GM Hou Yifan

Full name
Hou Yifan
Feb 27, 1994 (age 25)
Place of birth
Xinghua, Jiangsu, China

The newest challenger to Judit Polgar’s long held reign as the top woman in chess, Hou Yifan has become a star in a short amount of time. Despite only being 20 years old right now, she has accomplished more in her lifetime than many other players before her accomplish in their entire careers. She became the world’s youngest woman Grandmaster, youngest woman World Champion and has achieved a rating approaching Judit Polgar’s level. She has many more years ahead of her and will surely have a great shot at breaking many more records.

Hou Yifan learned to play chess when she was 3 years old and showed a strong aptitude for the game at a young age. She got her first chess coach, an International Master, when she was 5 years old and began to regularly play in tournaments when she was 6. Her coach described her as being an “unusual talent” who had “strong confidence, distinguished memory, calculating ability and fast reaction”, despite being so young. When she was 10 she was allowed to learn at the National Chess Center in China. There she had Chinese Grandmasters as her trainers which helped to speed up her progress. She became a Woman Grandmaster in 2007 then an official Grandmaster in 2009 at the age of 14. Soon after becoming a Grandmaster, she won the Women’s World Championship in 2010 when she was 16 which made her the youngest Women’s World Champion ever. She achieved her best rating of 2639 near the beginning of 2012, a rating which is the second highest by a woman in history behind Judit Polgar. Yifan is still very young and has a very bright future ahead of her, working on holding on to her Women World Championship title as well as chasing Judit Polgar’s record.

Best Game

Most Played Openings

White Pieces
Giuoco Piano Game (35) : C53 C50
Indian Game (2) : A46
Petrov's Defense (12) : C42
Reti Opening (6) : A05 A04 A06 A09
Four Knights Game (12) : C48 C49 C47
Modern Defense with 1.e4 (7) : B06
Alekhine Defense (6) : B04 B02 B03
Modern Defense (15) : B06
Modern Defense with 1.d4 (1) : A40
King's Pawn Opening (2) : C44 B00
Queen's Gambit Declined (1) : D38
Queen's Pawn Opening (1) : D02
Bishop's Opening (15) : C24 C28 C23 C26
Italian Game (5) : C55
Grob Opening (1) : A00
King's Indian Attack (6) : A07
Vienna Game (15) : C26 C25 C29
Scandinavian Defense (8) : B01
Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack (10) : A01
Pirc Defense (6) : B07 B08
Queen's Indian Defense (1) : E12
Hungarian Opening (2) : A00
Scotch Game (1) : C45
Ponziani Opening (1) : C44
Undefined (2) : A00
Philidor Defense (3) : C41
Nimzo-Indian Defense (2) : E54
Black Pieces
Queen's Gambit Declined (72) : D30 D53 D38 D35 D37 D31 D51
Queen's Pawn Opening (34) : A40 D02 A43
Petrov's Defense (6) : C42
Reti Opening (25) : A04 A06 A05
Bishop's Opening (2) : C24 C28
Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack (15) : A01
Trompowsky Attack (3) : A45
Ruy Lopez Opening (6) : C78 C65 C80
Giuoco Piano Game (6) : C50 C53
Four Knights Game (2) : C47 C48
King's Indian Attack (8) : A07 A08
Scotch Game (1) : C45
Catalan Opening (46) : E01 E00 E05
Queen's Indian Defense (46) : E15 E12 E16 E17 E14
Torre Attack (5) : A46
Colle System (3) : D04
Bogo-Indian Defense (8) : E11
Dutch Defense (1) : A84
Modern Defense with 1.d4 (1) : A40
Bird's Opening (2) : A03
Benoni Defense (22) : A65 A70 A60 A56 A61
Blumenfeld Countergambit (1) : E10
Caro-Kann Defense (1) : B13
Undefined (2) : A00
Alekhine Defense (6) : B04 B03 B02