Humpy qualifies for Candidates


In her lengthy profession Koneru Humpy has notched up a number of exceptional achievements. However, what she did on Wednesday evening deserves particular consideration. Or, reasonably, what she achieved with out doing something, to be exact.

She certified for the Candidates event — the winner of which can earn the fitting to problem the World chess champion — after she completed second within the FIDE Ladies’s Grand Prix general standings.


What makes the feat particular is that she did it with out taking part in one of many three legs she had chosen from the sequence of 4. Humpy selected to skip the Gibraltar leg, which concluded on Wednesday, due to journey issues within the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When she performed within the first two legs — at Skolkovo (Russia) and Monaco — the coronavirus hadn’t but raised its ugly head. She gained the primary leg and was runner-up within the second.

She had 293 factors from these two legs. A top-three end within the third may have fetched her the Grand Prix title, however she had, in fact, chosen to not play.

She, nevertheless, completed runner-up within the GP sequence to Russia’s Alexandra Goryachkina (398 factors); she had chosen Lausanne because the third leg, which was performed in March final 12 months, shortly earlier than the world went into lockdown.

Humpy has no regrets at having missed Gibraltar. She is, really, relieved that she has certified for subsequent 12 months’s Candidates.

“I was closely following the Gibraltar tournament and am relieved and happy that the results went my way,” the World No. 3 instructed The Hindu over cellphone. “It feels great that I have qualified for the Candidates on my Grand Prix performance alone.”

Calculated threat

Even when she hadn’t, there would have been possibilities on the World Cup or Grand Swiss or by advantage of her Elo score. “But I could not have taken anything for granted and I could have missed out, too,” she stated. “Yes, I was taking a risk by not going to Gibraltar. But I had to take that decision. Life is not just about playing chess, you know!”