More later tonight. Hou Yifan defeated title holder Mariya Muczychuk in a hard fought match. Congrats to both players!!
Both players being checked before the final game for electronic devices. In my opinion, it is of very poor taste to do this ritual in public for such a prestigeous event, but FIDE wants to win some points for pretending to be serious about it’s failed/less than perfect anti-cheating policy…
I listened attentively to the press conference at the end of the match that was conducted by Anastasia Karlovich , hoping to get some insight into the player’s thoughts and feelings. What struck me was that neither player had anything nice to say about the other!
Usually after a tough match the players will say something nice about the other, such as it was a more difficult match than expected and/or my opponent is a gifted adversary, etc. Even if you don’t really believe it…it is important to demonstrate good sportsmanship. And–especially–it costs nothing!
But despite Karlovich’s best efforts, neither player budged. In a last effort, visibly frustrated, towards the very end of the press conference, Karlovich tries to extract some kind words from Hou Yifan. Here is the result:
Infact, I was a bit embarrassed by this conduct by both players in the press conference. Neither demonstrated the sportsmanship or sporting character that one would have expected at a world title match.
How difficult is it to say something nice about your opponent?