Koneru Humpy is the new World Rapid Chess Champion. The Indian Grandmaster claimed the title after drawing the Armageddon game against Lei Tingjie of China in Moscow. Humpy won the 12th and final round game against another Chinese Tang Zhongyi, to force the tie breaker against Tingjie.
“When I started my first game on Day III, I did not imagine I would be at the top. My hope was to reach top three. I didn’t expect to play the tie-break games.”
Koneru Humpy took a sabbatical from Chess from 2016-2018 due to the birth of her baby. But she won the world title within one year of her return to Chess. The win is further more significant because she is more a classical format player rather than the rapid format.
“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.”
Humpy had a good beginning to the event, scoring 4.5 points in the first five rounds. But her loss against Irina Bulmaga of Russia put her in the back seat. Humpy came back strongly and won the last two rounds.
Humpy next lost the first tie-break game but then won the second to reach the Armageddon. Humpy drew black colour which meant that a draw was enough for her to clinch the gold. She got a winning position after a tactical stroke that netted her queen for a rook by move forty. Twenty-six moves later Tingjie agreed to draw in a hopeless situation.
Konery Humpy won the gold followed by Tingjie who won silver and Ekaterina Atalik who won bronze. As per Humpy this is the best year for her because she won the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series, picked 30 crucial ELO points to be world No. 3 and now this world championship title.
“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.”