Karpov vs. Hou Yifan, The Match!

By Davide Nastasio

On February 5th and 6th, in the city of Harbin, capital of Heilongjian province, China, former world champion Anatoly Karpov played a rapid match with women world champion Hou Yifan.  It was a clash between generations: Karpov, 67 years old, a veteran of tournament and match play, versus Miss Hou Yifan, clearly at the top of her career at 24 years old.

Difficult to know who would win. Previously the two had played 2 matches: one in Cape d’Agde in 2008 which was won by Karpov 3.5 to 1.5 (+3 -1 =1), and one match in Sanya City 2010, 4 games with longer time control and 2 with rapid time control, also won by Karpov 3.5 to 2.5 (+1 -0 =5).

Now after 7 years, one would think GM Hou Yifan, who mostly plays in men’s events (like Judit Polgar did) and 43 years younger, with a fast time control, could prevail over the expert Russian former world champion.

Karpov won the match with a score of 3.5 to 2.5 (+3 -2 =1).  These are the games:











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