Lopota GP: Hou Yifan Closing in on Polgar

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 2014. 06. 27. 10:59.

Once again Hou Yifan is in a class of her own in a women's event. The 20-year-old Chinese grandmaster is 1.5 points ahead in Lopota, Georgia with three rounds to go. And, with a live rating of 2646.5, she is only 29.6 Elo points behind Judit Polgar on the women's rating list!

She is doing it again. Hou Yifan, the reigning Women's World Champion, won the Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix in April with 8.5/11 and a 2695 performance and now, in Lopota, Georgia she is again 1.5 points ahead of the field (good for a 2846 performance), with three rounds to go. On Saturday, the second and final rest day of the tournament, her last three opponents (Anna Muzychuk, Elina Danielian and Alexandra Kosteniuk) might want to have a good think about how to stop the Chinese lady.

We left the tournament after four rounds, when Hou Yifan topped the standings with 3.5 points. After enjoying an excursion to a winery on Monday, play proceeded on Tuesday with the fifth round. And the tournament leader continued winning, “reiterating the breathtaking pace from Khanty Mansyisk, as Alina l'Ami aptly described it.

A quick loss for Antoaneta Stefanova

Ju Wenjun and Nana Dzagnize remained only half a point behind the leader as they both won their games, against Zhao Xue and Humpy Koneru respectively. The next day only Dzagnidze could keep the pace with Hou Yifan, who won against one of her compatriots in quite an irregular Sicilian:

Deep concentration couldn't save Ju Wenjun

Dzagnidze played a good game against Zhao:

Nana Dzagnidze won as well

And so, with half a point difference, Hou Yifan and Dzagnidze faced each other on Thursday. It was the longest game of the round, and in the end it was again the Chinese who scored the full point, increading her lead to 1.5 points. It was all decided in the endgame.

The top encounter Hou vs Dzagnidze: another win for the world champ

Today, with four draws and Stefanova beating Muminova, the standings didn't change much. Hou Yifan kept her 1.5 point lead, and with a few more wins she will get dangerously close to Judit Polgar on the next rating list!

Lopota GP 2014 | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Hou,Yifan 2629 2846 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 7.0/8
2 Ju,Wenjun 2532 2651 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 5.5/8 17.25
3 Dzagnidze,Nana 2541 2656 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 5.5/8 15.25
4 Muzychuk,Anna 2561 2586 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 5.0/8
5 Koneru,Humpy 2613 2585 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ ½ 4.5/8 20.00
6 Danielian,Elina 2460 2544 0 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/8 15.00
7 Harika,Dronavalli 2503 2566 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 4.5/8 14.00
8 Stefanova,Antoaneta 2488 2524 0 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 1 4.0/8
9 Kosteniuk,Alexandra 2532 2459 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 3.5/8
10 Zhao,Xue 2538 2358 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/8
11 Khotenashvili,Bela 2518 2283 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/8
12 Muminova,Nafisa 2332 2061 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 0.5/8

The Women Grand Prix takes place 19 June - 1 July in Lopota, Georgia with rest days on 23 & 28 June. Thanks to press officer in Lopota, Alina l'Ami. All photos courtesy of the official website | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

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  • 2 év ezelőtt


    Good point,but i was saying that J.Polgar competed against best humans ever,she defeated several word champions,while Hou is competing almost exclusively in woman chess tournaments.Polgar is past her prime,logically,and Hou is ascending,time will tell...

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    Time marches on, and skills diminish with time.  Judith Polgar was strong..., in her prime, but she left chess to have a family and she is older now.  In 2012, she lost to Hou Yifan, who was 17 yrs old at the time.

    It is life, after one has reached their prime skills start diminishing.  Judith is descending, Yifan is ascending.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    Polgar is way better then Hou!!

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    B2B2...I think we can't compare the two players.Polgar was one of the best,no. 8 at her peak,and she has beaten Kasparov,Spassky,Anand,Carlsen :-) While the rising Chinese competes in women toarnaments only...you can't compare top women GM s of present time with these 'giants'.

    No. 8 in the world is better then Hou's current no.154 :-D

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    "A match between Judith Polgar (38 yrs old) and Yifan Hou (20 yrs old) would be counter-productive since the outcome is a foregone conclusion"

    "Yifan is grossly under-rated at 2647"

    Polgar isn't all that weak, she just won against players like Karjakin, Tomashevsky, Caruana and Wojtaszek in the World Blitz Championship. Hou has peformed 2600 level chess for many years and is hardly grossly underrated even if she recently gained points in a women's event like this one. 38 years is younger than Kramnik and Anand, and I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that she would lose to Hou. It would probably be rather even.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    A match between Judith Polgar (38 yrs old) and Yifan Hou (20 yrs old) would be counter-productive since the outcome is a foregone conclusion.  Judith is in the twilight of her career, while Yifan is in her prime.  In effect, Yifan Hou is a younger version of Judith Polgar.

    The ELO rating is misleading as it is based upon past performance, not current/future strength.  Judith is a shadow of her 2676 rating while Yifan is grossly under-rated at 2647.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    Here is a video (with commentary) of the only classical game I could find between Hou and Polgar:


    Here is the complete game with photos and analysis:


    Too bad that no one is willing to sponsor a match between those two.

  • 2 év ezelőtt



        Interesting comment. It's debatable whether or not Polgar was "a serious contender" for the WC. Getting to the Interzonals is pretty serious, but I guess getting to the Candidates Tournament, which Judit failed to do, is really serious. But let's not forget some of her astonishing achievements. She was the youngest GM in history at the time (1991), breaking Fischer's record which had stood for over 30 years. Also, by the age of 13 she was already in the world's top 100 players. Hou, at 20, still isn't there, and at her current #156, impressive as that is, she has a ways to go. Of course, overall ratings have risen dramatically in recent years, and I'd agree Yifan has tougher competition than Polgar had. But that's across the board and a constant in chess: the game evolves and so do the players. Well, at least we both agree Judit and Hou are great players, and it would certainly be refreshing to have more women vying for top spots in chess.

        Terrific fact there about men's IQs being more spread across the spectrum: so we edge them in both intelligence and stupidity! Great.

         The Wikipedia entry for Judit has this interesting, and I think actually somewhat 'sexist' comment by her, when she was about 12 years old: "These other girls aren't serious about chess. I practice five or six hours a day, but they get distracted by cooking and work around the house." I thought that was really cute. But let's face it: If a guy said that about female players, he'd probably get slammed.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    This is the first day that we fans of Chessvibes are unable to comment there. i absolutely hate it to say the least. This is my first and last comment on any chessvibes story.

    i miss all the commenters and the trolls from chessvibes. I hate Chess.com

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    "Playing against much weaker opponents is easier than player stronger, despite the elo rating scale (and here it is where the "interpretation" of the rating system comes in)"

    Of course it's easier: that's why you lose more points when you lose. In exchange for the weaker competition, you have (way) more vulnerability: the most random blunder might cost you rating points even if you won your last four games let's say, four games of long, hard work where every move you had to avoid committing a simple error. You can't simply ignore this. You can't just pretend you're immortal. Every time you play a game you put yourself at risk for that.

    Anyway, perhaps we can agree to disagree here. Your view is not something I can disprove straightforwardly, but it is a very convenient assumption that seems quite speculative, and certainly I can't relate to it given my own OTB experience. I'm calling your "interpretation" quite implausible, but ok, you can have the comfort that I cannot just use numbers from this tournament to disprove your view.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    McNastyMac: calculate the average ratings of the players Hou Yifan is playing against here. There is one 2300 player here apparently, but I'm not sure why you are ignoring every other player that would contradict your view that there is a 300 point gap. Indeed, I am saying that the gap is small enough that for her to get these results, out of this many games,  is very unlikely. That's not really up to opinion -- the definition of the ratings lay it out perfectly.

    But, continue to do the math incorrectly if you want.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    For the uninformed, Hou Yifan generally plays in men tournaments other than the Olympiads, Woman's Grand Prix, and the Woman's Championship.  Her primary occupation is student at Beijing University. 

    Hou makes approximately 10,000+ euros per Grand Prix win and 80,000 euros for the Woman's Championship.  She is the only woman to compete in the Chinese Men's Championship, playing other prodigies like Wei Yi-15 yrs, Bu Xiangzhi-28 yrs, Yu Yangyi-20 yrs, Ding Liren-21 yrs.  

    She has beaten: Judit Polgar, Alexei Shirov, Anish Giri, Nigel Short, Le Quang Liem, Nikita Vitiugov, among others.  She has drawn: Vishy Anand, Sergei Karjakin, David Navarra, Michael Adams, Shakriyar Mamedyarov, among others.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    Recalling her amazing debut in the chess world a couple of decades ago, I remember Judit Polgar as "just one of the guys" when it came to competition. Of course, this is not disrespect for her gender, but a compliment to her abilities on the board. A serious contender for the World Championship in the early 90s, Judit never participated in the women's events, but went head to head with male opponents from the get-go. And she won, and kept on winning. With Polgar It was always "wow, what a great player she is"........ never "what a great female player".

    She is the only female ever to qualify for an Interzonal event under the old FIDE system. She just missed getting a spot, like Bobby in 1962. She is also the only female player to have defeated, in either rapid or classical chess, every current or former WC, including Magnus, Garry and Vishy, and a host of other luminaries.

    This is the woman who ended the centuries old suspicion: 'girls can't play chess'......

    But there hasn't been a significant follow-up. The suspicion re-emerges: Was Judit just a fluke? An anomaly in the chess world? Is there really some kind of hormone-based chess power, enhanced in one gender, and not the other? If not, what's taking Hou so long to get into the fray with 'the big boys'? Yeah, she plays in an occasional men's event, an even scores decently. But she's still just an interesting also-ran when the smoke clears. 

    This is not to say she won't eventually rise to the rarified atmosphere of ultra-top level chess, and I hope she gets there. I loved watching Judit's successes, proving the Royal Game was truly a democratic endeavor. "Now, with women in the mix, this will really get interesting." But Hou's not there yet. Right now, she's just a 'great female player'. At the tender age of twenty, she's got time. But don't take too long!

  • 2 év ezelőtt

    FM zibbit

    So your sample size for this huge statement is ONE....from which you deduct that in general blindfolded+time odds is the standard for that rating range to win every time.....do I really need to bother?

    Btw, I agree in general that 2600 will win against 2300 probably in neighbourhood of 80-90% of the time. But you can't just randomly claim blindfolded+time odds results in the same.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


  • 2 év ezelőtt


    Hou is better than you so if you were that high and got there the same way would u criticize urself?     





    NOOOOO! so be quietSealed

  • 2 év ezelőtt


    zibbit, you're a FM and so I'll show some respect, but I do think that a stable 2300 player has almost nothing to say against a stable 2600 player. And I say so from personal experience: my coach is a FM (and he currently rates around 2300 FIDE) and I have a teacher that's a GM (with around 2600 FIDE rating). I've seen them play a few times, on slow time controls the GM simply outplays the FM from out of the opening, and on fast time controls he destroys him. Even the FM says he has a very very slim chance against him. So please, I'd like some kind of argument instead of simply saying that I'm wrong.

  • 2 év ezelőtt


  • 2 év ezelőtt

    FM zibbit


    "Come on, a 2600 player can kick 2300 players blindfolded and with time odds."


  • 2 év ezelőtt


    She is a gr8 player but she is far from the top 10.

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