Harika Dronavalli secured a bronze medal in the recently concluded Women’s World Chess Champion after an epic battle against the eventual tournament winner, Tan Zhongyi of China. Harika spoke exclusively to Hindustan Times, about her experience in the 2017 World Championship in Tehran. Highlights of her interaction below.
# My aim is to become world No. 1 and world Champion: Harika
# The 2017 edition gave me a special way of looking into my chess: Harika
# I want to be remembered as the bess chess player: Harika
# I practised wearing scarf before plying the World Championship in Tehran: Harika
# Chess is not a game that everybody understands immediately. More effort needed to popularise it: Harika
# Suryashekhar Ganguly helped me a lot. he is like a brother to me: Harika
# I don’t belive IQ level has to be high to be a chess player: Harika
# My grandmom has been a pillar of support, I wish everybody has a grandmom like her : Harika
# One day I will become world champion: Harika
#The 2017 World Championship was dramatic. I fought everyday, I had new challenge new everyday: Harika
After losing the first game to Tan, Harika bounced back in epic style as she defeated the Chinese player in a 162-move marathon encounter. With the game heading into the tie-breaker event, both players put in a tough fight and the rapid as well blitz games were drawn.
In the sudden-death Armageddon, Harika was playing with white and after 99 moves, she ran out of time to lose. This is the third time that she has secured the bronze medal in the world championships, the previous being in 2012 and 2015.
Despite the heartbreaking loss in the semi-final, Harika was happy with her performance. “Last two championships gave me lots of learning and I applied those in the tournament. I am content with my show,” she said.
Harika showed tremendous fight in the entire tournament as she progressed in each round thanks to the tie-breakers. Her performances earned her the nickname “The Tie-break Queen”.
The Indian Grand Master has had a consistent last couple of seasons. She climbed to a career-high No.5 in 2016 and she won the gold medal in the FIDE World Grand Prix tournament in Chengdu.