The reigning world champion Yifan Hou was defeated in round 2 of the World Women’s Chess Championship by the Polish experienced GM Monika Socko. After a fantastic comeback in the second game of the classical match, Monika Socko convincingly closed the tiebreaks 2-0, winning the match and proceeding to the final 16.
Monika Socko is a 4 times champion of Poland (1995, 2004, 2008 and 2010) becoming a Grandmaster in 2008. Among Socko’s best achievements so far are the win in the International women’s tournament in Baku 2007, the 2009 Arctic Chess Challenge, a bronze medal at the European Chess Championship for Women 2010, and a silver medal at the European Team Chess Championship 2011.
The defeat against Socko ended a two years reign of the Chinese prodigy. At the age of 12, Hou became the youngest player ever to participate in the FIDE Women’s World Championship (Yekaterinburg 2006). In 2010, she became the youngest Women’s World Chess Champion in history by winning the Women’s World Championship in Hatay, Turkey, at the age of 16. She then defended her title by defeating Indian GM Koneru Humpy in November 2011.
Yifan Hou will be back for another title race next year, she already qualified as the challenger for the title at the Women’s World Championship Match 2013 by winning the Grand Prix Series. Monika Socko continues her title challenge this year, and in case she wins the Women’s World Chess Championship 2012, the two players will meet again next year in a match for the title.