Koneru Humpy ‘immensely satisfied’ after contributing to India’s Olympiad triumph

Reflecting on her contribution to the team’s win, Humpy said it was “immensely satisfying” that she could give her best in the crucial tie-breaker in the semifinal.

World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy said the mixed team format gave India a huge advantage at the Chess Olympiad.   -  Special Arrangement

World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy had a different kind of challenge even as she played a significant role in India being declared joint-winners along with Russia in the just-concluded online Chess Olympiad.

The 33-year-old Humpy had to make the difficult choice of staying away from her two-year-old daughter Ahana while taking on the best in the world during the Olympiad. She decided to play the online Olympiad from her parents home in Vijayawada so as to focus on the battles on the computer screen.

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“Yes, since it will not be easy to play with her at home, I preferred to be with my parents (her father K. Ashok has been her coach-cum-mentor since her early days) and it was comparatively easier,” Humpy informed Sportstar from Vijayawada.

Reflecting on her contribution to the team’s win, Humpy said it was “immensely satisfying” that she could give her best in the crucial tie-breaker in the semifinal.

“Everything fell in place and I got the chance to play that big match and I am glad with my performance,” Humpy said. “Given the choice, I would prefer the games on the board rather than on the computer, especially the last few seconds of the contest.”

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“It is a great feeling to be part of a champion team in the Olympiad this being my third or fourth appearance.”

“And, it is all the more pleasing to be greeted by everyone including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, vice-president of India Venkaiah Naidu and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu (both of them congratulated personally on phone). So, I feel chess is getting the recognition it should and this should take the sport to the next level,” Humpy said.

The World No. 2 said the mixed team format gave India a huge advantage. “We had the highly experienced Anand on the top board and then some of the young exciting talent who significantly played their bit in clinching crucial wins,” Humpy said.

“We must compliment the efforts of captain Vidit Gujrathi and non-playing captain Srinath for all the strategies they formulated without any pressure on us at all,” she said.

“Essentially, it is the trust amongst the players and everyone playing to his or her potential which were the key to India’s success,” Humpy signed off, suggesting that she would love to take a break after featuring in online competitions since March.

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