Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy Beats China’s Lei Tingjie To Become World Rapid Chess Champion

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.

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.

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.

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!

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