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Yifan Hou 
World Junior Championship, Gaziantep, 2008
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Yifan Hou
Number of games in database: 1,013
Years covered: 2003 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2629 (2600 rapid, 2662 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2639
Overall record: +323 -168 =321 (59.5%)*
   * 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 (196) 
    B93 B42 B90 B30 B92
 Ruy Lopez (124) 
    C78 C67 C95 C65 C84
 French Defense (55) 
    C11 C10 C18 C03 C05
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (52) 
    C95 C84 C92 C89 C96
 Caro-Kann (47) 
    B18 B17 B13 B11 B10
 Sicilian Najdorf (43) 
    B93 B90 B92 B94
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (153) 
    B84 B22 B90 B81 B80
 Nimzo Indian (58) 
    E32 E37 E34 E46 E58
 Queen's Gambit Declined (46) 
    D38 D31 D30
 French Defense (42) 
    C11 C07 C18 C01 C04
 Sicilian Scheveningen (38) 
    B84 B81 B80 B83 B82
 Queen's Pawn Game (36) 
    A46 E10 E00 A40 D05
Repertoire Explorer

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   37th Chess Olympiad: Women (2006)
   Isbank Ataturk Women Masters (2008)
   Women's World Team Championship (2007)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Lopota (2014)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2011)
   Women's World Chess Championship (2010)
   SportAccord World Mind Games (Women, Basque) (2013)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2012)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2009)
   World Junior Championship (2008)
   World Junior Championship (Girls) (2006)
   8th Asian Continental Chess Championship (2009)
   Chinese League (2011)
   2008 Women's Olympiad (2008)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Blunderdome's favorite games of 2012-2013 by Blunderdome
   Omnis stultia laborat fastidio sui。 by hanwubai
   Girl meets boy by englishplus
   Hou Yifan by Nicocobas
   Sicilian by Nicocobas
   fasi2all's favorite games by fasi2all
   Chinese Chess by notyetagm

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

(born Feb-27-1994) 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 Socko in the rapid game tiebreaker in round 2. As the winner of the 2011-2012 Grand Prix series, Hou will be entitled 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.

Hou's rating as of 1 May 2014 was 2629, down from her peak of 2639 on 1 March 2012. She is still the top rated Girl (woman U20) in the world and the #2 woman in the world after Polgár. She is the 9th ranked player overall in China. Her rapid rating is 2600 while her blitz rating is 2662.

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

Wikipedia article: Hou Yifan

 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,013  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 Danelia 1-061 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
4. N Szabo vs Yifan Hou  0-135 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB56 Sicilian
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. Yifan Hou vs M Butuc  1-042 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
8. Yifan Hou vs N Paikidze ½-½57 2003 WYCC - G10B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
9. G Madanasri vs Yifan Hou  0-146 2003 Wch U10 GirlsA36 English
10. Yifan Hou vs S Vijayalakshmi  1-043 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
11. M Ovezova vs Yifan Hou  0-1133 2004 Asian-ch (Women)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Yifan Hou vs J Moussard 0-152 2004 Championnat du Monde -10B76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
13. Yifan Hou vs B Khvan  1-041 2004 Wch U10B71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
14. A Galymzhanov vs Yifan Hou  0-156 2004 Wch U10B50 Sicilian
15. Yifan Hou vs S Zigangirova  1-045 2004 Asian-ch (Women)B42 Sicilian, Kan
16. D Khachykian vs Yifan Hou  0-157 2004 Wch U10A30 English, Symmetrical
17. Robson vs Yifan Hou 0-137 2004 Wch U10B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
18. Yifan Hou vs Hiba Omrani 1-011 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C67 Ruy Lopez
19. Zhang Jilin vs Yifan Hou  1-038 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C18 French, Winawer
20. Yifan Hou vs C Heung  1-026 2004 Wch U10B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
21. D Shahinyan vs Yifan Hou  0-129 2004 Wch U10C02 French, Advance
22. Yifan Hou vs E Karavade  0-167 2004 Asian-ch (Women)B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
23. Ju Wenjun vs Yifan Hou  ½-½61 2004 Asian-ch (Women)A37 English, Symmetrical
24. Yifan Hou vs S Narayanan  1-047 2004 Wch U10B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
25. P Zhao vs Yifan Hou  ½-½64 2004 Wch U10A46 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,013  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 49 OF 49 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Precise application and execution matter, especially in those close circumstances.
Jun-30-14  Whitehat1963: Only about 26 Elo points behind Polgar now (live rating).
Jun-30-14  Everett: Jun-30-14
member <perfidious: Precise application and execution matter, especially in those close circumstances.>

Indeed, my friend, indeed.

Jul-01-14  Whitehat1963: She needs to play a lengthy match (20 games) against Judit Polgar. Just to satisfy MY curiosity! Judit would never go for it, as she's never shown interest in the women's world championship. Obviously, she's been the best woman player in the world for about 20 years, but I think Yifan Hou would actually give her a decent challenge. Yifan seems head and shoulders above women with the exception of Polgar. It would be quite a scalp to claim if she could beat Polgar in a match. It would also be the most exciting thing to happen to women's chess since I don't know when.
Jul-02-14  Penguincw: Congratz to Hou Yifan for winning the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Lopota (2014) with a +7 score (!), which is 2 points ahead of the nearest 2 opponents.

She also gained 18 rating points and is now at a career high 2647, just 29 points back of Judit Polgar, and 3 shy of becoming the 2nd woman to ever hit 2650.

She also narrowed Koneru Humpy's Grand Prix lead to 5 points.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: A Polgar/ Yifan match could suddenly get interesting. It's a shame that a woman with money isn't interested in sponsoring such a thing. Madonna grosses $250M every time she goes on tour, and is worth half a billion dollars. Angelina Jolie gets $15M a picture, as does Julie Roberts and Sandra Bullock. You'd think women with a certain feminist bent might be interested in such things. Supposedly Madonna plays chess. Maybe they aren't aware of Yifan and Polgar?

You guys need to send off some emails to these gals, and get them chess-ed up. Let us know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: it would appear women's chess is heavily skewed at the top:


150 points separate no. 1 though 10. yifan is 30 points behind Polgar and just 6 points from the top 100 in chess.

Jul-05-14  SimonWebbsTiger: apropos Hou playing strong male events to improve, she is playing in the 47th Biel Festival, which starts on July 12.


Jul-12-14  Johannes0105: Yifan is among the most modest chess players in the world. A great champion hands down!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessgames Bookie: Is Hou Yifan ready to take on the challenge of Vachier-Lagrave, Giri, Harikrishna, Wojtaszek and Motylev? Place your bets:


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Change the photo here; she's no longer Jan Brady.
Jul-14-14  bobthebob: <Angelina Jolie gets $15M a picture, as does Julie Roberts and Sandra Bullock.>

They all give a lot of money to charities and support causes such as famine, health care and education for children. Somehow I think that chess is not high on their list for having a positive impact on the world.

Great job today on her win!

Jul-14-14  ex0duz: Great start to Biel, defeating Anish Giri, putting her up 2 games to 0 with 2 draws now against him in their head to head. I hope she does well in this really strong field. But yeah, she seems to be playing really well in the last few weeks, having demolished the womens GP with something like a 2850 tournament performance, and winning it by 2 full points with 2 rounds to spare.

She's currently like 2653 in the live ratings after beating Giri, only 24 points shy of overtaking Judit at 2676 in the ratings list! I also think that her live rating puts her in the top 100 players! However, Judits best is 2735, and she's still quite far from equaling/beating that. She got 24.7 points from her last 12 games(one tournament + giri). So if she can repeat that, she will have overtaken Judit! I hope she has a great tournament in Biel. She's off to a great start at least.

And i agree with HeMateMe, the picture should be changed. She's grown into a respectable pretty young woman from a awkward little girl.

And yeah. I would REALLY like to see a Judit vs Hou Yifan match. Make it happen China! You got the money! I think it would be a great match too, Hou would give Judit a run for her money IMO. I might even think that Hou is favourite with the way she's currently playing.

Jul-22-14  Chessinfinite: Hou Yifan seems to be showing a rather (un)-interesting side of herself in her blog - assuming that she is responsible for the views expressed in her blog .

Here is one about the first woman GM Susan Polgar :

" Bitch of the year: Chubby Zsuzsa

Instead of promoting women’s chess and standing for gender equality within the World Chess Federation – what would be her duty as the chairwoman of the FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess – the sister of Judit Polgar has continued her path of self-promotion in 2013. Who will tell her that there is nothing left to promote? Seeing her snooping around on the toilet of Carlsen and Anand and spoiling the Live Stream on the website of the World Championship in Chennai we understood once again to what extent Ilyumzhinov and his companions have disfigured chess. With all this fat wobbling around and her Hungarian English she reminds of – here we must apologize to all prostitutes – an ageing bawd from a brothel in the countryside. What a torture for the senses! "

Wow. Very Charming or NOT !

and she had this to say of her game against Anand in 2013 -

" It is the first encounter between Yifan and the current FIDE champion. The game ended after 52 moves expectedly with a draw. Considering that Viswanathan Anand is the reigning world champion, it is obvious that the International Chess Federation is somehow completely on the wrong track. It becomes more and more evident that their titleholders no longer represent the strongest chess players. "

Congrats on the 'expected' draw earned against Anand. If only she ditched her chinese blog writer, she could be more fun, me thinks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: From the site:

<The author of the blog and the website is Bhikkhu Nyanaviveka, a Buddhist monk from Germany living since 2004 in Sri Lanka. Unless stated otherwise, all articles represent the author’s own opinions exclusively.>

So, Hou has nothing to do with it. Browsing a few pages of the site makes it clear that the author is either an impostor or a retard.

Jul-22-14  Chessinfinite: yeah, very interesting. The Blog writer also finds sense in Nigel Short's (of all people) views on state of womens chess vis-a -vis World Chess. lol

Buddhist 'monk' - LOL. I can assure you, this one monk understands nothing of Buddhism or is certainly not capable of serious religious sentiments.

Got a good laugh out of that one. Yeah, she should at least own up her own blog- something she needs to do quickly i think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: By the way, this is how the guy refers to the past world champions:

<In 1975 we saw with Bobby Fischer the last World Chess Champion from a Western country. Since then we have seen several players from countries of the Eastern bloc where Stalinist numbskulls separate the mothers of Pussy Riot from their babies for the only crime of telling the truth about the Despot of Russia; and we saw a player from India where rape is tolerated by large parts of the society to satisfy the urges of the minority of men.

It’s enough. Not all chess players come from such uncivilized backgrounds. The time has come for a World Chess Champion from the free democratic world.>

It's somewhere between hilarious and cringeworthy.

Jul-22-14  Chessinfinite: LOL, seems like a victim of usual mediocre western propaganda !
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alien Math: <assuming that she is responsible for the views expressed in her blog > Her weibo support Zhao Yun about kidney failure suffering, Reminder to participate with 20th anniversary Lottrey, Wang Yue article to parents, talking about chess development and teaching
Jul-22-14  Whitehat1963: Only 17 Elo points behind Polgar!
Jul-23-14  dumbgai: Hou Yifan live rating is now 2665, putting her in the world's top 100 overall and just 11 points behind Polgar.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: For civilised behaviour, I would put Anand up against anyone--he is a man of honour. Besides, even in 'civilised' countries one can find slimepots of the first water.

That blogger is a moron.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Thanh Phan: There was only one time I have seen where she expressed frustration on her microblog

Being busy might limit her blog from being updated as often

Jul-24-14  BobbieM: I predicted Yifan Hou would overtake Judit in July or August, will probably happen at her next tournament unless she has a meltdown. Brilliant progress.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: All this talk of Hou surpassing Polgar is risible; for I have yet to see Hou compete at a comparable level in the highest level of events, as Judit did.
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