Early in the afternoon of December 12, 2018 four-time Women’s World Chess Champion and Rhodes Scholar 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) graced with her presence the 宝安小学 (Bǎo’ān Primary School) in 深圳 (Shēnzhèn), China where she performed a lecture interspersed with a spectacular simultaneous exhibition against 45 young students. Thus she shared with them her own memories and experiences as a young chess star: “The first time I took part in a world class competition I was nine years old, almost the same age as my opponents, who were coming from all the world. I was then more inclined to adopt a learning attitude rather than aiming for specific goals”, 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) said. “That experience taught me that everyone’s level is very close. So what is needed in any competition is to play as best as possible, and in such a way both the theoretical preparation and the balance of the physical and psychological state are very important. Just make plans but never follow them too dogmatically, never lose sight and sense of concrete contingency”. No wonder that, after such a shining of vintage “Soviet School of Chess”, 13th Women’s World Chess Champion made a passionate declaration of love to the Pawn, though not (only) because — as Philidor said — it “is the soul of chess”, but rather, for its impossibility to step back. “The extraordinary thing is that a Pawn can’t move backward. It can move only forward, never backward, which means that every Pawn move must be carefully thought out”, 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) said. All photos: sports.sina.cn.