K. Humpy will be back before the chessboard once again, taking a break from her housekeeping duties. The World No. 2 plays at FIDE’s Online Women’s Speed Chess championship, featuring the game’s elite. Humpy gave a lot of thought — unsurprising since she is not a fan of the format — before deciding to play in the tournament which opens on June 24. It is not surprising, however, since she is no fan of chess played at lightning speed.

That she is still the reigning World rapid chess champion reflects her strength as a player, regardless of the format.


What made her hesitate a bit was one part of the format for the Speed Chess tournament — the games of a duration of one minute (plus the increment of one second per move).

“I haven’t played with time control like that before, but I decided to compete in the tournament anyway and am looking forward to it now,” Humpy told The Hindu over phone from Vijayawada on Thursday.

“It will be an interesting tournament, as most of the world’s top players are competing in it.”

Very popular

Though online chess has become hugely popular during the lockdown, she hasn’t been very active in the digital space. She has played only one tournament — the Nations Cup, in which she was part of the strong Indian team led by five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand.

She had also featured in a simultaneous exhibition to raise funds for the country’s fight against COVID-19.

“I enjoyed playing those two events, though it took me some time to get used to it,” she said.

“The Nations Cup was fun, though India as a team could not do as well as it should have. It was wonderful to watch Anand playing some great games, like the one against Ian Nepomniachtchi (which he won in just 17 moves).”

She said it was good to that FIDE was organising quality online tournaments. “It is nice that big stars like Magnus Carlsen are playing so many online events. They are probably playing more chess now than they did before,” she said.

The Women’s Speed Chess event consists of four legs of Grand Prix and the women who take the top two places will play a super final on July 20.

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