Harika: 'Want to be the world champion'

Dronavalli Harika has been having an incredible year. In the recently concluded Isle of Man tournament, Harika defeated compatriot Koneru Humpy, World No. 3, and World No. 1 Hou Yifan. Her next goal is to be the world champion.

dronavalli harika chess

Dronavalli Harika looks forward to the World Chess Championship in February.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Grand Master (GM) Dronavalli Harika, who's among the top five chess players in the world for the second time, believes that she's on her way to become number one.

Harika, 25, is pleased with her consistency this year. This year, she defeated English GM Nigel Short and drew with 23-year-old GM Wesley Barbaso So of Phillipines. In the recently concluded Isle of Man tournament, Harika defeated compatriot Koneru Humpy, World No. 3, and World No. 1 Hou Yifan.

She's looking forward to the World Chess Championship in February.

“I am not preparing specifically for it. I am only constantly working on improving my overall game and I believe one day or other, I will be able to win the title,” says Harika.

She will be playing in Capd'agde Rapid tournament from October 21 to 29 and the Women’s Grand Prix from November 18 to December 2 and the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in December. “It will be very tiring to go home hence I preferred to stay in Holland with my friends and prepare for the tournaments”.

Asked about her strengths and concerns, Harika quipps: “It is better if they are left as secrets for the moment.”

Apart from earning more ELO ratings, Harika wants to be the women's world champion. "That is what I am chasing and really working hard to realize that ultimate drea."

The former World Youth champion also wants to meet her favourite player -- Vladimir Kramnik -- to discuss the game with him.

Chasing her dream, she's away from friends, family, birthdays and weddings. “I miss social life. But that's the price I pay to be what I am."

"As far as achievements are concerned," she says pensively, "I don’t regret much but I do feel that I wasted many crucial years and that I could have done even better."

She thanks the Indian Oil Corporation for its support. "Any additional financial support will be always of a great help," she adds.

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