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Humpy to play in Women’s Speed Chess

Koneru Humpy

Koneru Humpy  

‘Nice that big stars like Carlsen are playing many online events’

Koneru Humpy is back before her chessboard once again, taking a break from her housekeeping duties. For, the World No. 2 will soon be playing at FIDE's Online Women's Speed Chess championship, featuring the game's elite.

Humpy had taken a while, though, before deciding to play in the tournament, which opens on June 24. It isn't entirely surprising, however: she is no fan of chess played at lightning speed.
That she is still the reigning World rapid chess champion reflects her strength as a player, regardless of the format.

What made her hesitate a bit was one part of the format for the Speed Chess tournament: the games of a duration of one minute (plus the increment of one second per move).

“I haven't played with time control like that before, but I decided to compete in the tournament anyway and am looking forward to it now,” Humpy told The Hindu over phone from Vijayawada on Thursday. “It will be an interesting tournament, as most of the world's top players are competing in it.”

Though online chess has become hugely popular during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, she hasn't exactly been too active in the digital space. She has played only one tournament – the Nations Cup, in which she was part of the strong Indian team led by five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand. She had also featured in a simultaneous exhibition to raise funds for the country's fight against COVID-19.

“I enjoyed playing those two events, though it took me some time to get used to it,” she said. “The Nations Cup was fun, though India as a team could not do as well as we should have. It was great to watch Anand playing some great games, like the one against Ian Nepomniachtchi (which he won in just 17 moves).”

She said it was good to see that FIDE was organising quality online tournaments. “It is nice that big stars like Magnus Carlsen are playing so many online events,” she said. “They are probably playing more chess now than they did before.”

The Women's Speed Chess tournament will consist of four legs of Grand Prix and the women who take the top two places will play a super final on July 20.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 8:09:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/humpy-to-play-in-womens-speed-chess/article31873155.ece

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