A CHESS SCANDAL—OR A RANDOM EVENT? Here is the background for Hou Yifan’s protest: She has won four Women’s World Championships and has a rating of 2651 that is close to the top 100 in men’s rankings. She
had declined to defend her women’s World Championship to compete in this tournament against the top men in the world. She made her protest because she had been paired up against seven women and only three men in the tournament—something that seemed very unusual because there are so few women chess players at that level.

The tournament’s response was that all the matchups were randomly selected by a computer.

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