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Lopota GP: Hou Yifan Closing in on Polgar

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 6/27/14, 10:59 AM.

Once again Hou Yifan is in a class of her own in a women's event. The 20-year-old Chinese grandmaster is 1.5 points ahead in Lopota, Georgia with three rounds to go. And, with a live rating of 2646.5, she is only 29.6 Elo points behind Judit Polgar on the women's rating list!

She is doing it again. Hou Yifan, the reigning Women's World Champion, won the Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix in April with 8.5/11 and a 2695 performance and now, in Lopota, Georgia she is again 1.5 points ahead of the field (good for a 2846 performance), with three rounds to go. On Saturday, the second and final rest day of the tournament, her last three opponents (Anna Muzychuk, Elina Danielian and Alexandra Kosteniuk) might want to have a good think about how to stop the Chinese lady.

We left the tournament after four rounds, when Hou Yifan topped the standings with 3.5 points. After enjoying an excursion to a winery on Monday, play proceeded on Tuesday with the fifth round. And the tournament leader continued winning, “reiterating the breathtaking pace from Khanty Mansyisk, as Alina l'Ami aptly described it.


A quick loss for Antoaneta Stefanova

Ju Wenjun and Nana Dzagnize remained only half a point behind the leader as they both won their games, against Zhao Xue and Humpy Koneru respectively. The next day only Dzagnidze could keep the pace with Hou Yifan, who won against one of her compatriots in quite an irregular Sicilian:


Deep concentration couldn't save Ju Wenjun

Dzagnidze played a good game against Zhao:


Nana Dzagnidze won as well

And so, with half a point difference, Hou Yifan and Dzagnidze faced each other on Thursday. It was the longest game of the round, and in the end it was again the Chinese who scored the full point, increading her lead to 1.5 points. It was all decided in the endgame.


The top encounter Hou vs Dzagnidze: another win for the world champ

Today, with four draws and Stefanova beating Muminova, the standings didn't change much. Hou Yifan kept her 1.5 point lead, and with a few more wins she will get dangerously close to Judit Polgar on the next rating list!


Lopota GP 2014 | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Hou,Yifan 2629 2846 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 7.0/8
2 Ju,Wenjun 2532 2651 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 5.5/8 17.25
3 Dzagnidze,Nana 2541 2656 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 5.5/8 15.25
4 Muzychuk,Anna 2561 2586 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 5.0/8
5 Koneru,Humpy 2613 2585 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ ½ 4.5/8 20.00
6 Danielian,Elina 2460 2544 0 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/8 15.00
7 Harika,Dronavalli 2503 2566 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 4.5/8 14.00
8 Stefanova,Antoaneta 2488 2524 0 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 1 4.0/8
9 Kosteniuk,Alexandra 2532 2459 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 3.5/8
10 Zhao,Xue 2538 2358 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/8
11 Khotenashvili,Bela 2518 2283 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/8
12 Muminova,Nafisa 2332 2061 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 0.5/8


The Women Grand Prix takes place 19 June - 1 July in Lopota, Georgia with rest days on 23 & 28 June. Thanks to press officer in Lopota, Alina l'Ami. All photos courtesy of the official website | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png


12348 reads 61 comments
4 votes

Comments


  • 3 months ago

    FM zibbit

    @McNastyMac

    "Come on, a 2600 player can kick 2300 players blindfolded and with time odds."

    Nope

  • 3 months ago

    polimorpho

    She is a gr8 player but she is far from the top 10.

  • 3 months ago

    Superbeanz

    I agree with McNastyMac. While I think she's really good, her rating cannot be compared to Polgar's. Judit acheived her rating by competing against the best humans in the world. Yifan's rating is from playing females only. She's not playing the top players.

    If she really wants to challenge Judit's acheivement, she'll have to start playing exclusively in the men's tournaments. 

  • 3 months ago

    fabelhaft

    "@fabelhaft She's the Women's World Chess Champion and she doesn't need your respect, fool"

    ?

  • 3 months ago

    McNastyMac

    FideiDefensor, completely agree. Polgar's was top 10 at her peak, and still now that she's much older that then, she maintains a huge level. If we compare Yifan with her peak, she's still got like 100 points to go, and at her current pace playing weak fields, that'll take her about 5 years.

  • 3 months ago

    McNastyMac

    I'm not saying she's a bad player (and with anybody with 2200+ rating I will never says so), I'm just saying she's going for the easy wins and easy life, instead of playing her own level. And it is because of this I find any comparison with Polgar completely irrelevant until Yifan plays "non-female" events on a regular basis.

  • 3 months ago

    McNastyMac

    SpmSL and Elubas, as I said, the rating system is extremely useful, but should not be blindly trusted when the rating differences are too high.
     

    If the difference is 300 points, I think my argument is completely valid. I am a 1850 player (in real life, here on chess.com it just happens to be about that), and I play 2000-2100 players regularly on the club tournamnets. There's no way I win a single game, while I sould score about 25% of the games. However, I've not lost a single game against 1750 opposition or weaker for a year. Playing against much weaker opponents is easier than player stronger, despite the elo rating scale (and here it is where the "interpretation" of the rating system comes in): you may comit positional blunders or other losing moves that are indeed losing, but your opponent fails to see because of their understanding of the game. At the 2600 level, you hardly ever commit huge tactical blunders. So if your opposition cannot benefit from your mistakes because they don't understand them, you don't lose as much as you should.

  • 3 months ago

    drumdaddy

    Death match, anyone?

  • 3 months ago

    FilipinoChess

    @fabelhaft She's the Women's World Chess Champion and she doesn't need your respect, fool.

  • 3 months ago

    FideiDefensor

    Polgar now or Polgar's peak?

    Right.

    Call me when this matters. 

  • 3 months ago

    fabelhaft

    "I will only have respect for Hou Yifan until the moment she starts playing men regularly"

    Apart from the World Championship related tournaments Hou plays no or at least very few women events, as far as I know.

  • 3 months ago

    Tripl3AAA

    She have a brilliant game, but in my observation her opponents didn't see her pieces that is in the nice position , like the Hou, Yifan (2629) vs. Ju, Wenjun (2532) , the rook have a doom move in check at re2+ , so that was a very unexpected wrong move .

  • 3 months ago

    AdarshSaji

    It Seems that players are tired.

  • 3 months ago

    Aaronsky72

    Regardless, Hou is getting to the level where she will have to compete with men to challenge herself. She can only progress in chess ability by competing in open tournaments.
    She is only 20 she has plenty of time to reach the top levels of men's chess, it's unlikely she will challenge the top men but Hou knows? (see what I did there)
    Either way she will be a force to be contended with and will be exciting for chess.

  • 3 months ago

    SpmSL

    @McNastyMac

     

    That's how the rating system is supposed to work though. A 2600 player will beat 2400 players as often as they are supposed to, and will stay 2600. If they beat them more often than they are supposed to (IE, if they improve) their rating goes up; Yifan's is now 2630 for that reason.

     

    It doesn't matter who you are playing against, the rating system accounts for the difference in rating by giving more/less points for the outcomes of the games.

  • 3 months ago

    Elubas

    "There's a reason it's against weaker opponents that the performances peak up. If she performs 2850 against 2700 opposition (as Polgar did on her early years), I'll change my mind about her,"

    It's the same performance, dude. She would not have to score 7/8 against them to get the same performance rating that she got here. She would score worse but the wins she did get would be harder and thus more valuable. One can substitute amount of wins with the difficulty of the wins without much trouble.

    You could assume there is something psychological about playing weaker/stronger players, but it's pure speculation that comes from nowhere. It could work against her just as much as it could work for her.

  • 3 months ago

    Elubas

    Your point would be relevant if the difference was like 500 points -- then, yeah, we can't tell the difference between certain performances with an inadequate supply of games. And 500 point differences have absolutely nothing to do with the current situation.

    With rating differences like this, it is very much expected that she will fail to win/lose a fair amount of games in this tournament, not just in the long run. You can do the math yourself, but that's how it is with players on average maybe 100 points lower rated than her, over a solid 10 games or however many there are. You can't escape that math. She played the kind of chess Magnus normally plays to get these results. That doesn't mean she's 2800 strength of course, just that she has had a particularly good tournament, again, even considering that she is the highest rated in the group.

  • 3 months ago

    McNastyMac

    I understand how the rating system works, I'm saying that the rating system is not to be blindly trusted when the difference is so immense. She's playing the equivalent of weak FM when she's well above the GM. I doubt that the rating percentage is so relevant when she clearly should have a much deeper understanding of the game than the rest of the field.

    There's a reason it's against weaker opponents that the performances peak up. If she performs 2850 against 2700 opposition (as Polgar did on her early years), I'll change my mind about her, but if she keeps playing weak fields and going only for the money that's on the prices... I really missed her on the Rapid and Blitz championship, she was rated high enough to get in, why did she not compete?

  • 3 months ago

    Elubas

    Hou Yifan was the favorite, but the odds of her winning by this much would not have been predicted by her rating (if her rating was 2850, it would have been expected). This already takes into account the fact that she is the strongest player in the group. It doesn't make sense to take it into account a second time, after the performance rating is calculated, like you are trying to do. It's like mentioning the same win twice and pretending it's really two wins.

    It's sort of like adjusting for money inflation :) It's like saying, even after taking inflation into account, I'm still making a profit. You can't then say, but wait, there's inflation. Yes, and that's why the calculation turned out the way it did.

    Indeed, if Hou Yifan scored like this against all 2700 players, her performance rating would have been even higher. But 2850 is nothing to complain about.

  • 3 months ago

    Nemo96

    When she reaches 2700 she better start playing in the regular (male) tournaments

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