The English Ogre edges out China's chess princess

The Chess talk of last week, obviously, was all about Gibraltar.  If you aren't entirely familiar with the Gibraltar chess congress, I urge you to go to the main website ( and look it up.  I'ts a fabulous event for players of all levels in, from what I've heard, a beautiful location.


The Master's event was full of incredibly strong players. Svidler, Mamedyarov, Adams, Le and other 2700s lead the field.  However by round 7 all the talk was centered on the current Women's World Champion.  Now, that title alone might suggest that she was one of the favorites to win the tournament, but truth is that Women's chess is still lagging behind Men's considerably, so no one saw her as a real threat.

Hou Yifan, the 17 year old 2600 from China, proved that she is not to be underestimated.  In round 7 she beat Polgar, already a fantastic game in it's own right - Judit Polgar hadn't lost to any woman player in over a decade.  But it didn't stop there, Yifan rocked Le Quangliem, and then crushed Shirov to lead the tournament half a point ahead of the field.  She was stopped by Mamedyarov in the last round who took half a point away from her in a complex game.  

This allowed Nigel Short, the champion of the old vanguard, to catch her in the last round, and in a great display of experience easily destroyed the Chinese prodigy, who clearly was not very used to rapid chess.

Despite all that, Yifan will be the talk of many tournaments to come as we see her rise to the top of the chess rankings.

I leave you with an interesting game played in the last round, which caused quite a commotion.  


  • 5 years ago


    A real enjoyable game - once the Q was sacrificed, there was little black could do to stop the juggernaut

  • 5 years ago


    Great game

  • 5 years ago


    that was a brilliant game.. a queen sacrfice at the middle of the game speaks of something!!!

  • 5 years ago


    @ boulgom:

    in the final position, white threatens Rh3

    The Rook on g4 is pinned. How should Black defend? With Qxe2? Then 30. Rh3 and after ... Rh4, 31. Ng3+ forks the Queen. That should be more than enough for a win :)

  • 5 years ago


    How can I know the continuation ? For me black still has a chance?

  • 5 years ago

    IM DanielRensch

    Awesome first blog from GM Ramirez Laughing!!!

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    Wow -- it goes to show that even extremely strong players can leave their king too vulnerable and get punished for it!

  • 5 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    Wonderful mating net.  Elegant finish!

  • 5 years ago


    A real beauty!! Thanks for sharing this!  Kudos to Nigel Short ... I'm an old-guard guy but hey Hou Yifan is a rising star ... her win over Judit Polgar was a shot across the bow for the world.  Take notice!  This woman is for REAL!

  • 5 years ago


    Very fantastic game.

  • 5 years ago


    Michael Adams said that it was really difficult to adjust to rapid chess after having played a whole week of long games. Hou Yifan will for sure have learned that lesson.

    Did Berg get the beauty prize for this game?

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