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Secret Chess in Ukraine

Ukraine has a secret, and it is the games of Mariya Muzychuk from the Ukrainian Chess Championship in Lviv. The reason? Chinese spies! Mariya Muzychuk is the current Women’s World Chess Champion and will compete to retain her title against challenger Hou Yifan from China in March 2016. The Ukrainian tournament organizers decided to restrict the games from publication because they do not want to provide preparation insight for Hou Yifan prior to the championship match. Many online commentators are drawing parallels to the old Soviet Chess way of doing business in which candidates would compete against powerful chess players without releasing the games or results.

This kind of strategy is humorous in that a simple search in Chessbase reveals 1,132 of Mariya’s games spanning almost 18 years! I hope that the games are released after the championship. Although I love Mariya and will cheer her on during the championship, suppressing games to provide a competitive advantage is too iron curtain for my taste.

Read more on Chessbase.