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A Year Into Return Post Motherhood Sabbatical, Humpy Koneru Wins 2019 Women's World Rapid Chess Championship

Humpy Koneru won 2019 women's world rapid chess championship in Moscow. (Photo Credit: FIDE)

Humpy Koneru won 2019 women's world rapid chess championship in Moscow. (Photo Credit: FIDE)

Humpy Koneru beat China's Lei Yingjie in the final playoff match to win the 2019 Women's World Rapid Chess Championship.

India's Humpy Koneru won the 2019 women's world rapid chess championship on Saturday in Moscow, beating China's Lei Yingjie in the final playoff match.

"This is my first world title, so I'm very happy and excited with this victory. When I started my first game on day three, I did not imagine I would be at the top. My hope was to reach the top three. I did not expect to play the tie-break games. 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," Koneru told International Chess Federation.

This is her first major title since coming back after a two-year (2016 to 2018) sabbatical from chess after she became a mother.

In the final playoff, the trio of Tingjie, Koneru and Ekaterina Atalik were tied for top place with a score of 9/12. As per FIDE rules, only two could have played the tie-breaker of two blitz games and score-data showed should take place between Koneru and Lei.

Even though Koneru lost the first game, she made a comeback to take the second with one blunder from Lei. Koneru prevailed in the sudden death game.

In the men's championship, Norway's Magnus Carlsen won with eight wins, seven draws, and no defeats.

"The first two days were the most difficult for me. I took some time to get going. I had a difficult game against Aronian and I am very happy about my performance," Carlsen said.

"Some of my opponents perhaps lacked the cutting edge, but in such a tournament in order to win all you need is to have an attacking mindset. There are a lot of people here who had good performances but they could have pushed even more."


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