Chinese Hou becomes youngest player to win Women’s World Chess title

First Posted 08:05:00 12/28/2010


A Chinese chess prodigy Hou Yifan made history during Christmas eve by becoming the youngest ever World Chess Champion in history (men’s or women’s) by winning the Women’s World Championship at the age of 16 in Hatay, Turkey.

Hou beat another Chinese player, Ruan Lufei, in the finals.

The winner was decided after 4 classical and 4 tiebreak games. In the classical games Hou took early advantage by winning game 2 with black, but Ruan came back in game 4 to equalize the score.

The tiebreak started with a draw which but Hou won tiebreak games 2 and 4 to claim the World Champion Title with a total winning margin of 5 to 3.

Hou had an earlier shot at the women’s world title in 2008, when she was 14, but lost in the championship match to Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk. It was Lufei who eliminated Kosteniuk in the third round of this tournament which drew 64 participants. Hou became a grandmaster when she was 14 years and six months of age, also a record for female players.

Maia Chiburdanidze of the Republic of Georgia had previously held the record for youngest female champion. She won the title in 1978, when she was 17.

The record among men is held by Garry Kasparov of Russia, who became world champion in 1985, when he was 22.

/Correspondent Rene Bonsubre Jr.

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