GM Dronavalli Harika: Chess Olympiad gold a good sign for India

The three-time bronze medallist at the women’s world championships said India’s performance at the Olympiad was the result of teamwork.

Dronavalli Harika, a member of the Indian team that was declared the joint winner of the Chess Olympiad that ended on August 30, believes the historic triumph is a great sign for the future of Indian chess.

Dronavalli Harika, a member of the Indian team that was declared the joint winner of the Chess Olympiad that ended on August 30, believes the historic triumph is a great sign for the future of Indian chess.

“I am sure this win will mean a lot to our players, especially the young talent. They can have the confidence of beating the best in the business after our performance,” the 29-year-old grandmaster (GM) told Sportstar on Monday.

“It is a very special moment for sure because the Olympiad medal is something which I have always dreamt of and being joint winners is something unforgettable,” the Hyderabad player said.

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The three-time bronze medallist at the women’s world championships said India’s performance at the Olympiad was the result of teamwork.

“Everyone chipped in one round or the other from the start to finish. So, it would be unfair to single out any one particular player. All of us gave our best..

“Yes, when we outwitted China in the pool match, we got the feel and the positive vibes that we can eye something special in this Olympiad,” Harika said.

“Definitely, the preparations have been different and also the strategies. So many factors had to be taken into consideration including minor issues like handling the mouse at the computer with ease,” she said. “But I must tell you it is really tiring playing on a computer screen. I am just waiting for the competitions on the board instead.”

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“It was unfortunate that the issue in the final was decided on a technical issue because of the Internet failure disrupting three boards. But, again, we played like champions right through,” she said.

On being with Koneru Humpy in the winning team, Harika said having played earlier together in the Olympiads, it was nothing new. But being members of a winning team together is something truly special, she said.

“Well, right now I am not sure about the FIDE calendar because of the pandemic. But I would love to take a brief break from the game before being back,” the champion performer concluded.

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