The FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2019-2020, is a series of four chess tournaments exclusively for women. The results of this tournament will qualify two players who will play in the Women’s Candidates Chess Championship in 2021. The winner of the Candidate’s tournament will play a 12-game match against the world champion.
Koneru Humpy from India, won the Sklolkovo FIDE Women’s Grand Prix, by making a draw in the final round against the reigning Women’s Champion Ju Wenjun from China. The “Indian Ace” won her first major championship after returning to competitive chess since the Batumi Olympiad in 2018. Humpy finished with 8.0/11, gained 160 Grand Prix points, and received 15000 Euro for winning the tournament.
Humpy, who is currently ranked 3rd in the world, behind Hou Yifan and Ju Wenjin, has just about every accomplishment in her bag except for the world title. Following the FIDE Grand Prix, she aims to make it to the Candidates Championship, and eventually win the highest title of World Champion.
Humpy needed a half point to win the championship. She went for Ragozin Defense in the Queen Gambit Defense against Jue Wenjun in the final round. In the final battle between the two women ranked second and third in the world, neither got the better of the other. In the end, Ju Wenjun had to settle for a perpetual check in a queen ending, and ended with a draw after 35 moves. She will be back in the next Grand Prix in Monaco from December 2nd-15th, 2019.
This is a position from Humpy’s last game with Ju Wenjun , where Humpy just needed a draw to become the champion.
Diagram by Jin Chess.
Humpy moved her queen to c3 attacking the bishop on d3. Now Ju Wenjun could have played 1…Bb5 and kept the game going. Instead she played 1…Qxa3!?. Now Humpy took the Bishop on d3,2.Qxd3 and it was met by 2…a4. Was White in trouble?
What do you think Humpy played that ensured a draw for her?
3.Qa6! , a very powerful move stopping 3…axb3 and also threatening 4.Qc8 Kh7and 5.Qf5 perpetual checks which will result in a draw.
Ju Wenjun decided to continue the fight with 3...Kh7 rather than taking the knight on b3.
What did Humpy finally do here to draw the game?
4.Nc5! was a strong move, sacrificing the knight and making sure the game ends in a draw 4…bxc5,5.dxc5 d4,6.exd4 Qa1+,7.Kh2 Qxd4,8.c6
Before things went out of hand Wenjun decided to draw the game 8...Qf4+,9Kg1 Qc1+,10.Kh2 Qf4+
Koneru Humpy, the Indian Grandmaster, was born on March 31st, 1987 in Andhra Pradesh, India. She won 3 world titles, including under 10, 12, and 14. When she was just 15 years old, she achieved the GM title, and broke the record of Judit Polgar. Her father quit his job to be with her during tournaments.
Humpy is married to an industrialist named Dasari Anvesh. She had taken time off from competitive chess to give birth and spend time with her baby girl named Ahana, but she is back now with a bang!
Interesting fact: Humpy always writes her name as Hampi since she is proud to say she is the cHAMPIon!
One of our Boston Chess Wizards, Ramya Inapuri, followed Koneru Humpy’s footsteps during her early age, and inspired by her, won her first National championship at the age of 7. Ramya greeted Humpy when she won the World Championship, and was so inspired by the trophy that she knew she wanted to win more herself. Ramya now has a rack which consists of more than 300 trophies!