Chinese grandmaster Hou Yifan has been crowned the Women’s World Chess Champion.
On March 14, in the elegant Potocki Palace of Lviv, Ukraine, 22-year-old Hou beat Mariya Muzychuk for the top title in a 46-move game. Muzychuk, a 23-year-old Ukrainian grandmaster, won the championship last year.
Female chess players may be overlooked on the global stage, but locals fans and media flocked to the event for a glimpse of the players. ”The Chinese delegation team imposed security measures, afraid that locals would find a way to help the Ukrainian player,” says photographer Misha Friedman, who dedicated nearly a week to photographing the nine-game contest. “I used to be a chess player. That’s how I got the access.”