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Yifan Hou 
World Junior Championship, Gaziantep, 2008
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
 
Yifan Hou
Number of games in database: 991
Years covered: 2003 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2629
Highest rating achieved in database: 2639
Overall record: +321 -168 =311 (59.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      191 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (193) 
    B93 B42 B90 B30 B92
 Ruy Lopez (123) 
    C78 C67 C95 C84 C65
 French Defense (54) 
    C11 C10 C18 C03 C05
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (52) 
    C95 C84 C92 C89 C96
 Caro-Kann (45) 
    B18 B17 B13 B11 B10
 Sicilian Najdorf (43) 
    B93 B90 B92 B94
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (149) 
    B84 B22 B90 B81 B80
 Nimzo Indian (57) 
    E32 E37 E34 E46 E58
 Queen's Gambit Declined (44) 
    D38 D31 D30
 French Defense (42) 
    C11 C07 C18 C01 C04
 Sicilian Scheveningen (38) 
    B84 B81 B80 B83 B82
 Queen's Pawn Game (35) 
    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
   Yifan Hou vs Le Quang Liem, 2012 1-0
   A Giri vs Yifan Hou, 2013 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs Sasikiran, 2009 1-0
   M Fierro vs Yifan Hou, 2009 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs Koneru, 2011 1-0
   Shirov vs Yifan Hou, 2012 0-1
   Yifan Hou vs Short, 2008 1-0

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

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Blunderdome's favorite games of 2012-2013 by Blunderdome
   2010 FIDE Women's Grand Prix Nalchik by TheFocus
   Girl meets boy by englishplus
   Sicilian by Nicocobas
   Omnis stultia laborat fastidio sui。 by hanwubai
   Chinese Chess by notyetagm
   fasi2all's favorite games by fasi2all

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


YIFAN HOU
(born Feb-27-1994) China
PRONUNCIATION:
[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 Arkadi 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's rating as of 1 March 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 8th ranked player overall in China. Her rapid rating is 2600 while her blitz rating is 2662.

Article about Hou being the youngest female GM: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail... Live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/women * http://www.fide.com/component/conte... ** http://www.worldmindgames.net/en/ne...

Wikipedia article: Hou Yifan


 page 1 of 40; games 1-25 of 991  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Yifan Hou vs M Hejazipour  ½-½51 2003 Wch U10 GirlsC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
2. A Kashlinskaya vs Yifan Hou  0-139 2003 Wch U10 GirlsA46 Queen's Pawn Game
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 N Paikidze ½-½57 2003 WYCC - G10B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
6. Yifan Hou vs J Bluebaum  1-050 2003 Wch U10 GirlsC18 French, Winawer
7. A Le Bail vs Yifan Hou  0-137 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB56 Sicilian
8. Yifan Hou vs M Danelia 1-061 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
9. N Szabo vs Yifan Hou  0-135 2003 Wch U10 GirlsB56 Sicilian
10. Yifan Hou vs E Karavade  0-167 2004 Asian-ch (Women)B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
11. Ju Wenjun vs Yifan Hou  ½-½61 2004 Asian-ch (Women)A37 English, Symmetrical
12. Yifan Hou vs S Narayanan  1-047 2004 Wch U10B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
13. P Zhao vs Yifan Hou  ½-½64 2004 Wch U10A46 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Yifan Hou vs Wang Yu  0-137 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C78 Ruy Lopez
15. S Meenakshi vs Yifan Hou  1-037 2004 Asian-ch (Women)E32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. Yifan Hou vs A A De la Rosa Lara  1-044 2004 Wch U10B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
17. M Bortnyk vs Yifan Hou  ½-½47 2004 Wch U10B22 Sicilian, Alapin
18. Yifan Hou vs S Vijayalakshmi  1-043 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. M Ovezova vs Yifan Hou  0-1133 2004 Asian-ch (Women)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Yifan Hou vs J Moussard 0-152 2004 Championnat du Monde -10B76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
21. Yifan Hou vs B Khvan  1-041 2004 Wch U10B71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
22. A Galymzhanov vs Yifan Hou  0-156 2004 Wch U10B50 Sicilian
23. Yifan Hou vs S Zigangirova  1-045 2004 Asian-ch (Women)B42 Sicilian, Kan
24. D Khachykian vs Yifan Hou  0-157 2004 Wch U10A30 English, Symmetrical
25. Yifan Hou vs Hiba Omrani 1-011 2004 Asian-ch (Women)C67 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 40; games 1-25 of 991  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 40 OF 48 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-27-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: Happy birthday, young lady.
Feb-27-12  Penguincw: Happy 18th birthday Hou Yifan! She's officially a women now!
Feb-27-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think--time to update the photo?
Mar-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Meryl Streep won the Oscar for "The Iron Lady", but perhaps that name should go to young world champion Yifan, who is certainly a strong young lady.
Mar-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Interview with Judit Polgar by Albert Silver: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...

Question: Who do you see as your successor, the next female player to break 2700. Would you consider Hou Yifan as a candidate?

Judit: <Well, seriously, I think Hou Yifan is the only one. First of all, she is pretty young, she is ambitious, the background is behind her as it should be. The government supports her, so she is probably the only one who has the potential to reach 2700 in the long term.>

Mar-13-12  Penguincw: Hou Yifan gained 7 rating points in Iceland. Looks like she wants to catch Polgar.
Mar-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  radu stancu: So close to also winning the tournament!
Mar-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lupara: How did she manage to make the weakest move of the game after the first time control? She came so close to winning the 2012 Reykjavik Open.

I guess I shouldn't even ask the question, because I've made some howlers in my games over the years.

Still, congrats to Yifan Hou for an excellent tournament.

Mar-14-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The game with Caruna was the final round, right? Lots of tension. I wonder if the 'Bots found a forced win for her in the endgame, with Fabio? wouldn't that be something.

In any case, a fine result. I don't think any woman has done so well in a strong GM event since Judit Polgar was running strong(er) in her 20s.

It might be time for <Chessgames> to change the photo here, from 14 year old kid to young adult.

Mar-15-12  Eti fan: There comes the match http://www.chessdom.com/judit-polga...
Mar-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hey, u right <Eti> The match cometh! Polgar v. Yifan. WAaay Cool. I expect a close match. Yifan's grasp of positional chess seems to be the strong point of her game. I think Polgar will blow her out tactically, should the games turn into brawls. I think this scenario favors Judit. Yifan will probably steer the games into quiet, closed games, where her feel seems best.
Mar-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark:

This will be a lot closer than people may think. Just recently Yifan has been giving more grief to 2700+ players than Judit.

Mar-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The long expected Judit Polgar – Yifan Hou match has now been officially announced.

The match will take place in China September 26th – October 2nd, 2012.

The organization plans for 4 classical games and 4 rapid games.

Mar-15-12  joeyj: ^^^ But ...

I firmly have to say that the information is FALSE! Judit Polgar

read more:

Official statement from Judit about the unknown match THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2012

http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/201...

Mar-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: You are right <joeyj>

<Susan Polgar: It is completely false. My sister is visiting me in the US now and she told me that it is absolutely not true. They have not even spoken about this since last year at the World Team Championship.>

http://www.chessdom.com/judit-polga...

Mar-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <Susan Polgar: Why would Judit change her policy to play in a women's event after all these years. If it is an official world championship match and the money is equivalent to Anand - Gelfand match then there is a discussion. I have no idea where this "fun" match came from.>
Mar-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: That's a shame. Hope someone comes up with a nice big bid to make it happen.
Mar-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: That's too bad. I always thought Judit would play it, should there be enough money. I guess it was a pre-April Fools story.
Mar-16-12  Blunderdome: Why does Susan think the money should be equivalent to Anand - Gelfand when the average rating of Polgar and Yifan is 100 points lower? Polgar played a match with Navara not long ago -- I wonder if she would play Yifan for a prize fund similar to whatever was offered there.
Mar-16-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Thats a good point--the match is a curiosity, good for chess, but not the class of the titans.
Mar-16-12  Riverbeast: <Thats a good point--the match is a curiosity, good for chess, but not the class of the titans>

It's the clash of the female titans

Which in some ways, is a better story...And perhaps more likely to gain a lot of attention from the general (non-chess) media

Mar-16-12  theodor: congratulations, Hou! You're a genius!
Mar-16-12  IoftheHungarianTiger: I know I'm probably in the minority here - among both Polgar and Hou fans - but I'm just as happy not to see a match between the two ... I'm not all that crazy about Judit returning to women's-only events. Judit didn't earn the distinction of world's best female player by defeating Chiburdanidze or Gaprindashvili in match play. She earned the distinction through being the highest ranked player who just happened to be a woman.

I think if Hou is after the distinction of strongest female player, she should earn it the same way that Judit did ... become the highest rated female player. If she earns the distinction through a single match, it's not so much a distinction as a title. And personally, I feel titles like Women's world champion (which is basically what the match is about, officially or not) are a little demeaning to women playing the game - like Junior Champion or Scholastic Champion. It implies women are incapable of playing with "real" chess players, so they need consolation prizes and special titles to feel successful. I think that's one of the reasons Judit has always abstained from participating in women's events (at least, since 1990 or so).

And besides, even if Hou won a match against Polgar, would it really clarify who was the greatest female player of all time - as some claim it would (not here so much, but on other forums and sites I've seen)? Kasparov lost a match to Kramnik. Capablanca lost a match to Alekhine. But I suspect if a poll were taken, most people would consider Kasparov a greater player than Kramnik, and most people would consider Capablanca a greater player than Alekhine.

I hope to see more encounters between Judit and Yifan Hou, but I want to see them in tournaments, where they meet through the natural course of playing chess - not thrown together artificially because they happen to be women. Anyways, just my thoughts on the matter.

Mar-16-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Good thoughts, well expressed.
Mar-17-12  Riverbeast: <And besides, even if Hou won a match against Polgar, would it really clarify who was the greatest female player of all time>

I agree with that...

It probably wouldn't

Judit is past her prime, perhaps....She's also semi-retired and a mother of two

Still, it would be an interesting match....As long as nobody tries to claim it's to determine 'The Greatest Female Player of All Time'

Maybe just 'The Greatest Female Player Right Now'

Judit probably never wanted to play a match against a woman back in her heyday, not only because she didn't want to play 'womens only' events, but because no other woman (except maybe her sister) could give her a game

Hou is probably the first woman who can give her a tough match

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