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Interview with Hou Yifan, the #1 female chess player in the world, on growing up as a prodigy in China, the gender gap and more

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  1. imperialismus
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    The original title was a ‘quote’ that is heavily edited and separated from the original context, so I made a more descriptive title. It’s interesting that the two best female chess players of all...

    The original title was a ‘quote’ that is heavily edited and separated from the original context, so I made a more descriptive title.

    It’s interesting that the two best female chess players of all time were the products of extreme training regimes that would likely be labeled child neglect or outright abuse in the West. Judit Polgar, the best female player of all time, was basically a human experiment: her parents were psychologists who wanted to prove that genius is made, not born. So she and her sisters were homeschooled, studied chess and had grandmaster trainers basically from birth. Judit became the only woman to ever enter the top 10 in the world and participate in the Candidates tournament (which determines the challenger for the world championship). Her sister Susan became a grandmaster and women’s world champion, and her other sister Sofia is an international master.

    In this interview, Hou Yifan talks about moving to another province to study chess, initially separated from her family, at the age of seven. Living out of a chess club. In contrast, current world champion Magnus Carlsen didn’t even begin studying chess semi-seriously until he was 8-9 years old.

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