Koneru Humpy confident of regaining World No.2 ranking

Koneru Humpy has her sight set on the Grand Prix in May saying, "I want to focus on preparations to be a much better player."

GM Koneru Humpy with the runner-up prize in the Monaco Women's FIDE Grand Prix series on Saturday night.   -  Special arrangement

For 32-year-old Koneru Humpy, the comeback journey continues to be smooth as in the just-concluded Women’s FIDE Grand Prix in Monaco on Saturday night, she finished runner-up and more importantly continues to be World No.3 by virtue of this performance which also ensured her a rating of ELO 2580.

The three-time World championship semifinalist says that the ninth round loss to German Elisabeth Paehtz affected her badly in the final analysis.

For the record, Goryachkina went into the last round with a full-point advantage over Humpy and Alexandra Kosteniuk (the eventual champion). The Indian would have won the title if Kosteniuk had lost to Elisabeth Paehtz. But, the former World Champion produced a fine performance and won convincingly and Kosteniuk thanks to the better tie-break – direct encounter, followed by the number of wins - emerged winner.

Clearly pleased with the performance, the ONGC officer says that she will not be playing in the third of the Grand Prix series in Lausanne (March 1 to 14, 2020) but will be competing in the next edition in May.

“Since each of us will be play three Grand Prix Series, irrespective of the results in the third Grand Prix, I will continue to lead with 293 points. So, I want to focus on preparations to be a much better player,” she said.

Humpy says that she will be playing in the Women’s world rapid and blitz championship from December 25 though it “is not my cup of tea being a classical player”. “Since I am being eliminated in tie-breakers in the knock-out formats, I want to improve my game,” she said.

Humpy says that the difference between the World No. 2 and her is just four ranking points and is confident of regaining the slot which she held for more than a decade before her break from the game due to family commitments saw her lose that position.

“Yes, there are grey areas of concern in my opening game which I want to improve really well. My father-cum-coach (Koneru Ashok) continues to guide me even now as I keep discussing the sport with him during all major events,” signed off Humpy, happy with the way things are going now for her.

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