FIDE Women's Grand Prix Series: Koneru Humpy to skip Gibraltar leg

World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy has decided to skip the fourth and final leg of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Series.

World No. 3 Koneru Humpy...“I am conscious of the fact that this is a very significant event but again these kinds of things (pandemic) are not in our control.” - V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM (FILE)

World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy has decided to skip the fourth and final leg of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Series which will be held in Gibraltar from January 17 to 29 next year.

“In view of the prevailing pandemic, I thought it not worth taking the risk to travel all the way and hence I will not be playing in what is obviously a very important event,” World No. 3 Humpy said in a chat with Sportstar on Friday from her home in Vijayawada.

“The equation is pretty simple. Having played in two legs so far, winning one and finishing as joint-winner in the other one, to win the Grand Prix series I needed to finish in the top three of the Gibraltar-leg. And, to make it to the Candidates Matches, for which this Series is also a qualifying event, I have to finish in the top two in the final standings,” explains the 33-year-old champion chess player with an ELO of 2586.

'Not much serious training'

“Right now, Russian Aleksandra Goryachkina is ahead of me having played three. Yes,  I am conscious of the fact that this is a very significant event but again these kinds of things (pandemic) are not in our control,” Humpy said.

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“Honestly, except staying in touch with the game at home on the computer, there is not much serious training as not many events are scheduled right now,” she said.

Humpy, who is now the Chief Manager (HR) at ONGC, says she continues to work on her opening and middle-games as she believes no one can be a complete player at any given point of time.

“Obviously, I am not thinking too far right now like winning a World Championship with the pandemic throwing the entire schedule of sporting events like normal life out of gear,” Humpy said.

The one big change in Humpy’s preparations now is that she is on her own with her father-cum-coach Koneru Ashok being more of an ‘advisor’.

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