2019 has been a wonderful year for Indian women in sports. 23-year-old biker Aishwarya Pissay became the first Indian to bag a world title in motorsports and 25-year-old Ritu Phogat won her debut Mixed Martial Arts fight in 3 minutes and 40 seconds.
According to The Indian Express, 32-year-old Koneru Humpy from Vijayawada has defeated China’s Lei Tingjie to win the Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship title (and $40,000 prize money) at the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in Moscow.
Humpy Koneru 🇮🇳 is the 2019 Women's World Rapid Champion. 🏆
— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) December 28, 2019
For the uninitiated, the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Championships (the first of four tournaments in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix) that Ms. Humpy won involves the shortest format of Chess that tests a player’s strategy and speed. Each player is given 15 minutes per game with a 10-second increment.
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) December 28, 2019
Hindustan Times reports that she started playing the game at 5 years of age under the tutelage of her father Ashok and went on to win the girls’ Under-10 (1997), Under-12 (1998) and Under-14 (1999) World Championships. She earned the Grandmaster title when she was 15 and has never looked back. In 2018, she returned to competitive Chess after a two-year break where she welcomed her daughter Ahana.
The Hindu quoted her saying,
“This win means a lot to me. It is a huge feeling to be a World champion. I have been waiting for this to happen, though not certainly in the rapid format. To be a World champion in any format is definitely a dream for any chess player and I am no different. That tag means a lot.”
Here is how people reacted to the amazing victory.
Congratulations to Grandmaster @koneruhumpy on winning the 2019 World Rapid Chess Championship in Moscow. It is a deserving reward for your relentless hard work and unflinching determination. Keep it up Amma! pic.twitter.com/smp9WuSLBh
— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) December 29, 2019
I am delighted to know that Ms. Koneru Humpy has won the 2019 World Rapid Chess Championship in Moscow. The nation is very proud of her achievement. I extend my hearty congratulations to her and wish her many more laurels. @koneruhumpy pic.twitter.com/Ul65pq4w5c
— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) December 30, 2019
Hearty congratulations @koneruhumpy on winning the World Women's Rapid Chess Championship. You serve as a towering inspiration to all the women. May you have many such victories. pic.twitter.com/EPPqoucFuJ
— Sri Krishna Devarayulu Lavu (@SriKrishnaLavu) December 30, 2019
Amazing inspiration to all women and men #KoneruHumpy. Brilliance as a kid, excelling as a married person and world domination being a mother !! So proud of her!! kudos to her determination 👏❣️ pic.twitter.com/69tyqzeRU7
— ജാനകി വർമ (@__littlebuddha) December 30, 2019
Many congratulations to grandmaster #KoneruHumpy on won the world rapid chess ♟ championship…💐 We wish many more trophies come in your chess career. Very best wishes for your future.
— Kedar Ketkar (@kedar_sk) December 30, 2019
Taking a break for 2 years after becoming a mother, and winning the 2019 World Rapid Chess Championship in Moscow within a year of returning to the game is pure champion stuff. Take a bow @koneruhumpy, you’ve made AP proud! pic.twitter.com/bUjI7GpVXH
— Lokesh Nara (@naralokesh) December 29, 2019
Congratulations and best wishes to @koneruhumpy for clinching Women's World Chess Rapid Championship 2019 at Moscow. I wish her more such achievements in future.
Perfect comeback and great inspiration to all the women and mothers.#KoneruHumpy pic.twitter.com/PjMSR57dJy
— Devineni Avinash (@DevineniAvi) December 30, 2019
Her ultimate goal is to bag a Classical World Championship which has eluded her till now and we wish her all the very best for it!