I assume that everyone remembers Hou Yifan getting paired with one female player after the other in Gibraltar. Well, guess what happened in the Isle of Man Tournament so far! In the first round she was paired with Alexandra Kosteniuk and in the second her opponent was Elisabeth Pähtz. That’s some weird coincidence, isn’t it? The chances that the tournament software doesn’t contain a hidden bias, or that someone isn’t trying to rub it in, are very small.
Update: 3rd round – third female opponent! Come on, WTF is that?
Update: 4th round – fourth female opponent 😉
Update: 5th round – no pairing! Apparently she took a bye.
Update: 6th round – finally a male opponent (Elo 2481)!
Let’s not forget that Hou Yifan (ranked 75th in the world) gets lots of recognition and many invitations, that higher ranked men don’t get, because women are supposed to be equal to men in chess playing strength. In other words, she profits a lot from theoretical equality. Since she gets paired with equal opponents, she shouldn’t be upset.
P.S.: Here is a report on the previous incident. It shows that there is a way to create such pairings while staying within the boundaries of the system, hence the perfect crime so to speak.