Home ACHIEVERS Koneru Humpy- The World Champion who broke all records in her childhood

Koneru Humpy- The World Champion who broke all records in her childhood

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In our series ‘World Champion Born on this Date’, today we will discuss about a World Champion who broke all records in her childhood and dominated the Indian Women’s Chess for over two decades. Yes, you guessed it right. It is none other than the one and only Koneru Humpy.

Koneru Humpy was born at Vijayawada on 31st March 1987 to Koneru Ashok and Koneru Latha. Koneru Ashok, who was a strong national player and a Chess coach, taught the game to young Humpy. As a child, Humpy stunned the Chess fraternity by performing better than contemporary boys in almost all events and often played in Open (Men and Women) events successfully.

At the World Youth Chess Championships, Koneru Humpy won 3 gold medals in 1997 (U-10 Girls’), 1998 (Under-12 Girls) and 2000 (Under-14 girls). In 1999, she played in the U-12 Open section (Boys and Girls) at the Asian Youth Chess Championship and bagged the Gold. Humpy won the British Women’s Championships in 2000 and 2002. At the tender age of 14, in 2000, she won the World Junior Girls’ Championship.

At 15 years, 1 month and 27 days, Koneru Humpy became the youngest woman to achieve the title of International Grandmaster by beating Judit Polgar’s previous record by three months. (This record was subsequently broken by HouYifan in 2008.) In October 2007, Humpy became the second female player, after Judit Polgár, to exceed the 2600 ELO rating mark.

Humpy participated in the Women’s World Chess Championship for the first time in 2004 and since then, she has competed in every edition of the event held in the knock out format. Humpy reached the semifinals in 2004, 2008 and 2010 and once emerged challenger for Women’s World Chess Championship 2011.

Though the Title of Women’s World Champion eluded her on several occasions in Classical Chess, Koneru Humpy won the Crown of World Women’s Rapid Chess Championship in 2019, thereby becoming the only Indian player other than Viswanathan Anand to win the World Crown in Senior Category. 

In August 2014 Humpy married Dasari Anvesh. She gave birth to a baby daughter, Ahana in 2017. After the birth of her daughter, Humpy stopped playing Chess for two years and her great comeback in 2019, winning Women’s World Rapid Championship, was indeed a phenomenal achievement.

Koneru Humpy was conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2003, Padmashree in 2007 and the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the year award in 2020.

Today we shall see a recent game by Humpy wherein she has displayed her mastery over tactical accuracy and sense of Practical Play in Chess. Humpy never believed in trying to win games by hours of opening preparation at home. She wants to play games in her own unique style, tackling the problems in her own way. Here is a game from the World Blitz Championship 2022 wherein she won the silver medal for India. The systematic planning of both attack and defense in the game is indeed remarkable.

Anna Lhotska (2159) – Koneru Humpy (2572), 2022.       [B06]

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Be3 d6 5.Qd2 b5 6.h4 h6!?

[6…h5 is the commonly chosen option here.]

 7.Bd3 a6!? 8.a3 Nd7 9.Nf3 Qc7 10.h5?! g5 11.0–0–0 Bb7 12.e5 dxe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Bxe5 15.Ne4 0–0–0!? 16.Nc5 Nf6 17.Qe2?! Nd5 18.a4?

Koneru Humpy

Anna Lhotska

18…Nxe3! 19.fxe3

[Not 19.Qxe3?? Bf4]

19…Bxb2+! 20.Kb1

[Or if 20.Kxb2 then 20….Qe5+ 21.c3 Qxc5]

20…Ba3 21.Nxb7 Kxb7 22.axb5 axb5 23.Be4? Qe5!

White resigned in view of the following continuation.

23…Qe5 24.Rd4 f5! 25.Bd3Rxd4 26.exd4 Qxd4 27.c3 Qxc3 28.Qc2 Qb4+ 29.Ka2 Ra8 etc. 0–1

 

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Praveen Thipsay is one of the earliest Grandmasters and the first Indian to win the Commonwealth Chess Champion. He is a FIDE Senior Trainer who has been a coach to many promising Indian Chess players.

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