Chess bits

Hou Yifan gives away her final round in five moves

Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan from China has apologised for giving away her game against Lalith Babu M R from India in the last round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival within five moves.

In an exclusive interview with the Festival press team Hou Yifan tells Tania Sachdev she apologised to chess players, to her fans and those following the Gibraltar Masters.

Hou Yifan said she had been dissatisfied and had been upset with the pairings throughout the tournament as she had drawn seven women players out of 10 rounds.

Tournament organiser, Brian Callaghan, interviewed directly after the Women’s World Champion, was disappointed at what had happened and felt she had let herself down. Being a World Champion he said brought with it a great responsibility.

Although sympathetic about her reason for giving her game away, Mr Callaghan was quite clear that he did not believe the pairings had been wrong or that the move by Hou Yifan had damaged the tournament. But he did refer to the world champion having had a “bad day at the office”.

Mr Callaghan insisted the festival had welcomed her several times to the Rock and the festival had always been a keen promoter of the women’s game in chess and that this would continue into the future.

Alice Mascarenhas

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