Humpy excited about young Indian chess brigade, says ”can be worthy successor to Anand”

Kolkata, Aug 30 (PTI) She knows what it takes to achieve success at a young age as the world’s youngest female GM Koneru Humpy on Wednesday said the recent success of young Indians at the World Cup will take the legacy of Viswanathan Anand forward.

R Praggnanandhaa became the youngest player at 18 to be a World Cup runner-up last week. In the course of his campaign, he also sealed his berth in the eight-player Candidates Tournament, which would determine the challenger to world champion Ding Liren, in the chess’ ultimate battle in 2024.

The recently-concluded World Cup in Baku saw four Indians in the quarterfinals with D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi and Vidit Gujrathi being the others.

“Definitely, he (Praggnanandha) has done a fantastic performance in the World Cup, and we have seen all his performance. Also, Gukesh is doing well, along with Arjun and Nihal (Sarin). All these are very talented bunch. Each one has different talents that cannot be compared,” said Humpy, who was the world’s youngest female GM at 15.

The two-time Asian Games gold medallist, who won India’s first silver medal at the World Blitz last year, is here to compete in the Tata Steel Chess India starting on Friday.

India will hit 100 GMs soon ==================== Excited to see India’s chess landscape changing, Humpy said it’s quite ‘positive’ and ‘vibrant’ and that India would hit the 100 GM mark soon.

India produced its 83rd Grandmaster — Aditya Samant — in July this year.

“People always believed that India is more popular for cricket, but we are changing it. Chess is also becoming equally important. In every household, we hear the names of the top players, so it makes a big difference,” she said.

“Chess has changed drastically, I would say. Earlier, I would not see any spectators following… Now I see a lot of corporates coming to the sport, supporting the talented players, and also we see a huge fan following base whenever there is an international meet or when a grandmaster plays a very nice game.

“We see a lot of encouragement coming up. This was not there 10 years ago. This was quite new for chess. It’s very positive and vibrant. Soon we will be going to hit the 100 GM mark as well,” she said.

Humpy will be in action in the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz which will be held in women’s and open formats.

In the women’s field, she will compete in a star-studded field comprising reigning women World Champion Ju Wenjun, Anna Ushenina, Harika Dronavalli among others.

Source: PTI News


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