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Hou Yifan Regains Title

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 9/21/13, 7:52 AM.

Needing only seven of the alotted 10 games, Chinese GM Hou Yifan convincingly won the 2013 Women's World Championship in Taizhou, China, by beating title-holder GM Anna Ushenina of Ukraine. Hou Yifan first won the title in 2010, then lost it last year by losing in the second round of the knockout-style event (which Ushenina won).

The title is contested annually but alternates between a large, elimination event, and a one-on-one match, as it was this year. Hou Yifan qualified as the challenger by winning the last Women's Grand Prix cycle.


Having dominated as Black throughout the match, Hou Yifan won for the first time as White to achieve the clinching score of 5.5-1.5. In a the first Najdorf of the series, Hou Yifan's king proved inviolate the whole game, while Ushenina's monarch was completely depleted of pawns. Facing invasions on the back rank, h-file, and White's well-poised knight, Ushenina conceded the game and the title.

Hou Yifan also gained 10 rating points in the match, while Ushenina lost 10. The winner's purse is 120,000 Euros, while Ushenina takes 80,000 Euros in the loss.

GM Anna Ushenina, who was unable to win any games in the match

The two players discuss their final game with FIDE Press Officer Anastasiya Karlovich
All photos courtesy Anastasiya Karlovich.

10655 reads 49 comments
7 votes


  • 11 months ago


    Ushenina was so outclassed. Total domination

  • 11 months ago


    Agreed. And it's not even a few years. She probably will lose it again next year given how chaotic the elimination event is. FIDE should really change the format to mirror the men's, so that the world championship can only be won by beating the titleholder in a match.

  • 11 months ago


    "The title is contested annually but alternates between a large, elimination event, and a one-on-one match, as it was this year."

    This is crazy, this means that Hou Yifan could lose again in a few years with a different setup, while she could beat almost anyone in a match format.

    Like Kramnik winning the World Cup, he could be a world champion (if Carlsen and Anand played and got eliminated).

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