Hyderabad: Playing from Hyderabad, 29-year-old Dronavalli Harika was part of the Indian team that made history in the online Chess Olympiad. India and Russia shared the honours in a dramatic fashion.
“I’m extremely happy that I was part of the winning team that helped India to win Olympiad gold, although it was an online tournament. But we worked hard to earn the gold. We are extremely satisfied and happy,’’ said Harika, the three-time world bronze medallist, while talking to N Jagannath Das
On online being different from the board game
We are used to playing on ‘boards’ but playing online chess is much more tiring. We had to think and play simultaneously. Sometimes it was strenuous and it was not comfortable to the eyes. We had to practice because we have to get used to it.
On different strategies
We had different opponents but most important we were all experienced players. That helped us to play consistently in the tournament.
On Indian chess being on a high
It was easily one of the best moments as it was a team medal. This will always remain at the top of my medals lists as we won gold for India.
On the tournament and the turning point
The turning point was when we beat China in the preliminary stages. On my performance I was steady even though I had to play with black eight or nine times. It is team’s effort and the people who were resting also helped us.
On response to online chess
It is a remarkable performance as India’s stock rose high in world chess. Thanks to the pandemic, many chess enthusiasts watched our matches. In the Covid-19 times, this is one of the positive things to happen.
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