Chess Player Koneru Humpy Is The BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year – Femina


Image: TwitterKoneru Humpy, the reigning world rapid chess champion, won the second edition of the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year (ISWOTY) award. The BBC ISWOTY was first initiated in 2019 to honour the best sportswomen of the country and highlight the inspiring journeys of talented Indian sportswomen.

A 40-member jury had nominated Humpy, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, sprinter Dutee Chand, shooter Manu Bhaker and hockey skipper Rani Rampal for this years honour. The once youngest-ever chess Grandmaster, Humpy bagged the award after receiving the highest number of votes from the public.

Being an indoor game, chess doesnt get as much attention as sports like cricket gets in India. But with this award, I hope the game will draw peoples attention, Humpy said once she received the honour.

The virtual awards ceremony was hosted and the winner was announced by BBC Director General, Tim Davie.

When she became the world champion in 2019 after her maternity leave, her daughter was merely two years old.

I won over the years because of my willpower and confidence. A female player should never think about quitting her game. Marriage and motherhood are just a part of our life and they should not change the course of our lives, said Koneru, taking the opportunity to speak of womens issues in the professional world.

Born in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Humpy was identified as a chess prodigy at an early age by her father and trained as such. After winning certain big time youth tournaments she went on to become the youngest grandmaster, aged 15, in 2002 a record that was broken in 2008.

She has received the Arjuna Award, one of Indias top sporting honours, in 2003, and Indias fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri, in 2007.

Veteran athlete Anju Bobby George, the only Indian athlete to have won a world championship medal in long jump, back in 2003, was the recipient of this years Lifetime Achievement award.

Also read: Mary Kom Wins Bronze Medal in Boxams, Spain

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Chess Player Koneru Humpy Is The BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year - Femina

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