Chess player resigns for being made to play women

Chinese World Women's Champion Hou Yifan abandoned the final round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess tournament

Chess player resigns for being made to play women

File photo of Grandmaster chess player Hou Yifan (left). | Image: Tim Vizer AP/Press Association Images

A major chess event ended in farce today after the world's best female grandmaster threw a game after continually being made to play against other women.

Chinese World Women's Champion Hou Yifan was playing in the final round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess tournament when she resigned after just five moves.

Yifan said afterward that she had been upset with the pairings throughout the event as she had drawn seven women players out of 10 rounds.

"It makes me really, really upset," she said. "Not just for me but for the other women players."

"We are chess players and of course when we are playing in a tournament we want show our best performance and create interesting games for the chess fans for the organisers, for the people who love chess."

Gibraltar Chess is an open event meaning that entry is open to players of both sexes.

Yifan is the top ranked female player by some distance on the World Chess Federation’s list, but 105 in the combined list. 

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On Twitter, British Grandmaster Nigel Short, who was playing at Gibraltar, said: "Hou Yifan's last round game will go down in the annals of chess history."

Founder Brian Callaghan defended the pairings saying: "It's quite tricky because these things come out of machines, these pairings are not made by people and I understand if I was in her shoes."

Mr Callaghan added: "I hope that she will come back and play again and that these sort of, what I call bad days at the office, don't occur too frequently because other we then have a bigger problem to deal with."