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Koneru Humpy

Koneru Humpy




  • Humpy Koneru is an Indian chess grandmaster. Koneru was born on 31st March, 1987 in Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Her name originally was Hampi which meant ‘champion’. Her father later changed her name to ‘Humpy’ to more closely resemble a Russian-sounding name.
  • As a former chess player himself, Koneru Ashok introduced her to the game when she was just five. Her father used to tell her about the Polgar sisters Susan, Judith and Sophie – some of the top chess players in the world.


  •  When Humpy was 8, her father gave up his university job to become her full-time coach. Success soon followed, with her winning the World Girls’ Under-10, 12, 14 and 20 championships.
  • By the age of 14, Humpy was ranked no. 3 among women and had attained 2,539 Elo points (The rating system named after Arpad E Elo, who formulated it.)


  • In 1997, Humpy won three gold medals at the World Youth Chess Championship (WYCC) in the under-10 girls’ category.
  • A year later, she again secured gold in the under-12 girls’ category. At the Asian Youth Chess Championship 1999 in Ahmedabad, she won the under-12 section competing against boys.
  • In 2000, she again struck gold in the WYCC under-12 category. Humpy won the World Junior Girls Championship in 2001. She became the youngest woman to obtain an International Grandmaster norm and held the record for four years.


  • In 2000 and 2002, she won the British Women’s Championship. In 2003, Humpy added the Asian Women’s Individual title and the National Women’s Championship.
  • In 2005, she won the North Urals Cup that featured the top names like Chinese Xu Yuhua and Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk.
  • In 2007, she crossed the Elo 2,600 mark and became the second woman to achieve the feat after Judith Polgar.


  • Humpy took part in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2009–2011 and was second, qualifying as challenger for the 2011 Women’s World Championship.
  • She won the individual bronze at the Women’s World Team Championship 2015 in China.  The lone disappointment in her career is the inability to win the Women’s World Championship and claim rank 1.
  • She came closest in 2008 when she lost to Hou Yifan in the semi- final and in 2011 when she again went down to the same rival.


  • Apart from the many feathers in her hat, Humpy was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2003 and received the Padma Shri in 2007.
  • Also known as India’s Queen of Chess, Humpy continues to hold the record of being ranked number one 16 times among girls, and her Elo rating remains the highest achieved by any junior girl.