Congrats to Hou Yifan!

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Photos by Hrabar.  

More later tonight.  Hou Yifan defeated title holder Mariya Muczychuk in a hard fought match.  Congrats to both players!!

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Both players being checked before the final game for electronic devices.  In my opinion, it is of very poor taste to do this ritual in public for such a prestigeous event, but FIDE wants to win some points for pretending to be serious about it’s failed/less than perfect anti-cheating policy…

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I listened attentively to the press conference at the end of the match that was conducted by Anastasia Karlovich , hoping to get some insight into the player’s thoughts and feelings.  What struck me was that neither player had anything nice to say about the other!

Usually after a tough match the players will say something nice about the other, such as it was a more difficult match than expected and/or my opponent is a gifted adversary, etc. Even if you don’t really believe it…it is important to demonstrate good sportsmanship.  And–especially–it costs nothing!

But despite Karlovich’s best efforts, neither player budged.  In a last effort, visibly frustrated, towards the very end of the press conference, Karlovich tries to extract some kind words from Hou Yifan.  Here is the result:

 

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Infact, I was a bit embarrassed by this conduct by both players in the press conference. Neither demonstrated the sportsmanship or sporting character that one would have expected at a world title match.

 

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 How difficult is it to say something nice about your opponent?

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