Chess champ Hou Yifan wins 22 games at once

Four-time women’s world chess champion Hou Yifan faces Sandipan Bhowmik, left, and Denis Thilbeault during a 22-game competition at the Kimpton. - Photo: Carlo Lee

Four-time women’s world chess champion, Hou Yifan, took on 22 challengers in the Cayman Islands this week and emerged victorious in every game.

The Chinese chess prodigy played all 22 games at one time in an event at the Kimpton to support chess programs in local schools. Businesses who sponsor the schools program, including Dart, Ogier and BDO, put up representatives to take on the maestro in the event Tuesday.

The “last man standing” was Johan Otto from Dart who outlasted the other competitors.

Shaun Tracey, who founded the Cayman Chess Association, said, “Despite the four-time women’s world champion defeating all of her challengers, a good time was had by all.”

In a separate event Monday, Ms. Hou also played simultaneous matches against 20 youngsters from the Cayman school chess program at George Town Public Library.

Her challengers included five students from East End Primary, as well as the strongest local junior, Enfield Bush, who recently competed at a tournament in Jamaica.

Ms. Hou said she was glad her visit helped generate publicity for the school program and hopes to return to the island soon.

Mr. Tracey said the school chess program still needed further sponsors and was seeking government funding for the next academic year.

Anyone interested in assisting can call Mr. Tracey on 525-5862 or Carlo Lee on 924-6246.

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