It was a poignant moment for chess lovers on Sunday as women’s World No. 2 Koneru Humpy felicitated the world Under-10 girls’ champion Nutakki Priyanka at her residence for her title triumph recently at the world championship in Slovenia.
The Grandmaster also presented a cheque of Rs.25,000 to the little girl as a token of appreciation.
“I became world Under-10 champion in 1997 and after a gap of 15 years another girl (Priyanka) won the coveted trophy from Vijayawada and it is a feat to be celebrated,” said Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee Humpy. City’s first mayor T. Venkateswara Rao, who was also present, honoured Priyanka’s coach Bobba with a shawl. The former chess administrator played a crucial role in shaping the fledging chess career of the ‘little champ’.
Koneru Ashok, coach-cum-father of Humpy, hailed the role of Bobba and felt that Priyanka possessed the wherewithal to garner more laurels in the game of sixty-four squares.
“It was Bobba who taught the rudiments of chess to Grand Master Pendyala Harikrishna,” he added.
Bobba said that Priyanka would take part in the Asian schools chess championship to be held at New Delhi from December 12 to 19. “The tournament will be held in age categories of 9, 11, 13, 16 and 17 and she will take part in the Under-11 category. She needs to deploy new openings and sharpen her middle and end games. Later she will take part in FIDE-norm tournament at Chennai,” he added.
Krishna District Olympic Association secretary K.P. Rao said that Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh has sent a proposal to Chef Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to grant a cash award of Rs.10 lakh to Priyanka. Priyanka’s parents N. Radhakrishna and Durga Devi also took part in the felicitation function.