Humpy replies to Sundar – issues open challenge

by ChessBase
10/25/2009 – "The situation is warming up and I’m getting excited!" writes GM Koneru Humpy, the world's second strongest female player. "I know that Mr. Sundar is an old hand at playing chess, especially off the board. He has made his move, which was to be expected. But to my surprise he started with a gambit!!" Humpy replies to the press release of AICF President with a public debate challenge.

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GM Koneru Humpy – press release

Mr. Sundar claims that I’m lying. He has frequently pointed out that I have been skipping women tournaments. If this were true why did I confirm participation in most of the forthcoming women tournaments? Here’s my email to D.V. Sunder dated 11 Sep. 2009:


I would like to confirm my availability to represent India in the following women tournaments. 

  1. 3rd Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam, 2009
  2. Chess Olympiad in Russia, 2010
  3. Asian Games in China, 2010
  4. Women's world chess championship in Turkey, 2010

As you know my father-cum-trainer Mr. Koneru Ashok always accompany me to the tournaments. I suppose his presence will help me to show better results. Once I tried without his guidance in the Chess Olympiad, 2006, at Turin, Italy, and I utterly collapsed.

Hence I request you to allow my father Mr. Koneru Ashok to accompany me as my personal trainer for the above mentioned tournaments and the travel, stay and food etc. for him may be borne by the All India chess federation/Govt. of India.

In this regard, I request you to kindly convey your acceptance permitting him to accompany me and also with respect to his expenses, so that,  he may make necessary preparation for the tournaments.

Kindly do the needful and obilige.

Thanking you.
Koneru Humpy

After my confirmation Mr Sundar changed his tone and said that my father has to bear his own expenses. I have already mentioned in my previous press release that this is not the issue. As a proof here is my dad’s email dated 13 Oct. 2009).

Dear Mr. Sundar,

Okay. I will take care of my Airfare and USD 50 per day for my stay and food. Please try to include me in the delegation for the Asian indoor Games and make arrangements for my visa/accreditation card & Air ticket along with Humpy.

With regards
Koneru Ashok

Who is the liar?

Mr. Sunder is misleading the issue by saying that I have withdrawn from the Asian Indoor Games because I want someone else to bear my dad’s expenses. This is totally absurd.

I want to make one thing clear, my protest against Mr. Sundar is not about the AICF bearing my dad's expenses. It's about his tyrannical attitude in forcing me to play in the tournaments irrespective of my preferences.

Mr. Sundar said that I have never sought the permission of the AICF to participate in any tournament before. I have. Here are some sample emails:

March 25, 2009:
Dear Mr. D.V. Sundar,

I have been Invited to Participate in the Ruy Lopez International chess festival (Category 16,Round Robin), from 11th to 22nd June , 2009, Zafra, Spain. In this regard I request you to give me permission to participate in this tournament.

Thanking you
Yours Sincerely,
Koneru Humpy

Mr. Sundar's full reply to my email on March 26 was:

All the best to you
D V Sundar

Here's another request I filed:

July 8, 2009
To Mr. D.V. Sundar,
Hon. Secretary, AICF

Respected Sir,

I have been invited to Greece to participate in the International Open Tournament of Kavala from 1-8 August and Acropolis International Open Tournament from 10th-18th August, 2009. I request you to permit me to participate in the above tournaments.

Yours sincerely,
Koneru Humpy

To this email I did not receive a reply. I didn’t know that it meant that he had given permission. Maybe I should grow up...

Here's our correspondence regarding ECC:

August 24, 2009
Dear Mr. D.V. Sundar,

I am glad to inform you that I have been invited to participate in European Club Cup for the Monaco team from 3rd Oct to 11th October, 2009, in Ohrid, Macedonia. I request you to permit me to participate in the above mentioned tournament.

With regards
Koneru Humpy

To which I received the reply:

August 25, 2009
To: Koneru Humpy

AICF has no objection.

All India Chess Federation

Two blunders by Mr. Sundar – now I have the opening advantage!!

Mr. Sundar himself has stated that I’m the best woman player of the country (thank God in this matter he didn’t lie!). Doesn’t he know how best players are to be treated? He needs to go to Monte Carlo and see for himself. I’m proud to be part of the team for Monaco Club.

For the third time consecutively I played for the Monaco team. They know the importance of a trainer, and invite me along with my dad. They treat me like a celebrity and cheer me up for every game. On the other hand Mr. Sundar encourages me with warning letters.

The Monaco team, with Alexandra Kosteniuk, Monica Socko, Humpy Koneru, Almira
Skripchenko and Pia Cramling

About the World Championship at Nalchik, Russia, the representative of AICF handed over the tickets just a few hours before the takeover of flight. At Nalchik, when I contacted Aeroflot Office by phone they said that we have to go to office personally to change the tickets. Even the Indian team members who left earlier were forced to go Aeroflot office to change their tickets.

Doesn’t Mr. Sundar have the common sense to get the return tickets booked for the scheduled departure date of the tournament?

Mr. Sundar is very conscious about the rules and regulations. He is very keen on checking that rules are strictly followed, when he spoke about PSPB rules and about wearing t-shirts.

D.V. Sundar writes:

6. The World Championship Bronze certificate can be issued only by the organizers at Nalchik, Russia, and it is common knowledge that AICF cannot issue the merit certificate.

I am sorry to say that I do not have the common knowledge about who issues certificates. I am sending you facsimiles of some of the certificates I received in the past:

Hurray! I am in a clear winning position!

It’s true that Mr. Sundar issued a letter to the IOA to allow my mom to accompany me for Doha Asian Games if rules permit. It’s just a matter of a letter. My mom purchased her air tickets.

Mr. Sundar pointed out that I will not play unless my dad or mom accompanies me. Yes, that’s right. What’s wrong with it? Doesn’t any other player in the world have his/her parents accompanying? In fact I need my father as a trainer. He is my strength.

Mr. Sundar needs to know the difference between demands and requests. If he demands and thinks that he is just requesting, players will soon go deaf.

Mr. Sundar said that it is the first time that AICF arranged back-to-back tournaments. Will the other International tournament organizers in India accept this? Anyone can check the previous Indian tournament calendars.

Perhaps this is the first time Mr. Sundar is organizing an International event after he became Secretary. That is why he is so emotional about that. Thanks to Mr.Sundar for giving the list of tournaments he organized.

Time is up – Mr. Sundar is in trouble

This is my first game of Chess off the board. It’s quite interesting. But I don’t want to continue it for too long. I’m tired of hearing lies and accusations. So there will be a change in the venue for the next move. I have handed over to my dad, who made the following press release to the local media in India.


23rd October, 2009

I openly challenge Mr. D.V. Sundar, Secretary, All India Chess Federation,  to participate in a debate in front of the print and electronic media regarding the protest made by chess grandmaster Koneru Humpy.

Mr. Sundar is most welcome to participate if he thinks he is right.

I cordially invite all the print and electronic media.

Time: 11:00 am
Date: Sunday, 25th October, 2009
Venue: Andhra Pradesh Olympic Bhavan, Hyderabad.

Mr. Koneru Ashok
Dronacharya Awardee
Father-cum-trainer of GM Koneru Humpy

Now the venue is Hyderabad. Let’s see if Mr.Sundar has the nerve to continue the game.

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