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Speed Chess Tactics Favorite: Caruana Or Hou Yifan?

Speed Chess Tactics Favorite: Caruana Or Hou Yifan?

GMs Fabiano Caruana and Hou Yifan will face off in the next Speed Chess Championship opening-round match today.

You already know their career resumes. Hou is pretty much too good for the women's circuit, and Caruana was once too good to be in the same room as any other chess player.

Caruana is 6-1 lifetime in decisive games, but don't forget that Hou won their last head-to-head encounter earlier this year.

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GM Hou Yifan beat GM Fabiano Caruana at Grenke Chess 2017. Caruana is about to get about 30 games to enact retribution. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

Both have had some momentous event and forgettable bumps in the last year. Caruana led the U.S. to its first Olympiad gold in 40 years, but recently struggled in the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz, finishing with the least number of blitz points. Hou began the year with her controversial "new opening" 1. f3, finished poorly in the Geneva Grand Prix, bur then recovered for an historic victory in late summer in Biel.

Their meeting this Thursday may be decided by which one of them is back on form. Both have had storied histories already (Caruana is 25 and Hou is 23). To preview the match we will look back at the top five tactics of each of their careers.

GM Fabiano Caruana

Number Five

Number Four

Number Three

Number Two

Number One

GM Hou Yifan

Number Five

Number Four

Number Three

Number Two

Number One

So whose tactics impressed you more? And what are you predictions for their upcoming three-hour match? Let us know in the comments.

Tune in on August 24 to  to see if you are right! All of the action begins at Chess.com/TV at 3 p.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. Eastern, midnight Central Europe, 6 a.m. Beijing.

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