Monday, July 25, 2011

Dronavalli Harika Earns GM Title


After GM title, Harika sets eyes on World Championship
PTI | Jul 25, 2011, 09.26PM IST

HYDERABAD: After becoming only the second woman chess player from India to achieve the Grandmaster title, Dronavalli Harika has now set her eyes on winning the World Championship.

Harika, who drew with Anna Zatonskih of the United States in the Women's Grandmasters tournament in China to earn a chess Grandmaster title on Saturday, told reporters after returning from China that she wants to achieve a lot more in her career now.

"This is one of my happiest memories in my chess career. It is also like telling me that I have to concentrate more now and have to try and achieve a lot more. So I am looking forward to practice well and do much better than this," Harika said.

"Whatever I will do, I will look forward to win a World Championship. I will work harder from now on to achieve my goal one day. I can try to improve my yellow rating," she added.

Insisting that her journey to winning the GM title was not easy, Harika said she would like to look ahead rather than brooding over the past.

"It is hard. There are hurdles and there will be some hurdles in anything you do in life. But I am happy and why to think about all the hurdles I had," the 20-year-old said.

Asked if she would advice youngsters to opt chess as a career option as the game does not enjoy much limelight like cricket, Harika said that young boys and girls should choose a career that excites them.

"I agree that compared to cricket, badminton, there is less publicity in chess but I think it is one of the famous indoor sports. When I started playing chess, I knew how it is. I see the difference now. Many people say that it is an intelligent sport.

"Right now, it is very good. I don't say you can make career in chess, but whatever you do in life, you just have to enjoy it," Harika said, adding that chess is a part of her life and she cannot think of her life without the game.

Fellow-Andhraite Koneru Humpy is the only other Indian woman who has achieved the GM title and Harika feels that it is just a coincidence that her compatriot is also from the same state.

"May be, it is a coincidence that we are from Andhra Pradesh. But there are many players from other states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Delhi. There are many top players from other states as well," she said.

Stating that she considered both the GM title and Arjuna award equally important, Harika said, "From chess point of view, GM title is always special. But I know, how important Arjuna award is. There is more recognition after I got Arjuna award. I can see that. So, both are special for me."

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