Koneru Humpy is a renowned name in the world of chess. The Indian Grandmaster, who became the youngest woman ever to to achieve the title, has made the country proud again. In a fierce comeback to glory, she has become the champion of Women’s World Rapid Chess Championships in Moscow, joining forces with the Men’s World Rapid Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen.
After securing a third place in the first edition of World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship in 2012, Humpy has finally made it to the top spot after a gap of seven years, defeating Grandmaster Lei Tingjie of China to secure the gold medal.
Congratulations to the frontrunners of the King Salman Women's Rapid Championship!
— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) December 28, 2019
Although being familiar with the classical format category, Humpy has proven that her finesse in the rapid category is strong enough for clinching the title, thus making the triumph very remarkable.
Speaking to Sportstar, the 32 year old said: “Rapid and Blitz are not my cup of tea,”
Asia’s youngest Woman International Master of 1999, Humpy was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2003, and the Padma Shri in 2007.
“Yes, honestly, I was expecting at the most a top three finish as there was no time for the preparations too for this event. Worked a bit on the Openings and I am glad to have pulled it off,” she added.
Humpy also received appraisal from the legendary Vishwanathan Anand.
Congratulations to @koneruhumpy ! A great performance and World Champion of Rapid!
— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) December 29, 2019
Hailing from the city of Vijayawada, Koneru Humpy secured two golds at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. The first one came in Women’s individual rapid final, where Humpy defeated Zhao Xue of China. She won her second gold in Mixed team standard along with compatriots Krishnan Sasikiran and Pentala Harikrishna, the Indian team that dominated China in the final round.
Humpy continued: “Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more to finish off my year. It is not going to be easy for sure and this World championship is different from that. But I will continue to give my best shot to realise that goal too.”
back in October 2007, Humpy reached the Elo rating of 2606, becoming the second chess player to cross the 2600 Elo mark, after the legendary Hungarian chess Grandmaster Judit Polgár.