Hyderabad: Mama Mia! That sums up Koneru Humpy’s remarkable comeback win at the World Rapid Chess. The 32-year-old was off the chess circuit from 2016 to 2018 during which time she became a mother and nursed little Ahana. Now, in her comeback year, she’s on top of the World.
It’s been a challenge for Humpy, who started preparing for her second innings, baby in tow. Thanks to her parents and in-laws, both of whom live in Vijayawada, there was help around. But then, being a new mother is a tough ask... and the chess queen has created openings through multiple blocks.
“It has been an emotional juggle for her. My son-in-law would drop the little one at our home in the mornings on his way to office... they would pick the baby back at night. All this while, a determined Humpy used to prepare systematically for her comeback in all seriousness, to the point of exhaustion — I could see the stress in her face. This massive victory is the fruit of her labour,” informs Latha, Humpy’s mother.
“I cannot describe our joy in words. We have been waiting so long for this,” an overwhelmed Latha added.
Humpy’s father and mentor Ashok is thrilled as well. “This is special! We are very happy,” he exclaimed.
“She has won a World title after a long time, after capturing the World Under 20 championship at the age of 14, back in 2001. After that she bagged quite a few Opens and Grands Prix and got silver and bronze at the World Championships but not the title. She struggled a bit on her comeback initially but now has steadied herself,” he added.
“It’s precious! We have been waiting for this victory for almost five years. It is her first big win after our marriage and so it means a lot to us. She has worked really hard, practising punctually, over the last two years for this and so the victory is even sweeter,” Anvesh Dasari, Humpy’s husband, said.
“We are into completely different professions but respect each other’s work,” added Anvesh, who graduated in Electrical Engineering from the USA and currently manages his Electrical Industry in Vijayawada.
Telangana State Chess Association secretary K. Siva Prasad too spoke highly of Humpy’s dedication. “She was so determined, eager to achieve more laurels. Last August, she had left her one-year-old daughter at home to attend a preparatory camp for the Chess Olympiad in Hyderabad. Whenever the baby cried, her parents used to get Humpy to talk to her over the phone — it was poignant,” he revealed.