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Chess is a brainy game, requiring high levels of intelligence
and focus. But on the downside it is perceived as a game loved by
boring nerds. In India, especially, the bespectacled and calm
Chess is a brainy game, requiring high levels of intelligence and focus. But on the downside it is perceived as a game loved by boring nerds. In India, especially, the bespectacled and calm Viswanathan Anand happened to match the stereotype of the chess geek. A chess player like Harika Dronavalli is still a welcome change.
Intelligent, cheerful, well-dressed and social media-savvy, Harika comes across as somebody who is serious about her career, but also knows how to have fun.
This 26-year-old Arjuna awardee became a Grandmaster in 2011. In 2017, February she won the bronze medal in the World Chess Championship in Tehran which is her third bronze at the World Championships.
A follower of Hungarys legendary Judit Polgar, Harika started playing the game in her childhood. When she was around seven, she happened to attend chess classes. After that, she participated in under-9 national championship and won a medal. What began as fun, soon converted into a passion.
She is mostly accompanied by her grandmother for important tournaments. She also travels along with other members of the Indian team. But mostly she has been travelling herself.
Harika is on a break currently. Her next contest will be in Abu Dhabi. She continues to practice five to six hours every day and uses the rest of the time to spend quality time with friends and family.
Having beaten current womens world number one Hou Yifan, and drawn against mens world number two Wesley So, Harika is in good form currently.
Her progress and performances are followed by Viswanathan Anand who is her mentor. Harikas idols Judith Polgar and Vladimir Kramnik admire her game. So it looks like this champion will continue to make all the right moves on the black and white board.