GM Koneru Humpy recorded the biggest win on her comeback trail clinching the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess title in Skolkovo (Russia) with eight points from 11 rounds with five wins and six draws on Sunday and more importantly being the only player to be unbeaten in the championship.
“This win gives me lot of happiness and positive energy in what I believe to be my ‘second innings’ in competitive circuit. And, also, this makes me re-set my goals in the world of chess and that include becoming a world champion,” the Chief Manager in ONGC said.
“This is a truly memorable win for me. This was the most difficult of all the Grand Prix titles I had won as the preparations had to be really intense and different because of family commitments. This is the seventh Grand Prix title overall I have won ever since the first one in 2013,” says the 32-year-old champion chess player in an exclusive chat with Sportstar on Sunday from Russia.
“Yes, the fact that all the top players including reigning world champion, former champions and the Challenger were in the fray, it is a big win for sure and which I think I badly needed at this stage,” says Humpy.
“Definitely, winning the ninth round game against Valentina Gunina of Russia was the turning point for me in this event. It was a wild game and a double-edged one and I am glad that I pulled it off,” she said. “And, with World champion Ju Wenjun of China losing that round, I took a half-a-point lead and importantly maintained till the end,” she added.
“The opponent played safe and I didn’t let slip the advantage of playing with white pieces,” Humpy said about the final round where she needed just a draw to clinch the honours..
Humpy also revealed that she would pick up 17 ELO points by virtue of this win and also move into World No.3 from No.4 in rankings.
Interestingly, the Vijayawada star player also reminds that she held the World No.2 for the longest tenure for more than a decade before her marriage in 2014 and subsequent break in competitive chess saw her lose that spot.
“Yes, it was a double challenge for me to take part in this Grand Prix for I had to leave my two-year-old daughter Ahana for the first time and also travel all alone in my career for the first time too,” she said with a big smile.