Bengaluru, December 30: India's Koneru Humpy was crowned women's world rapid chess champion after she prevailed over China's Lei Tingjie in a dramatic Armageddon battle in Moscow, Russia, and is also in line for a double crown after her terrific performance in the blitz category.
Humpy collected nine points each in 12 rounds to be tied with Tingjie. The duo then played an Armageddon game to break the deadlock.
Though the Indian lost the opening game, she recovering in the second and then held her nerve in the decider to clinch the title.
Humpy Koneru 🇮🇳 is the 2019 Women's World Rapid Champion. 🏆— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) December 28, 2019
Tied for first with 9/12, she defeated Lei Tingjie in a playoff for the first place. Congratulations!👏https://t.co/gHBnFGa1e5 #rapidblitz #chess #India pic.twitter.com/tbHjCk8kUM
"When I started my first game on Day 3 I didn't imagine I woud be at the top. My hope was to reach top three. I didn't expect to play the tie-break games," Humpy was quoted saying in an interview with FIDE.
"I lost the first game on time, but came back in the second game. It was a gambling game, but I won. In the final game, I had a better position and it was a comfortable win," Humpy added.
Twitteratti was flooded with congratulatory messages for Humpy as people from all walks of life hailed the ace Indian on her accomplishment.
Hon’ble AP Governor Sri Biswa Bhusan congratulated #KoneruHumpy for becoming Women's World Rapid Champion in Moscow and said she brought great pride to Andhra Pradesh & Telugu community all over the world. Governor wished Koneru Humpy more success in her future endeavours pic.twitter.com/MHbE2W4A9t— Governor of Andhra Pradesh (@governorap) December 29, 2019
Congratulationsssss to our very own @koneruhumpy for winning the World Women's Rapid Chess Championship at Russia just now...what a comeback...take a bow...you are a true inspiration for all the Indian Women...— S. VIJAYALAKSHMI (@chessviji) December 28, 2019
Captured below are the final moments...and a million dollar smile... pic.twitter.com/hjdLEVX2yo
While Humpy was crowned the women's champion, the corresponding honour in the mens' section went to Norway's Magnus Carlsen.
Meanwhile, Humpy stayed in the hunt for a second world title after being placed second along with three others in the blitz category.
The 32-year-old started the two-day blitz competition by winning her games in the five rounds to share the top position at one stage.
Humpy drew the next two games before winning against Monika Sacko in the eighth game.
She, however, lost to day one leader and local favourite Katerina Lagno in a dramatic battle in the final round of the opening day.
(With inputs from PTI news agency)