North Urals Cup: Humpy wins, Xu Yuhua second

7/15/2005 – The North Urals Cup 2005, a super-tournament for female players, ended in victory for Indian GM Humpy Koneru. Second was another Asian, Xu Yuhua from China, third the Russian Women's Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. Humpy is slowly emerging as an extraordinary figure in women's chess, quite on the lines of Judit Polgar. Illustrated report.

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The North Urals Cup 2005, the third international super-tournament for female chess players, was held in Krasnoturinsk, and ended in victory for two non-Russian players. First place went to Humpy Koneru, who scored 6/9 with a 2605 performance.


The winner: Koneru Humpy, 18-year-old GM from India

Humpy is a former child prodigy who in 2002 became the youngest female grandmaster (precisely: the first women fulfilling the gender-neutral "men's" norms) in history. Since she is bound to appear more and more on the international chess circuit we would do well to explain once again her name to the chess public.

The young lady's first name is Humpy, her surname is Koneru. That is how FIDE lists her. The surname is actually her father's first name, and theoretically you should call her Ms Humpy if you address her formally (her friends will simply call her Humpy). Referring to her as "Koneru" in reports is quite strange. The father is a chess player called Koneru Ashok. He chose the name for his daughter from the word "Champion", having had a vision that one day she would become the World Chess Champion. Subsequently, he has changed it to Humpy, to make it sound Russian.


Humpy receiving the trophy from Alexander Aminov

Second place with 5.5/9 points and a 2570 performance went to Xu Yuhua of China, who beat the Russian Women's champion Alexandra Kosteniuk on 1.25 tiebreak points.


Second on tiebreak points: Xu Yuhua from China

Alexandra Kosteniuk scored 5.5/9 with a performance rating of 2566. Recent results have shown that this lady, the tenth female grandmaster in history, is playing at about this strength, though her FIDE rating is still "only" 2516.


Alexandra Kosteniuk gets a beautiful second prize vase


Other participants in the audience


A final stage ceremony for the participants and guests

Final Standings

Picture gallery

The official web site has a lot of excellent photos, all provided by Vadim Smalkov. Here is a small selection – in many cases you can click on the pictures to get Vadim's high-resolution originals. At the bottom of the page you will find links to sources where you can find many more pictures. Only a small number of them are captioned, so you must guess who or what is shown in them.


Third on the final table: Russian Women's champ Alexandra Kosteniuk


The Kosintseva sisters Nadezhda, 20 (front) and
Tatiana, 19, who came in fourth and fifth

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