Hou Yifan Leads Women's World Championship
GM Hou Yifan (FIDE 2609) of China got out of the blocks early against GM Anna Ushenina (FIDE 2500) of Ukraine at the 2013 Women's World Championship in Taizhou, China. Playing in her home country, Hou is the former title holder, and seeks to retake her title from the current title holder. The match is taking place from September 10-28, 2013.
The first game saw Ushenina fall prey to a blistering attack on her king. After a Nimzo-Indian, White's queenside pawns and activity were both stifled. Later, White's army huddled on the home rank. By the time they were freed, Black's activity, punctuated by a devastating knight sortie to f3, was too much. Ushenina resigned one move before being checkmated.
The two women have met numerous times previously, with Ushenina winning their last encounter before this match began. More than two-thirds of their games have had a decisive result.
Ushenina (L) attempts to defend her title against Hou Yifan
Ushenina won the title in a knockout format 2012 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The Women's World Championship is held every year but alternates between knockout and one-on-one matches. Hou Yifan qualified by winning the prior Women's Grand Prix cycle.
The match is 10 games, with a time control of 40/90 SD/30 and a 30-second increment from move one. The first woman to 5.5 games will win the title. In case of a tie, the two will play a tiebreak. The prize fund is 200,000 Euros, with 60 percent going to the winner.
Follow all of the games and coverage at the official site. Photos courtesy FIDE Press Officer Anastasiya Karlovich.