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Hou Yifan—World Chess Champion for the Third Time

Peking University, Sep. 25, 2013: On Sep. 20th, 2013, Hou Yifan — a top world chess player in China, as well as a sophomore at School of International Studies, Peking University (PKU) — beat Ukrainian world chess player Ushenina and won the 2013 World Chess Championship held in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province.


This is her third time to have won the World Chess Championship, after the first and the second ones in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Hou is the only player in the history of the World Chess Championship that has championed for three times before 20 years old.



The match was broadcast live by the PKU News Center, the PKU BBS, and PKU’s Weibo. Right after the match, hundreds of teachers and students at PKU congratulated her through text messages, Weibo, and Weixin.


Hou told the public that she benefited a lot from her first-year experience at PKU, explaining that during the freshman year, her vision was broadened, with her understanding of chess deepened and attitudes towards playing in matches improved. Her coaches said that she has found a perfect balance between taking all the courses at PKU and improving her world chess skills after class. Ms. Hou is especially thankful for the faculties and students at PKU, for their care, encouragement, help, and support.


Major media in China such as CCTV and Sina.com followed this match. The world chess column of the New York Times interviewed Hou on the phone and issued a report describing her as “the Goddess of World Chess.” Many chess experts think that the female world chess world has leaped into the Hou Yifan Era.




About Hou Yifan


Hou Yifan, born on February 27, 1994 in Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, China, is a Chinese chess prodigy. She is the Women's World Chess Champion, the youngest ever to win the title, as well as the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of Grandmaster.


At the age of 12, Hou became the youngest player ever to participate in the FIDE Women's World Championship (Yekaterinburg 2006) and the Chess Olympiad (Torino 2006). In June 2007, she became China's youngest National Women's Champion ever. She achieved the titles of Woman FIDE Master in January 2004, Woman Grandmaster in January 2007, she would have qualified for the International Master title in September 2008 by reaching the final of the Women's World Championship, but in August 2008 she had already qualified for the Grandmaster title by achieving her 3rd GM norm. In 2010, she became the youngest Women's World Chess Champion in history by winning the Women's World Championship in HatayTurkey, at the age of 16. She then defended her title by defeating Indian GM Koneru Humpy in November 2011.


In the most recent (October 2013) FIDE rating list, Hou is ranked as the No. 1 girl player in the world, the No. 2 female player, only after Judit Polgár, and the No. 12 junior player of either sex. She is only the third female chess player to achieve a FIDE rating of over 2600.


Hou Yifan was admitted to the School of International Studies, Peking University in the year 2012.



Written by: Chen Runxi

Edited by: Zhao Ning

Sources: PKU News (Chinese) & Wikipedia