Person of day - 31 MARCH 2021
Humpy Koneru became the hope of her country’s chess team at a very young age. In 2007, her rating surpassed Susan Polgar’s and she became the second female chess player in history to surpass the 2600 mark, after Judit, Susan’s younger sister. Between 2002 and 2008, Humpy held the record of the youngest female grandmaster- a title that she won at the age of 15 years, 1 month and 27 days, beating Judit Polgar by three months, although the record was later surpassed by Hou Yifan.
Koneru’s parents supported her love for chess from a young age, and the name “Humpy” is derived from “champion”. In 2001, the Indian player won the world junior championship and in 2004 she was the sensation of the world women’s championship, where she reached the semi-final. Four years later, Humpy qualified for the semi-final of the world championship once again.
In 2009, a series of disagreements arose between Koneru and the All India Chess Federation, which led to her missing multiple official team tournaments in which India participated. In 2001, Humpy won the FIDE Grand Prix series and qualified for a match against Hou Yifan, but the match in Tirana finished in a defeat for the second most highly-rated woman. The 2011-2012 brought second place to the vice-champion.
Humpy Koneru was very successful in the 2013-2014 FIDE Grand Prix series. She won the first two stages, but was then overtaken by Hou Yifan. At the 2015 world championship in Sochi, Koneru made it to the quarterfinals, where she was defeated by Mariya Muzychuk in the tie-break.
In August 2014, Humpy Koneru married.