There is a very strong possibility that Hou Yifan will cross the 2600 ELO mark should she win the Women’s World Championship this year.

The young Chinese has to prevail in all of her six separate regulation matches (at least 13 games against 6 other women players) to have a chance at following Wesley So’s feat achieved barely a month earlier.

She is 5 out of 5 thus far after the first game of her third round match.

If all goes well for her, we might be seeing two 14-year-old Grandmasters toting 2600+ ELOs on FIDE’s October 2008 Rating List.

A World Championship, a Grandmaster Title, and a 2600+ ELO. Certainly not bad at all for the young lass.

Hou Yifan is 141 days younger than Wesley So.

[It turns out that this story is too good to be true, as FIDE has reminded all National Chess Federations of the deadline of 15 September 2008 for tournaments to be included in the 1st October 2008 FIDE Rating List, while the finals match of the Women’s Championship concludes two days after the imposed FIDE deadline. In effect, Hou’s October Rating would officially stay below 2600, and her grandmaster title (should she finally get her third norm) may have to wait for confirmation next year.]

It would turn out that the original story may still hold true after all. As stated in the FIDE Handbook B.02, 9.13 wherein FIDE events such as the Women’s World Championship which concludes before the date of publication of the rating list mentioned above, shall be exempt from the imposed deadline.