Koneru Humpy's long wait finally ended after she beat Lei Tingjie in the Armageddon to win the Women's World Rapid Chess Championship in Moscow.
India’s best-ever women’s chess player, Humpy, was crowned the world women’s rapid champion in Moscow at the same venue where Magnus Carlsen won the men’s title in the space of a few minutes.
This is a significant triumph for Humpy, who is more at ease in the classical format and was clearly trying to take her skills in the rapid format to a new level.
“Rapid and Blitz are not my cup of tea,” she said before leaving for Moscow.
“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,” says an elated Humpy.
Interestingly, Humpy’s father-cum-coach Koneru Ashok’s advice to her was pretty simple – unlike in the Classical format where positional play is the preferred objective, it is better to emphasise on the tactical play in this rapid format.
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And, this seemed to have worked wonders for Humpy on a comeback trail to competitive chess this year after taking a break for two years being into the family (blessed with a baby girl).
“Honestly, there was no time to prepare for Moscow event though daily I have been interacting with Humpy and giving some tips,” Ashok informed Sportstar .
For her part, 32-year-old Humpy feels that this is the best year for her given the fact that she won the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series early this month, picked 30 crucial ELO points to be world No. 3 and now this world championship title.
“Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more to finish off my year,” she said even while reminding that she will continue to chase her ultimate dream of winning the world championship in the classical format.
“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," a visibly elated champion concluded.