Koneru Humpy receives BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award

by Shahid Ahmed
3/13/2021 – On 8 February 2021, BBC revealed the nominees for Indian Sportswoman of the Year award. Koneru Humpy was one of them along with Manu Bhaker, Dutee Chand, Vinesh Phogat and Rani. It was announced that the winner would be decided by public vote with the results scheduled to be presented on 8 March, on International Women’s Day. Women's World Rapid champion Koneru Humpy won the award. | Photo: BBC News Press Team

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Public votes for Humpy

Reigning Women’s World Rapid champion and current world number 3 among women, Koneru Humpy, was declared BBC Indian Sportswoman on Monday. She won the award based on a public vote. The other nominees in this category were Manu Bhaker, Dutee Chand, Vinesh Phogat and Rani.

Humpy said after winning the award:

I couldn’t believe myself. This award is something that is not only precious to me but also to whole chess fraternity. Being an indoor sport, it never got the recognition, but in India cricket and tennis are more popular comparatively. This will definitely motivate a lot of young kids in our country to take up the game as a profession. I thank everyone for the support. Thanks a lot.

Her husband Dasari Anvesh declared:

Thank you all. I think it is indeed a great pleasure, and it is a very happy moment for all the family members. It is really a great recognition of the hard work she has done almost for the last 25 years. Thanks a lot to the BBC and also to all the citizens — sports lovers who have voted for her in all these days. Thanks a lot.

Humpy Koneru

Humpy with her husband Anvesh and daughter Ahana | Photo: The Deccan Chronicle

After giving birth to baby Ahana, Humpy took a lengthy break from competitive chess. Her comeback was stunning, as she continued to win women’s events until regaining her spot as one of the top woman player in the world. She said:

Definitely it was really a tough situation for me. After one year, I started winning back-to-back tournaments, Grand Prix events and also the Women's World Rapid championship. I always think that you should never stop your career just because of getting married or after giving birth to a child. Everything should be a part of life. You should try to fulfil every dream in your career.

Humpy’s message to all the young girls:

I think the first important thing is not to think about the result and just enjoy the game. Once they take up something, it should not (necessarily) be chess, whatever they are interested in, they should never leave it. They should try to make it till the end. Try to give their best 100%. Always believe in yourself. I think no one is born with a golden spoon, in my opinion. You need to earn it, you need to earn your respect, you need to do the hard work and whatever you deserve. So just keep working hard and believe in yourself. Be confident and always look up to the goals.

The Indian star thanked everyone for their support.

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Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.

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