Wanted to win gold, says World Chess Championships bronze medallist Harika Dronavalli

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Wanted to win gold, says World Chess Championships bronze medallist Harika Dronavalli

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SportsCafe Desk

03/03/2017

Harika Dronavalli, who won bronze at the World Chess Championships last month in Tehran, has said that although it was one of her best performances, she wanted to win gold. Dronavalli also thanked veteran Indian player Viswanathan Anand for tweeting his support after her win in Tehran. 

Before the tournament, Dronavalli had won two bronze medals at the World Chess Championships. at Khanty-Mansysk and Sochi respectively. 

"I wanted to win Gold after two back-to-back Bronze medals," Dronavalli told News18.com in an exclusive interview. 

"This performance was much better than the previous two performances. A sportsperson makes mistakes and learns from those quickly. I did the same way. Last two championships gave me lots of learning and I applied those in the tournament. I am content with my show.

"Gold is always my target. I had aimed for gold medal in 2012, but ended up winning a bronze. It was one of my best performances. The best one wins in the last and the best one won the Gold. I will keep doing hard work and I am sure of winning a Gold someday."

However, it wasn't to be. Dronavalli could only manage a bronze medal after her defeat to Chinese Grandmaster Tan Zhongyi in the semi-final. After both players managed 4 points a piece, a tie-breaker was required to pick a winner. In Armageddon (tie-breaker), the player with white is given 5 minutes to win the game against the player with black, who has 4 minutes. The player playing with black can play out a draw to advance into the next round.

"Armageddon was the turning point. I failed to win the toss and my opponent opted for Black. There were several up and downs in the game. At one juncture, I was almost there and suddenly out. I learnt a lot this time. I will try my best to convert my bronze into other colour (silver or gold)," Harika said.

"The match was nothing less than a roller coaster ride. I fought back and I won. I won my first rapid-fire game pretty quickly and then I was too close to the draw. I guess I lost the momentum after that. I was close to an equal but I had less time and I made the error and lost the game."

Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand praised the 26-year-old for her efforts and it couldn't have pleased the Guntur-born girl anymore.

"He is a senior and inspiration for all of us. That's so nice of him that he was tweeting and encouraging me. He understands the game well and knows how to handle any situation. I would certainly meet him and speak on my performance," Dronavalli said.

Having won three medals at the World Championships, Dronavalli insists that she is trying to improve her rating in the FIDE rankings even more. Currently, she has a FIDE rating of 2539 which is just four short of peak rating of 2543 that she achieved in November 2016

"My main aim is to improve my game. I want to give my best in the upcoming tournaments and improve my rating," Harika said.

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