"I am a positional player"

Published : Dec 01, 2001 00:00 IST


BORN on January 12, 1991 at Guntur to Swarna and Dronavalli Ramesh, Harika is a student at Sri Venkateswara Balakuteer School, Guntur. Her father is an engineer who represented Bangalore University in the inter-varsity chess championship in 1980. Harika frankly admits that she hardly goes to school but the management is very supportive of her chess career. The school provides her leave whenever there is a necessity and she does not even have to sit for any examinations. A private tutor comes to her home and teaches her Mathematics, English and Science.

Harika has already won the girls' National under-9 and under-12 rapid chess championships. Last year, when she won the World under-10 girls' silver, she was accompanied by both parents and her coach. This time, she was accompanied only by her coach and mother who cooked all their meals. Excerpts from an interview.

Question: What were your expectations in the World girls' under-12 after winning the silver in the girls' under-10 last year?

Answer: I expected to win the gold medal.How did you get interested in chess?

I have an elder sister. My parents wanted her to take to chess. By watching her play I got interested in the game.

We have not heard about your sister. Has she not made it to the top like you?

No. She was Andhra State under-12 champion once. But chess requires hard work and she is not willing to do that. She likes to enjoy!

How do you train for chess?

For the last two years N. V. S. Ramaraju has been my coach. Apart from coaching I also have training games with J. Malleswararao of Vijayawada. They are generally 'Best of 10' games.

What time limit do you use in such games?

About 1.5-2 hours for each player for each game.

How do you keep yourself physically fit?

I go to a gym and work out for about 20 minutes every day.

Do you go for jogging?No, I don't.Do you play any other game?Only carrom.Who are your idols?Anand and Judit Polgar.

You have added the Sicilian Pelikan to your opening repertoire as black. Any other change?

I played the Caro-Kann during the National women's 'B' and qualified for the 'A'.

You played in the National men's 'B' at Nagpur this year. You beat Vijayalakshmi there! Have you won against other top players?

Except Swati Ghate and Aarthie Ramaswamy I have beaten all the other leading women players of the country. But I have not won against any well-known men player so far.

What are your hobbies?

I do some drawing and watch TV. I have won prizes in Creative Art competitions at the State level. However, after I started playing chess seriously, I have not done any drawing.

Are you an attacking player?No, I am a positional player.Which chess books do you like best?The Best Games of Alekhine.

Have you studied all three volumes of Alekhine's Best Games?

I do not go through the chess books myself. My coach goes through the books and tells me.

How many hours a day do you spend on chess?About seven to eight hours.What is your ambition?

My immediate aim is to become a Woman International Master.

Then?One at a time. Step by step.Which is your next tournament?I don't know. Maybe the National women's 'A'!

We wish you good luck in your quest for gold next time.

Thank you.

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