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Harika Dronavalli: “It’s fun to play without any kind of tension”

An Indian chess grandmaster, she gradually came to prominence winning the World Youth Chess Championship in the Girls’ Under-14 and Under-18 categories. This lady became the second Indian woman (after Koneru Humpy) to achieve the title of Grandmaster.

- Is it difficult to switch yourself from classic to rapid chess?

- No, we should be experienced in all kind of chess games. Of course, it’s better for me that I had not participated in the previous tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk last week. I’m lucky to have a chance to play here as we don’t have many rapid and blitz tournaments in my country. This time control system is also okay for me.


- Which game was the most interesting for you at this tournament?

- It’s tough to say, I didn’t played any great chess so far, but there was one funny moment. When I was playing against Anna Muzychuk, we both missed mate in one move in the middle game. Two grandmasters didn’t even realize this!

Dronavalli – Muzychuk, 1/2:1/2

партия позиция

Black played 20…Bd8 and Harika missed her chance 21.Qe8#

- What do you prefer more – classic chess or tournaments with short time control?

- Definitely, classic chess have more importance for me, but I like rapid and blitz chess too. I wish I get more involved at tournaments like this to get more experience. First of all, it gives us very important rating points and prize finds are quite good. On the other hand, it is less work to prepare to rapid than classic chess. It’s fun to play without any kind of tension, which is usual for the world championships with classic control. I wish we have more tournaments like this!

- Chess players are people with good memory. Some of them can remember all the games, which they had played in the past. What about you?

- Well, I used to have very good memory. Now it is not so good as some years before, but still it’s okay. Surely, I can remember 6 out of 10 games! Can’t say that it helps me a lot in usual life, for example I cannot remember all the birthdays of my friends, but definitely, the brain becomes more exercised.


- What is the story of your success? Who played the biggest role in your chess career?

- My dad has put me into chess in my childhood, then I’ve started to achieve more and more titles, it slowly became a part of my life. Now it’s hard to imagine me without chess. I can say more: looses or tough situations in chess help me to be stronger in usual life, it helps me to train the character and will. My grandma still supports me during the most difficult tournaments; she and my parents, coach and friends were those people who helped me to become a person who I am today. I’m thankful to many people for my current success and that would be fair to thank them all at the day if I become a world champion.