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Koneru Humpy Profile
- World under-14 championship, 2001, Castellan, Spain.
- Asia's youngest International Woman Master, 1999.
- India's youngest Woman GM, 2001.
- World junior championship, 2001, Athens.
- World's youngest Women Grandmaster to achieve full Grandmaster status
Koneru Humpy is a Female Indian Chess Player, and arguably the best woman at the Chess Board that the nation has ever produced. Considered to be at par with Vishwanathan Anand among the Female Chess Players of India, she holds a World No. 2 ranking among the Female Chess Players, lagged behind only by Judit Polgar, the World No. 1 Female Chess Player.
Early Life & Introduction to the game of Chess
She was born on the 31st of March 1987 at Gudivada, a place in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Her father, Ashok Koneru worked as a lecturer in Chemistry and was himself a wonderful Chess Player, having won the South India Open Championship in 1985. Young Humpy got attracted towards the game at a very young age of just 5 years. Her father soon spotted her extra-ordinary skills in the game and realized she could go way ahead if conditioned properly. In fact, in order to guide her properly and to make sure she gets the best attention for improving her skills as a Chess Player, Ashok took the bold decision of giving up his job to concentrate fully upon Humpy’s Chess career.
The Impressive Beginning upon the Chess Board
The little Humpy showed her remarkable prowess as an excellent Chess Player as soon as she began playing the game. She caught everybody’s attention for the first time when she won the Under 8 National Chess Championship in the year 1995.
Remarkable Performance at the International Level
Soon after proving her excellence at the National level, Koneru entered the International Chess Circuit. After taking the world by storm by clinching the World Chess titles in the Under 10, Under 12 and Under 14 age groups, Humpy got an International Master title in the year 1999 at the age of 12 years. Further, she achieved her 3rd Grand Master norm in the Elekes Memorial Grand Master Tournament held at Budapest, Hungary. Koneru created a world record by earning the International Grand Master title at the age of 15 years 1 month and 29 days. She broke Judit Polgar’s record to achieve the feat, and became the youngest woman ever to have earned the coveted title. Later, Hou Yifan broke Humpy’s record by earning the title at the age of 14 years 6 months in the year 2008. Koneru Humpy has been the First Indian Woman to have received an International Grand Master title in the game of Chess.
Performance at the World Chess Championship
In the year 2001 she won the World Junior Chess Championship, although she lost in the Second Round of the Women’s World Chess Championship 2006. Again at the Women’s World Chess Championship 2008 she reached the Semi Final Round, where she lost to Hou Yifan of China.
Proud of the Nation
At Doha Asian Games 2006, Koneru Humpy made the nation proud by bagging two Gold Medals in the Individual as well as Team event of Chess. She also won the International Open Chess Tournament 2007 held at Kaupthing, Luxembourg. In October 2007, Humpy scored a FIDE Elo rating of 2606 points, which lagged her behind only the World No. 1 Female Chess Player, Judit Polgar. Humpy has broken the world record set by Susan Polgar who had a rating of 2577 points while she was at the World No. 2 spot. Humpy has also been the second woman ever in the history of Chess who has crossed the 2600 points mark, Judit being the first one to do so.
Awards & Honors
For showing extra-ordinary talent as a Chess Player and making the nation proud at several times at the International level, Koneru Humpy has been honored with a number of awards and recognitions. To commemorate her exceptional skills and achievements, the Government of India bestowed upon her the coveted Arjuna Award in the year 2003. Further, in the year 2007 she was awarded with the prestigious Padma Shri award. Humpy was also conferred upon the Raja Lakshmi Award in the year 2008 by Raja Lakshmi Foundation of Chennai.