Comeback to remember: Koneru Humpy wins World Rapid Championship 2019

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In 2016 Koneru Humpy decided to take a break from chess as she was about to become a mother. For two years she was off the chess board and she made a comeback at the 2018 Batumi Olympiad in Georgia. In big chess event of the year 2019 she wins FIDE Women’s World Rapid Championship.

122 players from different countries of the world participated in this prestigious event. Average rating of this event was 2245. This event was 12-round Swiss tournament and she entered this event as 13th seed. Among 12 rounds, she won 7 matches, lost 1 match and shares point in 4 matches.

Koneru Humpy’s triumph is memorable, she has very outside chance to win after penultimate round. After 11 round, Chinese Gm Lei Tingjie was leading by full 1 point to her nearest opponents. Just a draw was required in final round but she failed to take the advantage.

Lei Tingjie lost against Atalik Ekaterina in final round match. Then Koneru Humpy defeated another Chinese GM Tan Zhongyi in final round match. As a result, after 12 rounds, Indian GM Koneru Humpy tied at top position along with Lei Tingjie and Atalik Ekaterina. Humpy scored 9 points out of possible 12.

After the victory she said “I really didn’t expect to play the tie-break games,” said Humpy after her triumph. “I managed to win my rapid games in the last two rounds and got a chance to win the title. It was a comfortable win in the end.”

“I lost the first game on time, but came back in the second game. It was a gambling game, but I won. In the final game, a better position and it was a comfortable win. I am very happy and excited about this victory. People were expecting me to win the classical world championship for many years but I lost in the knockouts each time. Surely, no one expected me to win the rapids because I was seeded 13th and I was never too good in this format. So this is an unexpected victory for me.”

She started her campaign in this event with winning note after winning 1st round match against Margarita Potapova. But in 2nd round, she drew with Daria Charochkina. In 3rd round, she defeated Nino Khomeriki.

She maintains her winning run in 4th round after defeating Ekaterina Kovalevskaya. As a result, she maintained 2nd place with score 3.5/4 after 1st day. Koneru Humpy also started 2nd days play in winning note. She defeated Olga Griya in 5th round match.

Her only loss in this event came in 6th round ,where her opponent was Irina bulmaga. Then she shared point with top seed Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine in 7th round match.

In her in 8th round match she defeated Nana Dzagnidze. After 2nd days play, she scored 6 points in 8 rounds. On final day of this event, she shared point with Atalik Ekaterina and Lagno Kateryna in 9th and 10th round match respectively.

But she bounced back in style in last 2 rounds when it matterd most. She outplayed Voit Daria in 11th round match. As Koneru Humpy, Lei Tingjie and Atalik Ekaterina shared 1st position, tie break score came into play to determine the winner.

Thanks to better tie-Break score, Koneru Humpy , Lei Tingjie again faced each other to win the championship. To determine the winner Koneru Humpy and Lei Tingjie faced each other in blitz format. In 1st blitz game, Koneru Humpy lost against Lei Tingjie . She bounced back in style to win the 2nd game. As both players scored equal points in Biltz format, then Armageddon game came into play.

Concept of Armageddon is “A game guaranteed to produce a decisive result, because Black has draw odds (that is, for Black, a draw is equal to a victory).” To compensate, White has more time on the clock. Koneru Humpy faced her challenger Lei Tingjie in Armageddon game with black pieces. And if game failed to produce decisive results, according to laws of Armageddon, player with black will win the battle.

As a result, Koneru Humpy won this prestigious event. More fact to remember, its her 1st world rapid championship title of her carrier. But she hardly gets time to celebrate this triumph as another prestigious chess event, FIDE Women’s World blitz Championship 2019 is going to start today. No doubt, She would be looking for consistent performance in this big event also.