Ladies World Champion Grandmaster Hou Yifan has confirmed her participation in the 12th BCC Open tournament.
This is the first time for a reigning World Champion to play chess in Thailand, and is sure to create quite a stir here, and will be an inspiration for all juniors (GM Yifan is still only 17 years old) as well as lady players. Yifan has had an amazing run in the last year – as Leonard Barden wrote in the Guardian: “Hou Yifan’s astonishing result at Tradewise Gibraltar last week marks a highly significant break-through for women’s chess. China’s 17-year-old beat four elite grandmasters, outplayed the great tactician Alexei Shirov at his own game, and performed far above expectations.”
There is no doubt that Hou is getting stronger, and she must surely be the favourite for the 12th BCC Open despite the participation of GM Nigel Short who defeated her in the playoff. It is excellent news for the BCC Open that GM Nigel Short and GM Hou Yifan, joint winners of the strongest open tournament in history (Gibraltar), are confirmed for the tournament!