Koneru Humpy wins Sportstar Aces non-Olympic Sports Sportswoman of the Decade

In 2019, Humpy won her first world title in Moscow in the rapid chess category, a moment that was made more significant as she had returned to the sport after going on a sabbatical in 2017.

Koneru Humpy climbed to second in the world in March 2020, displacing reigning world champion Ju Wenjun.

Koneru Humpy, who returned from a two-year sabbatical to become the women’s world rapid chess champion in 2019, was named the Sportswoman of the Decade (Individual non-Olympic sports) at the 2021 Sportstar ACES Awards.

“Today is a very memorable moment for me, receiving the Sportswoman of the Decade award. This is very memorable because my association with Sportstar started quite early, when I was just around 10 years old. I won the world youth championships in 1997 and that is when I was given the Sportstar Young Achievers Award, and it motivated me a lot to win many more laurels for the country. The next year, I won the world under-12 youth championships and received one more Young Achievers Award from Sportstar,” said Humpy.

You can watch the event live by visiting the following link - bit.ly/SSAATHG. There would be one more episode on April 4.

The past decade saw Humpy show excellent consistency. She was runner-up at the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix – a series of tournaments that form part of the qualification cycle for the Women’s World Chess Championship – in 2009-11, and backed those performances up with identical finishes in the next three editions, in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2015-16. At the 2015 World Team Chess Championship in Chengdu, China, Humpy won the individual bronze medal as India missed the team bronze by one point.

In 2019, Humpy won her first world title in Moscow in the rapid chess category, a moment that was made more significant as she had returned to the sport after going on a sabbatical in 2017 following the birth of her daughter.

“In 2019, I managed to win most of the major events like Grand Prix, the women’s world rapid championship and a prestigious tournament in the USA, the Cairns Cup. But this lockdown is a completely different experience for me because chess has gone into a visual mode. The major tournaments like the Olympiad, where I managed to play and our country won a gold medal for the first time – it is a great experience and I do hope these tough times give a great opportunity for the sport to reach a wide range of spectators,” she said.

Humpy’s individual achievements had a bearing on her ranking as well as she climbed to second in the world in March 2020, displacing reigning world champion Ju Wenjun.

The 2021 edition of the Sportstar ACES Awards honoured the Giants of the Decade in Indian sport, with the winners being assessing on their performance and consistency from 2011 to 2020. Eleven awards were presented under the popular choice category, which was open to public voting, along with 14 jury awards as well as special recognition awards under two new categories – Sports for Good and Giants off the Field – that recognise the work of organisations and individuals who have used sports for the betterment of society.

Watch the full episode from Day 3 of the Sportstar Aces Awards here