We send best wishes to IM Yang-Fan Zhou on his birthday.
Yang-Fan George Zhou was born on Thursday, September 8th, 1994 in Wandsworth, London. His mother’s maiden name was Yang. “Parklife” by Blur was number one in the UK Singles chart.
His brother, Yangjian Zhou, is also a strong player.
Yang-Fan attended Whitgift School, Croydon (founded by John Whitgift in 1596) and then Churchill College, The University of Cambridge where he studied Chemical Engineering (same subject as Malcolm Pein)
During his undergraduate years he worked as a punter for the Traditional Punting Company in Cambridge.
Yang-Fan works for The Hut Group and resides in Manchester.
Here is an article from the Guardian which included
“The Whitgift 13-year-old recently won the Coulsdon Premier with 8.5/9, gaining nearly 100 world rating points which will make him England’s highest ranked under-18 after Howell in the July FIDE list.”
He became a FIDE Master in 2009 and an International Master in 2011.
Yang-Fan claimed the title of UK Chess Challenge “Strat” in 2011 for winning the Terafinal outright. Only Mike Basman knows what “Strat” means.
He scored 9/9 in the 2011 e2e4 Brighton Masters Closed tournament, including beating the two grandmasters (Keith Arkell and Alexander Cherniaev) in the tournament.
In 2012 he won the Hong Kong International Open
His peak FIDE rating was 2486 in October 2013 at the age of 19.
In 2014 Yang-Fan Zhou represented Cambridge in the annual Varsity match (the 132nd) and played on top board drawing with David Zakarian.
With the White pieces Yang-Fan is exclusively an e4 player using the Scotch Game as his main weapon playing open Sicilians and championing 6.h3 versus the Najdorf.
As the second player he employs the Sicilian Dragon and King’s Indian Defences.
and this article from Leonard Barden