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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gibraltar Chess Festival; Sensational performance - Hou Yifan beats Alexei Shirov to take sole lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

Women's world chess champion Hou Yifan has downed another grandmaster at the ongoing Gibraltar Chess Festival and gone into sole lead with just one round to go. What a splendid performance by the teenager!

The official press release states: No-one here in Gibraltar at the 2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival can quite believe it. A quiet, polite, 17-year old girl, here with her mother, is a game away from winning the strongest Open chess tournament in history. In her wake, some of the best chess players in the world.

Hou Yifan, from China, has beaten one elite player after another
in the last few days - including Judit Polgar, the highest ranked
female player of all time. At the start of the event Hou Yifan -
the reigning women's world champion - was ranked number 25. But 9 days later, she has beaten four players rated over 2700, and her
tournament performance currently stands at a colossal 2892.

Tomorrow (Thursday 2nd Feb) she faces Shakriyhar Mamedyarov, the cheerful Azeri grandmaster, rated 2747 - number 14 in the world. Hou Yifan has 7,5/9. Her opponent tomorrow has 7 points, as have 4 other players, including top British grandmasters Michael Adams and Nigel Short. The final round begins at 11am (Gibraltar time). All eyes will be on Gibraltar to see if Hou Yifan can claim the first prize of £20,000 - as well as the top female award of £10,000.

You can follow Thursday's games live for the final round at the official website here.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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