Introducing the Chess profile of one of the best Chinese Chess players in history and four-time Women’s World Chess Champion, Hou Yifan. Additionally, Yifan is one of the best Female Chess players of all time. In fact, she’s the second highest rated female player of all time with current FIDE ratings over 2600 in all time controls. For more information on FIDE and ratings, see the step-by-step guide on how to get a FIDE rating.
Full name: Hou Yifan
Title: Grandmaster (2008)
Born: 27th February 1994
Place of birth: Xinghua, China
World ranking: 106
Classical (std): 2650
Hou is a Chinese grand master player that was born in Xinghua, China on February 27th, 1994, and she is now 28 years. She graduated from Perking University in 2012 where she studied international relations. Later she studied for a master in public policy at St’ Hildas college, Oxford. Currently, she is the youngest professor in professor at Shenzhen University.
She can be termed as a former chess prodigy and grandmaster who made tremendous wins as she managed to win the Women’s World Chess Champion’ and she won this title 3 times! She was the first young girl to win the grandmaster tile at a tender age. She has chosen chess as a hobby as she value doing other new things in life alongside playing chess. In her current career, she is in school of education in physical and sports and it’s amazing that chess is among the sports being trained to allow her to participate and train other upcoming young stars of chess.
At the age of 3, this vibrant player begun playing and by the time she was attaining 5 years, she was frequently playing and a coach by the name IM Tong Yuanming used to train her. It took a very short period for her to courageously start to showcase her chess talent. This was in 2003 at the age of nine where she became a champion and won in the Girls U10 World Youth Chess Championship. A year later she got a chance to participate in chess studies at Beijing National Chess Centre. And in the open U10 World that was held, she became position three.
She’s proud that her parents allowed her to follow her passion both education wise in in chess gaming. She speaks fluent English and wears eye glasses. Amongst other hundreds of women who play chess, she managed to showcase her skill from the time she was age 3. And since then, she had made bright moves in chess gaming. A Russian lady by the name Aleksandra Goryachkina is another top and youngest player other than Hou. For more achievements that Hou has managed to win, keep reading through this article to find out.
In 2005 when she was aged 11, she qualified for Women Chinese Championship and she won the tournament by scoring 6/9. It’s amazing that by that time, she was the youngest star to participate in the World Team Chess Championship. She didn’t do well in the year 2006 because in the World Women Chess Championship, she became position 56/64. It wasn’t badly off, however, because she managed to beat IM Nadezhda and was rated 2480 within the first round.
In the year 2015 she lost in the 3rd round of the championship, she was rated 2432 but she finalized the game at the rate of 2504. Later her zealous and amazing performance made her win bronze in debut of Chinese Olympiads, and she impressively scored highly rating her at 2596. Also, she managed to be in the second position of the girls’ section tournament held for World Junior Chess Championship.
In 2007, she completed the inaugural women’s section and scored 7.5/9 on the second board. She also won and individual gold from team gold for China. Also, in 2009 – 2011 she won in the Chinese World Women Chess. This was the time where she was at age 13. Here, she toped in 7 wins and had 4 draws and this rated her performance to 2585.
For 2008 to 2009 she was rated as the youngest female star for grandmaster position in history. In 2008 she won in the Chinese women’s championship and became position 2 consecutively. She finalized the game by earning 3rd and attaining the Grand master title at age 14. A recent publishing of 2020, has her name on the list in position 23 as the youngest chess grandmaster.
In 2009, she was positioned among the top ten for the Asian Chess Championship team. As a team they were defeated and lost to Arkadij Naiditsch. Losing didn’t stop her from aiming higher because in the same year in August she backed the Jubilee Open award as the female player which placed her in the 17th position scoring 6.5/9.
Between 2010 and 2016 she won in 4 positions as the youngest female figure ever in the women’s world champions. The 16th Asian game happened in 2010 November and she marvelously scored a good rating of 2798. In the other tournament at age 16 she was number three in world women championship and won five times in 2 consecutive matches. Up to date, she is still rated as the best and youngest female world champion.
In 2015 the tournament was tough and she was knocked out but managed to show up once again in 2016 at Women’s World Chess Championship and made tremendous moves in 2017 where she managed to beat 4 players. She also shined in two games Trade wise Gibraltar Chess Festival and also Grenke Classic in the year 2017. In the same year she was a victory in Biel since she was the first lady to win in that tournament and she scored 6.5/9 which rated her at 2810.in 2018 she was very active in the tournaments and for that reason she didn’t fit for 2019 world tournaments according to FIDE.
In a recent interview with chess.com, Hou expressed that it’s hard for her to balance between education and playing Chess and that is why she has chosen to focus on education since she claimed chess is not her priority in life. She said she loves chess, it’s a passion in her but she wants to try new things as well. In July 2020 she earned another prestigious title the youngest professor at Shenzhen University operating on full time. She’s is still in her mid-twenties, full of life and with many goals and ambitions, it’s upon her to choose whether she will embark on chess at some point or focus on other careers.
1. ” http://sharjah2014.fide.com/en/component/content/article/1-news-en/337-the-winner-of-grand-prix-series-will-be-awarded-with-precious-trophy “. FIDE Grand Prix 2014.
2. ” http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=95916. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
3. Staff writer(s) (9 April 2018). ” http://www.grenkechessclassic.de/en/grenke-chess-classic-2015/pairings-standings”. Grenke Chess.
4. Friedel, Frederic (20 May 2016). ” 03_c0835b57-413d-4152-98ad-a7030462d8b5.webp. Chess News. ChessBase.
5. Friedel, Frederic (20 May 2016). ” http://en.chessbase.com/post/why-hou-yifan-has-dropped-out-of-the-cycle. Chess News. ChessBase.
6. ” http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4022″. Chessbase.com. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
7. ” http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3893 “. Chessbase.com. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
8. http://www.olimpbase.org/2007v/2007in.html OlimpBase
9. Chessbase reports http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3257; accessed 25 April 2014.
10. http://ratings.fide.com/trarc.phtml?event16=2429&codt=20, ratings.fide.com/trarc; accessed 25 April 2014.
Did you enjoy reading about Hou Yifan? If you did, you might be interesting in reading other player profiles such as Hikaru Nakamura, Emanuel Lasker, and Paul Morphy.