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Winning Cairns Cup is a special feeling, says World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy

Playing for the first time in the second edition of the Cairns Cup, said to be one of the toughest women’s events, World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy re-asserted her supremacy winning the title with 6 points from nine rounds picking up the $45,000 winner’s purse in St. Louis on Monday.

“This is a really strong field with an average rating of ELO 2500+,” 32-year-old Humpy told The Hindu from the US. The tough field included two Americans and the top eight players including reigning World champion Ju Wenjun featuring in the round-robin format.

“Winning Cairns Cup is a special feeling for it reminds that the World championship title was no flash in the pan,” she said.

“The toughest match was against Alexandra Kousteniuk in the seventh round, which was a long battle and I could manage to keep my unbeaten record against her,” she said.

“It was a close race for the top spot as till the eighth round. Wenjun lost her game and I managed to draw my game giving me the slender half-a-point lead which eventually proved decisive,” Humpy said.

In the final round, Humpy drew with GM D. Harika, who finished sixth with 4.5 points.

“The best part of this victory is that I will be gaining crucial five ELO points and moving back to World No. 2 ranking and towards my goal being No.1 one day,” she said.

“The next big event is the Grand Prix in Italy this may and then I will be playing in the PSPB tournaments as part of my commitment to my employers,” the Chief Manager (HR) in ONGC said.

One her targets she said, “since I am leading the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Series right now, I want to finish it off on a high and then aim to qualify for the Candidates scheduled later this year.”

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:58:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/winning-cairns-cup-is-a-special-feeling-says-world-rapid-chess-champion-koneru-humpy/article30845658.ece

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