Karpov beats Hou Yifan 3.5-2.5

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Karpov beats Hou Yifan 3.5-2.5In a short match consisting of four classical games and two rapid games, Anatoly Karpov defeated Hou Yifan 3.5-2.5. In the city of Sanya, Hainan, China the 12th World Champion won the first game; the rest ended in draws.

Photo © Ye Rongguang

The Anatoli Karpov - Hou Yifan Match took place from 6 to 11 November 2010 at the Wenhua Oriental Hotel in Sanya city, Hainan, China. The time control of the classical games was 90 minutes in total, with 30 seconds from the 1st move. The rapid games were played at 25 minutes per person plus 10 seconds increment from the 1st move.
Hou Yifan-Karpov match 2010 | Score
Karpov-Hou Yifan match 2010


Only once did we see something that recalked the great Karpov in his best days: in the very first game. From an equal position in a Four Knights, the 59-year-old Russian outplayed his 43 years younger opponent in an ending with rooks and opposite-coloured bishops.

In the second game Hou Yifan seized the initiative with the Black pieces in a Ragozin and got a strong passed pawn all the way to c3, but then she let the advantage slip away. The third game was more or less balanced all the time in a Berlin Wall, and then the fourth was a complete repetition of l'Ami-Adams, Staunton Memorial 2008! A bit of a disappointment, and perhaps a sign that Karpov's opening preparation isn't what it used to be.

After the first rapid game ended in a draw, Hou Yifan missed a few wins in the final game, and thereby the last opportunity to level the score. Therefore the result might not reflect exactly the course of the games, but a win is a win - another one to add to Karpov's long list. What Hou Yifan needs is experience, and no doubt she learnt a lot from playing and analyzing with this great player.

Games with brief annotations



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