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|August 30, 2001||
Humpy on high!
Winning has become a habit for 14-year-old Indian chess prodigy Koneru Humpy. On Wednesday, the Vijayawada-based girl added another feather to her cap by winning the World junior championship in Athens.
Earlier, Humpy did the country proud by becoming the only Indian female to bag the men's Grandmaster norm by virtue of her victory in the Hotel Lipa Grandmasters chess tournament, in Hungary, in June.
With an Elo rating of 2387, Humpy achieved her third Grandmaster norm and the woman Grandmaster title at Budapest in June and joined S Vijayalakshmi in that exalted category.
Humpy also has to her credit a hat-trick of FIDE titles -- the world under-10, under-12 and under-14.
Born on March 31, 1987, at Gudivada in Andhra Pradesh's Krishna district, Humpy took to the brain-racking game at age five, encouraged by playing with her 73-year-old grandfather, a mathematics lecturer at a residential college. She bagged her first national title in 1995, when she won the under-eight category at Madurai, and the under-nine National girls' championship at Bombay the following year, thus qualifying for the World under-10 event at Cannes, in 1997.
Koneru achieved the Women's International Master's title at 12 years and four months, and then made history by winning the under-12 boys' section at the Asian Youth chess championship, at Ahmedabad, in December 1999.
Her international achievements include gold medals in the Commonwealth chess championship (under-18 girls), in 1999, Commonwealth chess championship (under-16 girls), in 2000, and the Asian under-12 boys' championship, in 1999. She became Asia's youngest woman international at age 12 in the National championship in 1999, rewriting Nisha Mohta's record. Last year she became the youngest British ladies champion, breaking a 61-year-old record which was in the name of Elaine Saunder.
Mail Sports Editor
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