Chinese Chess, from Don Chu

January 13, 2011 |

 A young Chinese girl reaps the reward of her hard work to become the new women's world chess champion, putting in the work and eating plenty of 'bitterness' along the way:

China Rises, and Checkmates from the NYT:

Ms. Hou is an astonishing phenomenon: at 16, she is the new women's world chess champion, the youngest person, male or female, ever to win a world championship.
Cynics sometimes suggest that China's rise as a world power is largely a matter of government manipulation of currency rates and trade rules, and there's no doubt that there's plenty of rigging or cheating going on in every sphere. But China has also done an extraordinarily good job of investing in its people and in spreading opportunity across the country. Moreover, perhaps as a legacy of Confucianism, its citizens have shown a passion for education and self-improvement — along with remarkable capacity for discipline and hard work, what the Chinese call "chi ku," or "eating bitterness." Ms. Hou dined on plenty of bitterness in working her way up to champion. She grew up in the boondocks, in a county town in Jiangsu Province, and her parents did not play chess. But they lavished attention on her and spoiled her, as parents of only children ("little emperors") routinely do in China.

She won by beating another lady compatriot in the final.

It does seem that Asian women are, relatively speaking, outdoing Asian men in the world of chess: see the article, "At Title Event, Asian Women Pursue World Domination"

(The only excuse East Asian men have here is that they are still pretty much preoccupied with Go/Weiqi; which is seeing quite a revival in interest in the last decade, mainly in the strong challenge faced by the erstwhile dominant Go/Weiqi/Baduk powerhouses Japan and South Korea, from a resurgence in strong young Chinese players.) But the young Ms. Hou's current FIDE ratings,
 does not even get her in the top 100.
 She has some ways to go yet…





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