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Yifan Hou
Yifan Hou 
Photograph by Sophie Triay.  
Number of games in database: 1,257
Years covered: 2003 to 2017
Last FIDE rating: 2649 (2611 rapid, 2659 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2686

Overall record: +398 -210 =405 (59.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 244 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (219) 
    B93 B42 B90 B30 B92
 Ruy Lopez (145) 
    C67 C78 C65 C95 C84
 French Defense (70) 
    C11 C10 C18 C15 C03
 Caro-Kann (59) 
    B18 B17 B12 B13 B10
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (58) 
    C95 C84 C92 C89 C96
 Sicilian Najdorf (51) 
    B93 B90 B92 B94 B91
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (181) 
    B84 B22 B90 B80 B81
 Nimzo Indian (71) 
    E32 E37 E46 E34 E58
 Queen's Gambit Declined (59) 
    D38 D31 D35 D30
 Queen's Pawn Game (52) 
    A46 E10 E00 A40 A45
 Sicilian Scheveningen (44) 
    B84 B80 B81 B83 B82
 French Defense (44) 
    C11 C07 C18 C01 C04
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   B Ider vs Yifan Hou, 2017 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs Navara, 2016 1-0
   J Smeets vs Yifan Hou, 2008 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs N Dzagnidze, 2014 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs M Sebag, 2011 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs Judit Polgar, 2012 1-0
   I Sokolov vs Yifan Hou, 2013 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs H J Cordes, 2015 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs Le Quang Liem, 2012 1-0
   A Giri vs Yifan Hou, 2013 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   37th Chess Olympiad: Women (2006)
   Women's World Team Championship (2007)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Lopota (2014)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2011)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014)
   Women's Grand Prix Monte Carlo (2015)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2012)
   SportAccord World Mind Games (Women, Basque) (2013)
   Women's World Chess Championship (2010)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Sharjah (2014)
   European Club Cup (Women) (2016)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2009)
   World Junior Championship (2008)
   World Junior Championship (Girls) (2006)
   Chess Olympiad (Women) (2014)

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

   Yifan Hou vs Naiditsch (Apr-22-17) 1/2-1/2
   Aronian vs Yifan Hou (Apr-21-17) 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs M Bluebaum (Apr-20-17) 1/2-1/2
   M Vachier-Lagrave vs Yifan Hou (Apr-19-17) 1-0
   Yifan Hou vs Carlsen (Apr-17-17) 1/2-1/2

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

(born Feb-27-1994, 23 years old) China
[what is this?]

Grandmaster; Chinese Women's champion (2007 & 2008); 13th Women's World Champion (2010-12 & 2013-2015).


Hou Yifan (侯逸凡) was born in Xinghua City, Jiangsu, China and started playing chess at age 6. 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.


<Age - Girls> In 2003 she won the U10 Girls division of the World Youth Championships in Halkidiki, Greece. She scored 9/12 in the World Junior Championship (Girls) (2006) and secured second place on countback behind Shen Yang.

<Age - open> In 2004, she contested the Open U10 World Championship in Heraklio, Crete, placing third. She came third in the World Junior Championship (2008) behind Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negi.

<National - Women> In June 2007 Hou broke through to win the Women's Chinese National Chess Championship in Chongqing city, a title she successfully defended in Beijing the following May.

<National - open> She competed in the "open" Chinese Championship (2011), scoring 6/11 (+2 -1 =8). She scored 5/11 at the Chinese Chess Championships (2012).

<Continental - open> In 2009, Yifan came equal third in the 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship (2009) (open) (ACCC) with 7/11, half a point behind GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly and GM Zhou Weiqi, qualifying her for the World Cup 2009. She scored 4.5/9 at the 10th Asian Individual Championships (2011).

<Grand Prix> She came second with 7.5/11 in the Women's Grand Prix in Nalchik in 2010 after Tatiana Kosintseva and won the FIDE Women Grand Prix (2010) in Ulan Bator, Mongolia with 8/11 and a 2649 performance rating. Soon after the World Cup 2011 she won the Shenzhen Women's Grand Prix (2011) with a score of 8/11 (+5 =6).

<World - Women> 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 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. Hou relinquished her world title a second time in April 2015 when she played in the Hawaiian Masters' Tournament (which she won) instead of the FIDE Women's World Chess Championship (2015) which was scheduled for the same time. As the winner of the Women's Grand Prix 2013-14, she is qualified to contest the Women's world crown later in 2015 against Mariya Muzychuk, who won the knockout event.

<World - open> Having qualified via the ACCC 2009 for the World Cup (2009), she bowed out in the first round after losing to Arkadij Naiditsch. 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. In September 2015 she was a Presidential Nominee for the World Cup (2015) where she defeated Rafael Duailibe Leitao in the first round but lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the rapid game tiebreaker of the second round to be eliminated from the event.

Team Events

<Olympiads> 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 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).

<Women's World Team Championship> 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 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.

Standard Tournaments

<2005-2010> Hou came fifth in the 3 Arrows Cup in 2005 in Jinan, recording a performance rating of nearly 2400. In 2008 she also won the Isbank Ataturk Women Masters (2008) outright by a clear point ahead of Pia Cramling. 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.

<2011-2015> She 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 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. 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 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.

Rating and Ranking

Hou's highest rating to date was 2686 in April 2015 when she reached her highest world ranking so far at #59. She is now the #1 woman in the world. 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.

References and Sources

* **

Article about Hou being the youngest female GM:; Live rating:; Wikipedia article: Hou Yifan

Last updated: 2016-08-04 06:38:44

 page 1 of 51; games 1-25 of 1,257  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Yifan Hou vs J Bluebaum  1-050 2003 Wch U10 GirlsC18 French, Winawer
2. A Le Bail vs Yifan Hou  0-137 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB56 Sicilian
3. Yifan Hou vs M Butuc  1-042 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
4. G Madanasri vs Yifan Hou  0-146 2003 Wch U10 GirlsA36 English
5. Yifan Hou vs M Hejazipour  ½-½51 2003 Wch U10 GirlsC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
6. A Kashlinskaya vs Yifan Hou  0-139 2003 Wch U10 GirlsA46 Queen's Pawn Game
7. N Szabo vs Yifan Hou  0-135 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB56 Sicilian
8. Yifan Hou vs N Paikidze ½-½57 2003 WYCC - G10B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
9. Yifan Hou vs M Danelia 1-061 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
10. Yifan Hou vs J Moussard 0-152 2004 Championnat du Monde -10B76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
11. Yifan Hou vs B Khvan 1-041 2004 Wch U10B71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
12. Robson vs Yifan Hou 0-137 2004 Wch U10B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
13. A Galymzhanov vs Yifan Hou  0-156 2004 Wch U10B50 Sicilian
14. Yifan Hou vs A A De la Rosa Lara  1-044 2004 Wch U10B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
15. M Bortnyk vs Yifan Hou  ½-½47 2004 Wch U10B22 Sicilian, Alapin
16. Yifan Hou vs S Narayanan  1-047 2004 Wch U10B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
17. P Zhao vs Yifan Hou  ½-½64 2004 Wch U10A46 Queen's Pawn Game
18. D Shahinyan vs Yifan Hou  0-129 2004 Wch U10C02 French, Advance
19. D Khachykian vs Yifan Hou  0-157 2004 Wch U10A30 English, Symmetrical
20. Yifan Hou vs C Heung  1-026 2004 Wch U10B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
21. Yifan Hou vs S Zigangirova  1-045 2004 Asian-ch (Women)B42 Sicilian, Kan
22. M Ovezova vs Yifan Hou 0-1133 2004 Asian-ch (Women)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
23. S Meenakshi vs Yifan Hou  1-037 2004 Asian-ch (Women)E32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
24. Yifan Hou vs Wang Yu  0-137 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C78 Ruy Lopez
25. Yifan Hou vs S Vijayalakshmi  1-043 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
 page 1 of 51; games 1-25 of 1,257  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 64 OF 64 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alien Math: In the past we have asked for a more standard approach to naming conventions for players, until that happens we can try help every time the question appears on this page

as <WannaBe> said earlier,

<Hou Yifan is how Chinese would say her name. The Western way is Yifan Hou.> Yifan Hou

when i search for news articles about her i use 侯逸凡, Hou Yifan in chinese, interestingly in english i find articles about her using Hou Yifan or Yifan Hou

Feb-26-17  colinb8: <zanzibar> Korean surnames are also usually single syllable.

For easy sorting of names the "Surname, Given name(s)" format seems a good choice, and it's also (I hope) unambiguous for names that consist of a family name and a given name.

Choosing a player at semi-random: Salomon Flohr - the name at the page top could instead be "Flohr, Salomon".

That could be used for the search function, games headings and tournament tables, eg: Stein vs Flohr, 1957 could be "Stein, Leonid vs Flohr, Salomon (1957)"

Seeing the names that way round reads a bit strangely for those of us who - like me - are used to the "Givenname Surname" order, but I think I'd get used to it and (input errors aside - see below) I think that strangeness might be a price worth paying (by the roughly half(?) of the world who use "Givenname Surname" order) for removing ambiguity.

Apart from that I'd let people use in text and comments whichever names order they feel comfortable with: it will usually be obvious which player is being referred to and the player's page would have the hopefully unambiguous "reference version".

Subject always to if a player has a preference for their name being used in a particular order, then politeness requires using that except when name sorting may be needed.

An alternative is use "Andersson, Ulf" in the search function, and everywhere else use the name order the player would use except that at the top of the player's page have:

Ulf Andersson (family name: Andersson)
Hou Yifan (family name: Hou)


Ulf Andersson (surname: Andersson)
Hou Yifan (surname: Hou)

So: I thought I'd look at the player search function to see what that used, and find, for example: Andersson, Ulf (so far, so good)
Anton Guijarro (exception? - no? name: Anton Guijarro, David?) Benjamin, Joel (even better)
Bu Xiangzhi (good - better: Bu, Xiangzhi)
Chao, Li (oops - should be: Li, Chao)
Hammer, J L
Hou Yifan (better: Hou, Yifan)
Jianchao, Zhou
Liren, Ding

The last two are wrong - they should be:
Ding, Liren
Zhou, Jianchao

The names at the top of their respective pages are arguably correct but for the wrong reasons!

Ding Liren (unambiguous: Ding, Liren)
Zhou Jianchao (unambiguous: Zhou, Jianchao)

Did "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" play chess? If so, the correct name order might be rather tricky!

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Chinese names (and at times, Vietnamese) are easy to distinguish first/family names. Japanese name can be a whole different animal. (But luckily, I work with/for a company that is Japanese, but I am Chinese).

Ichiro Suzuki is a perfect example, if you are familiar with motorcycles, Suzuki will come across to you as the family name. But he was known as Ichiro for so long, the jersey he wears is Ichiro His father's name is Nobuyuki Suzuki, (I've known at least one other Nobuyuki from my many acquaintances of Japanese culture), but in this case, he is Ichiro. Not Suzuki-San.

General rule(s) of thumb, single syllable, Family Name, e.g. Mao Zedong. Family name (or last name) is Mao. Chang Kai-Shek, Chang is family name.

Another 'way' to think of it, is the Redneck way, Billy-Bob Smith. Smith is last name.

As usual, there are exceptions, just like the English language. (I saw two deers in the woods the other day!!)

Why do you not add 's' to deer but you add it to wood? I never figured that out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Phew....this is just to much for me to take in. I wish I never asked.

Hou Yifan or Yifan Hou.

I'm going to call her the Women's World Champion. When she loses the title, the ex-Women's World Champion.


She might marry a Native American, then we can go up to her say 'How Hou'. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: As for ordering "Surname, given name" - some regions have no surnames. Iceland uses patronymics, as do parts of India. Interestingly, in Iceland the patronymic comes second, in the parts of India first (Viswanathan Anand, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa - the first parts are actually fathers' names). Using the patronymic as if it were a surname would create even more confusion (on the rating list he is Anand, Viswanathan and not Viswanathan, Anand).
Feb-27-17  JimNorCal: <Sally> we can go up to her say How Hou"

I think the "u" is silent. She could marry an upper class English hunter, and we could go up to her and say Tally Hou!

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I saw two deer is correct. I saw two John Deeres.
Apr-08-17  et1: Good effort in the match with Ivanchuk. Keep going.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Down goes Caruana!
Apr-15-17  et1: Great success today, after warming up with Ivanchuk ! Keep going !
Apr-16-17  et1: Bis ! Congratulations. Playing with Ivanchuk must have been very good training.
Apr-17-17  ex0duz: Finally got a decent picture of Hou.

Congrats for the +2 start at GRENKE.. beating both Caruana and Meier! Hope she can come back strong after losing the match vs Ivanchuk, which was kinda expected based on skill/rating/experience difference..

Ivanchuk isn't washed up just yet, if ever. He's not Leko or something. haha

Apr-17-17  blunderclap: Hou

Looking smart enough for the title, should anybody even bother to ask me..

Apr-17-17  et1: Never 2 without 3 and today a great result with Carslen. Congratulations. Ivanchuk must be laughing by the way.
Apr-17-17  john barleycorn: < et1: ...Congratulations. Ivanchuk must be laughing by the way.>

Exactly my thought, too. Yifan Hou is doing great here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: This draw against Carlsen was the first times she didn't lose, in any format. Before today, they met four times - three times in classical and once in rapid - and MC always won.
Apr-18-17  WorstPlayerEver: <This draw against Carlsen was the first times she didn't lose,..>


Apr-20-17  et1: Hard loss yesterday against MLV. Hope she recovers, today it will be easier.
Apr-21-17  et1: Don't despair, you are playing against the supermen of chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: hmm....they say everyone has a doppelganger?


Apr-26-17  epistle: Hou Yifan seems to be a better gauge of playing strength among the world's top male players than elo rating. All you need is to check out their respective classical game scores against the lady.
Apr-26-17  gokusano: Who among the top ten hasn't score a win against her?
Apr-26-17  epistle: Giri?
Apr-26-17  gokusano: A win yet
Apr-26-17  gokusano: Suki ni giri si hou
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