Harika Dronavalli has won a Bronze medal for India at the World Chess Championship held in Tehran. She contested 64 top women chess players in the world in Tehran but went down in the semi-final tie-breaker, but not before a valiant effort. The 26-year-old Indian grandmaster put up a tough fight in the semi-finals against China’s Tan Zhongyi, Harika made a wrong move and had to settle for the bronze.
Chess is an underrated sport which requires not only brain power but also physical fitness, training and dedication. But this world class chess player came back home to Hyderabad to a quiet reception from her parents and no cheers from the rest of the country. She tweeted later that the loss was depressing since she was eyeing the gold, but it can’t be denied that she played exceedingly well and this was her third bronze win.
The World Chess Championship started on 11 February and ended on 5 March 2017. Wearing the hijab is compulsory for female participants. Some players had initially indicated a degree of awkwardness and discomfort with the physical aspects of the headscarf but declared the World Championship itself to be more important and showed their respect towards the culture and dress code of the country.
Harika achieved the title Grandmaster (GM) in 2011. She was honoured with the Prestigious Arjuna Award for the Year 2007-08 by Government of India. In 2016 she won the FIDE (world chess federation) Women’s Grand Prix at Chengdu, China and rose up from World No.11 to World No. 5 in FIDE Women’s ranking. She finished the FIDE set of Women’s Grand Prix’s in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia in December with an overall 5th position. She has beaten many greats in the sport like Hou Yifan, Women’s World No.1. She has also won the World Juniors in 2008 as well as the Commonwealth women’s title in 2010 and the World Online Blitz Championship in 2015.
Her dogged determination and fighting spirit have won the hearts of millions of chess fans all around the world and her success is well received by them.
The Logical Indian congratulates Harika on her win and hopes to see many more such brilliant performances in future.