Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How Yifan lost her World Champion title

If you have been following this blog, you will know that the new Women's World Champion is Anna Ushenina of Ukraine. But was it not that long ago that China's Hou YiFan won the world title and successfully defended it against Koneru Humpy? How on earth did YiFan lose her world title? The surprising answer is that she lost it in two rapid games.

The Women's World Championship held in November 2012 was played through a knock-out system. In the early rounds, it was played through a two standard games. If the games were tied then a rapid match followed by blitz and armageddon if necessary.

Hou Yifan who won her world title through a long match was one of the 64 starting participants. In other words, she received no privileges as the reigning World Champion. Sadly she did not advance through round two. Her standard games against Monika Socko were tied with one win each. In the rapid games she lost both and was eliminated. Her only consolation is that she may regain the title - which was taken from her - as she has a challenge match against the winner, Anna Ushenina, next year.

Rules are rules. I am not saying Anna Ushenina is not deserving of the title. On the contrary I think she fought and won fairly the World Championship title according to the system that FIDE set out. What riles me is that FIDE sets one system for women and another for men!

Yes, World Champion Anand does not have to suffer the same humiliation as Yifan. He does not have to go through the 64 player knock-out system. He will just have to defend his title in a match against the winner of the Candidates Tournament due to start in March 2013. Why the discrimination against women, FIDE?


Post a Comment