Koneru Humpy, the best Indian chess player of all time and the reigning women’s fast chess world champion, nominated for the Rajiv Khel Ratna award
Bombay, July 1: The name of Koneru Humpy, India’s top chess player and reigning women’s fast chess world champion, has been nominated for the country’s highest sporting honor. On Thursday, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) sent the Sports Ministry its recommendations for national sports awards for the year 2019-2020, with Koneru’s name at the top of the list.
The IAICF also recommended six players – world number 22 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, former national champion B Adhiban, SP Sethuraman, MR Lalit Babu, WGM Bhakti Kulkarni and Padmini Rout – for the Arjuna award. GM’s name Abhijit Kunte was nominated for the Major Dhyanchand Lifetime Achievement Award. Viswanathan Anand was awarded the first Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Prize in 1992. Since then, no chess player has received this honor. Vishwanathan Anand and Koneru Humpy will launch the “Checkmate COVID” campaign which will provide medical and financial assistance to those affected by the pandemic.
Koneru has the best credentials among chess players to be considered for the prize. The 34-year-old from Vijaywada, ranked No.3 in the FIDE rankings, won the Women’s Fast Chess World Championship in December 2019 and recently qualified for qualifying for the Women’s World Championship in 2022 She played an important role as India and Russia shared the FIDE Online Olympiad last year.
Koneru has played in all the major chess tournaments and won many titles. She won the Under-10, Under-12 and Under-14 world titles and the World Junior Chess Championship in 2001. She currently has a rating of 2586, behind China’s Hou Yifan (2658 ) and Russian Aleksandra Goryachkina (2596). Gujrathi is the third highest ranked Indian chess player in the Open category after Anand (15) and P Harikrishna (21). It has risen rapidly in the rankings over the past few years and has maintained a rating of over 2,700
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on July 1, 2021 at 11:58 p.m. IST. For more information and updates on Politics, World, Sports, Entertainment, and Lifestyle , connect to our website Latestly.com).