebreaker 3-1 after drawing the classical games 2-2. Her win earned her China Central Television's 2010 award for Sportsperson of the Year involved in a sport that is not included in the Olympic category* and her title win also qualified her for participation in the World Cup 2011.

She competed in the "open" Chinese Championship (2011), scoring 6/11 (+2 -1 =8), won the 1st Women Master Tournament 2011 at Wuxi with 7/9, and played in the 2nd Hainan Danzhou GM tournament where she scored 2 points from 9 rounds. Her poor form continued in the 10th Asian Individual Championships (2011) (4.5/9), the Airports Authority of India (2011) (3/10) and the 1st Hangzhou Women's GM Tournament (2011)(4.5/9). Yifan staged a partial recovery by winning the FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2011) with 8/11, coasting to a victory by a clear point ahead of Kateryna Lahno (to whom she lost in their individual encounter) after leading by 2 points midway through the event. She qualified for the World Cup (2011) by dint of her being the Women's World Champion, but lost to Sergei Movsesian in the first round after missing a winning combination in the second game. Soon after the World Cup, she won the Shenzhen Women's Grand Prix (2011) with a score of 8/11 (+5 =6). In December 2011 at the inaugural World Mind Games which featured rapid, blitz and blindfold chess alongside Go, Bridge, Draughts, and Xiangqi, Hou won gold in the women's blitz and in the women's blindfold.** She finished a successful 2011 by winning team gold and two individual silver medals at the FIDE Women's World Team Championship (2011), and by overtaking Koneru as women's world number 2 after Judit Polgar.

Hou started 2012 in dramatic style by taking equal first place at Tradewise Gibraltar (2012) with 8/10 (+7 -1 =2; TPR 2872), alongside Nigel Short (+6 =4; TPR 2838), however she came second on tiebreak when she lost the 2 game blitz playoff with Short by 1.5-0.5; her record against the 7 GMs she played, each of whom was rated over 2700 was 5/7, and included wins against Zoltan Almasi, Judit Polgar, Le Quang Liem and Alexey Shirov, draws against Michael Adams and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and a loss to Krishnan Sasikiran. A few weeks later, she came close to winning the Reykjavik Open (2012), but failed to find the right continuation to defeat the eventual winner, Fabiano Caruana, in the last round; she scored 7/9 (+5 =4; TPR 2677) to place =2nd, albeit 6th on count back. Her results have been more modest since then, including 5/11 at the Chinese Chess Championships (2012), and 6/9 at the 12th Bangkok Open (2012), costing her 16 Elo points, and then reached a nadir by placing last with 3/9 (-3 =6) at the 3rd Danzhou Tournament (2012). Neither her =3rd at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Kazan (2012) with 7/11 nor her outright win at the Women Grand Prix Jermuk (2012) enabled her to regain any of her lost rating points, but nevertheless she won the 2011-12 Women's Grand Prix which entitles her to challenge for the Women's World Championship in 2013 since she lost her title in the 2012 World Women's Championship knockout tournament. Yifan represented China on board 1 of the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012), and helped her team to win team silver (missing gold to Russia on tiebreak), and also picking up individual gold on board 1. 2012 finished with Hou crashing out of the FIDE Knock-out Women's World Championship (2012), losing to GM Monika (Bobrowska) Socko in the rapid game tiebreaker in round 2. As the winner of the 2011-2012 Grand Prix series, Hou won the right to challenge the winner of the Knockout Tournament and 2012 Women's World Champion, GM Anna Ushenina, for the women's title in 2013.

2013 started with Hou's inaugural participation in an open super-tournament, starting as the 14th and lowest seed in the category 20 Tata Steel (2013). After a string of early losses, she recovered well (especially when playing Black) to defeat current and previous 2700 players Anish Giri, Pentala Harikrishna and Ivan Sokolov to score 5.5/13 (+3 =5 -5) and a near 2700 performance to finish 10th, ahead of Fabiano Caruana, Erwin L'Ami and Sokolov. Seeded 4th, she came in at =4th (8th on tiebreak) with a relatively rating-neutral 5.5/11 (+3 =5 -3) result at the Chinese Championships (2013). Her participation in the Women Grand Prix Geneva (2013) in May 2013 has been her least successful to date, scoring only 5/11 and placing =8th out of 12, and shedding 22 rating points for the June 2013 rating period. In June, and presumably part of her preparation for her World Championship match with Ushenina, Hou played the Navara vs Yifan Hou, 2013 and drew all 4 classical games; however, after drawing the blitz tiebreakers 1-1 she won the Armageddon blitz tiebreaker. In July 2013, she was selected as one of the President's nominees to play in the World Cup (2013), where she lost to Latvian #1 Alexey Shirov in the tiebreaker of the first round. However, in the following month in September 2013, she played and won the Ushenina - Hou Women's World Championship (2013) by 5.5-1.5 (+4 =3), to regain her title as 13th Women's World Champion.

As a WFM, her rating topped 2500 in the January 2007 FIDE ratings before FIDE formally conferred her WGM title in late January 2007. Her results in the Aeroflot Open (2008) and the Isbank Ataturk Women Masters (2008) provided her with her first and second GM norms. She picked up her third GM norm in the World Junior Championship (2008) with a round to spare. Any lingering doubts about Yifan's GM norm from the Isbank Ataturk Masters were resolved when she acquired another GM norm upon defeating Koneru Humpy to reach the final of the Women's World Championship (2008) before losing the championship match against Alexandra Kosteniuk. In October 2012 she helped her team Cercle d'Echecs Monte-Carlo to win gold at the 28th European Club Cup (Women) (2012), and in the following year, she repeated that feat for the same team at the European Club Cup (Women) (2013). Hou easily won the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014) with 8.5/11, with a round to spare. She scored a crushing 9/11 at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Lopota (2014) and followed up with a strong 5/10 at the Biel (2014), placing =3rd a point behind the winner, and boosting her rating to the extent that she has reached the world's top 100, only the second woman to do so. In September 2014, she was =1st at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Sharjah (2014). In December 2014, she played in the women's contingent of the chess section of the Mind Games events held in Beijing, placing 2nd with 5/7. She easily won the blitz portion of the event with 22.5/30, boosting her blitz rating to over 2700.

In 2015, she participated in her first open invitational super-tournament, namely Tata Steel (2015), and scored a rating-neutral 5/13. Soon afterwards she scored 7.5/10 to place 3rd at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2015), a point behind the winner Hikaru Nakamura and half a point behind the runner-up David Howell against whom she missed a winning variation to draw their final round game.

Hou's rating as of 1 February 2015 was 2672 (world #68). She is the #2 woman in the world after Polgár, but only by 3 points in this rating list. Hou is also the 9th ranked player overall in China and #14 in Asia. Her rapid rating is 2614 (women's world #2) while her blitz rating is 2704 (world #45, women's world #2), only the second woman after Polgár to reach 2700 in blitz. On 1 January 2015, she exited the Girls list, ending a domination of that division as world's #1 Girl (ie: female Junior U20) that started in January 2008, when she was 13, and lasted for 84 months

Article about Hou being the youngest female GM: Live rating: * **

Wikipedia article: Hou Yifan

Latest update 6 Feb 2015

 page 1 of 43; games 1-25 of 1,071  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Yifan Hou vs M Butuc  1-042 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
2. G Madanasri vs Yifan Hou  0-146 2003 Wch U10 GirlsA36 English
3. Yifan Hou vs J Bluebaum  1-050 2003 Wch U10 GirlsC18 French, Winawer
4. A Le Bail vs Yifan Hou  0-137 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB56 Sicilian
5. Yifan Hou vs N Paikidze ½-½57 2003 WYCC - G10B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
6. Yifan Hou vs M Danelia 1-061 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
7. N Szabo vs Yifan Hou  0-135 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB56 Sicilian
8. Yifan Hou vs M Hejazipour  ½-½51 2003 Wch U10 GirlsC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
9. A Kashlinskaya vs Yifan Hou  0-139 2003 Wch U10 GirlsA46 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Yifan Hou vs A A De la Rosa Lara  1-044 2004 Wch U10B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
11. M Bortnyk vs Yifan Hou  ½-½47 2004 Wch U10B22 Sicilian, Alapin
12. Yifan Hou vs S Vijayalakshmi  1-043 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
13. M Ovezova vs Yifan Hou  0-1133 2004 Asian-ch (Women)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Yifan Hou vs B Khvan 1-041 2004 Wch U10B71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
15. A Galymzhanov vs Yifan Hou  0-156 2004 Wch U10B50 Sicilian
16. Yifan Hou vs S Zigangirova  1-045 2004 Asian-ch (Women)B42 Sicilian, Kan
17. D Khachykian vs Yifan Hou  0-157 2004 Wch U10A30 English, Symmetrical
18. Yifan Hou vs J Moussard 0-152 2004 Championnat du Monde -10B76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
19. Yifan Hou vs Hiba Omrani 1-011 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C67 Ruy Lopez
20. Zhang Jilin vs Yifan Hou  1-038 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C18 French, Winawer
21. Yifan Hou vs C Heung  1-026 2004 Wch U10B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
22. D Shahinyan vs Yifan Hou  0-129 2004 Wch U10C02 French, Advance
23. Yifan Hou vs E Karavade  0-167 2004 Asian-ch (Women)B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
24. Robson vs Yifan Hou 0-137 2004 Wch U10B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
25. Ju Wenjun vs Yifan Hou  ½-½61 2004 Asian-ch (Women)A37 English, Symmetrical
 page 1 of 43; games 1-25 of 1,071  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Yifan Hou wins | Yifan Hou loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 53 OF 53 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-21-15  dumbgai: Let Van Kampen have a turn at being the local punching bag.
Jan-21-15  HeMateMe: Isn't Giri a Dutch national, though Russian by birth? I suppose they want a true local boy for the tournament. I really think van Wely has run the course.
Jan-28-15  dumbgai: Hou Yifan's win today puts her at 2675.2 in the live ratings, 0.2 points ahead of Judit Polgar. Still many rounds remaining at Gibraltar so the ratings will change.
Jan-28-15  dumbgai: So for the first time since...seemingly forever, the women's world champion is also the highest rated woman in the world.

Even if unofficial and just for one day.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Well, it's extended for at least one more day, as she's up to 2678.1.

She has white against Babu M R Lalith tomorrow (rated 2537). A win or draw is sufficient to keep the streak going.

Feb-02-15  Whitehat1963: I'd like to see her break 2700 and the top 40 players overall. I don't know if she can do it, but it would be exciting for chess to have another woman superstar. It would be nice to see about 5 or 10 more women among the top 100 players, but I'll settle for at least one for now.
Feb-02-15  shintaro go: In which area should Yifan improve on? It seems her contemporaries have all broken 2750 already. Its about time she joined them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Yes, it would be nice to have another female superstar, but sadly chess seems to be losing popularity among girls, at least at this level. The top girl right now is ranked only 72nd among juniors overall.
Feb-03-15  pinoy king: She is 2700-2750 tactically but sucks in endgames
Feb-05-15  HeMateMe: "My Career So Far", part of a dvd she has out:


Feb-05-15  devere: Hou Yifan will not defend her women's world champion title in the 2 game knock-out tournament next month:

I think she will probably play the match this fall and get her title back, unless she plans on emulating Judit Polgar and playing only events open to both sexes.

As to FIDE, what a joke that long-delayed women's "world championship" tournament will be. We will have still another fake FIDE champion who no one will recognize as a genuine world champion.

Feb-06-15  HeMateMe: Can you imagine Kramnik or Kasparov playing these two game matches to defend their titles?

It's beneath her, as a world champion.

Feb-06-15  ketchuplover: Best wishes in Hawaii young lady
Feb-08-15  entropy35: She is playing chess and study at university at the same time. It feels like she should just concentrate on chess and try to become top 10 player.

Then again she won't be playing chess forever and wants a fall back career path.

Feb-27-15  sonia91: Happy birthday!
Feb-27-15  sire: Happy Birthday and good Luck in Sochi!
Feb-27-15  flhoosier: happy birthday!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Happy 21st birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: I'll buy her a birthday drink!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: I remember a tournament video where everybody got a glass of champagne, but she didn't want any saying that she didn't drink. They got her to take a sip eventually.
Mar-23-15  HowDoesTheHorsieMove: Hou Yifan really destroyed the competition in Hawaii. She was the highest rated, though.
Mar-29-15  dumbgai: Agree that we need a better profile photo!
Mar-29-15  zanzibar: This would be my suggestion for best unrestricted-use photo of her:

Mar-30-15  HeMateMe: great photo! I like this one, too:


Mar-30-15  zanzibar: A picture of her and her mother sightseeing in Turkey from 2009:

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