Born: March 31, 1987 | Federation: India | Rating: 2558
Humpy Koneru became the hope of her country's chess team at a very young age. Koneru won three gold medals at the World Youth Chess Championship: in 1997 (U10 girls' division), 1998 (U12 girls) and 2000 (U14 girls). In 1999, at the Asian Youth Chess Championship she won the U12 section, competing with the boys. In 2001 Koneru won the World Junior Girls Championship. In the following years championship, she shared the lead with Zhao Xue, but got second place on a tiebreak.
In 2007, her rating surpassed Susan Polgar's and she became the second female chess player in history to break the 2600 mark, after Judit, Susan's younger sister. Between 2002 and 2008, Humpy held the record of the youngest female grandmaster – a title that she won at the age of 15 (15 years, 1 month and 27 days, to be exact) beating Judit Polgar by three months, although later Hou Yifan beat this record.
Koneru's parents supported her passion for chess from a young age, even her name, "Humpy" is derived from "champion". In 2001, the Indian player won the world junior championship and in 2004 she became the sensation of the world women's championship, where she reached the semi-final. Four years later, Humpy qualified for the semi-final of the world championship once again.
In 2009, she shared the 1st-4th places with Alexander Areshchenko, Magesh Panchanathan and Evgenij Miroshnichenko in the Mumbai Mayor Cup. In 2011, Humpy won the FIDE Grand Prix series and qualified for a match against Hou Yifan, but the match in Tirana was a defeat for the second most highly-rated woman.
The 2011-2012 FIDE Grand Prix series brought second place to the vice-champion. Humpy Koneru was very successful in the 2013-2014 FIDE Grand Prix series. She won the first two stages, but was then overtaken by Hou Yifan.
At the 2015 world championship in Sochi, Koneru made it to the quarterfinals, where she was defeated by the future champion Mariya Muzychuk in the tie-break. Koneru also finished as runner-up in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix series in 2015-16.
Humpy Koneru holds the prestigious awards in her homeland. In 2003 she was awarded the Arjuna Award, which is given to winners of sporting competitions by the Indian Ministry of Sport. In 2007, she was awarded the Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India) for her contributions in sports.