Q & A with GM Harika
Welcome to the Q&A show at 8cross8, India’s chess online store. I am Niranjan and this series is an attempt to have lively conversations about life on & off the chess board!
Today, we have Dronavalli Harika, Arjuna Awardee and three-time world women bronze medalist with us today. Apart from being a chess champion, she is an avid traveler, occasional reader and a lover of spicy Indian food! Let’s start our conversation with Harika!
Niranjan: Let’s make a move with a question. Describe your chess self in three words!
Harika: Dreamer, Believer and Achiever.
N: How are your chess pieces doing?
H: Everything is in the right place 🙂
N: Now, let’s talk about your recent events. Can you sum up your last event?
H: My last event was World team championship. I think this is the best result as a team, not in the sense of ranking, but the direct encounter results with the top ranked teams.
N: When and how did you start chess?
H: My father taught me chess and I vaguely remember that we used to see games from a newspaper column. Later on due to family friends, i started playing tournaments just for fun and my results didn’t let me stop 🙂
N: Is there a chess player you wish to play? (Alive or dead)
H: Kramnik Vladimir
N: Is there a tournament you wish never ended?
H: Asian Indoor games 2007 as it has been brilliant in every way.
N: How have awards impacted your life?
H: Awards just motivate and encourage me to work harder.
N: A chess player you wish were alive:
A- Bobby Fischer
N: A short game you can never forget:
H: Rene Letelier Martner vs Fischer, 1960
Letelier Martner,Rene – Fischer,Robert James [E70]
Leipzig ol (Men) qual-D Leipzig (8), 24.10.1960
N: Which is your next event?
H – Abu Dhabi International Open
N: Do you have plans of training players in the future?
H– Definitely not in the near future. But when my playing career comes to an end, I will certainly open an academy and try to help players to reach their goals.
N: How important is the dress code for chess players in today’s world?
H- Well, I think it is not very important but, the basic dress code which we have now is fine.
N: What are some of your chess habits?
H- One of my habits is to follow new chess books and games.
N: What is your way of handling losses during an event?
H- To write down my thoughts and to motivate myself to start fresh again.
N: How do you celebrate your wins?
H: I just share my happiness with family and friends. I also pamper myself for a couple of days.
N: Favorite chess opening:
N: What are some of the chess accessories you own?
H: Not much. I just have a checks shirt and a chess pieces bed sheet.
N: A chess book you would recommend to a beginner?
H – My system by Nimzowitsch
N: Three favorite non-chess books excludingThe secret & The Chimp Paradox
H: Open by Andre Agassi, A shot at history by Abhinav Bindra and Tinkles
N: Favorite time control?
H- Blitz, 3+2
N: Favorite chess quote:
H– I am convinced, the way one plays chess always reflects the player’s personality. If something defines his character, then it will also define his way of playing. – Vladimir Kramnik
N: Have you had a tragicomedy in an endgame recently?
H – I cannot recollect one, but I feel the Knight vs Bishop ending which I couldn’t convert smoothly is bit of a tragicomedy. (classical game against Tan Zhong Yi in world championship semifinals)
N: What is your secret behind staying happy most of the time?
H – I just try to stay positive as much as I can.
N: If Panda were a chess piece, how would it move?
H- It would stay at one place and wouldn’t move at all 🙂
N: What would be the title of your autobiography if you ever wrote one?
H- Well, I don’t know. Maybe, ‘The belief of my life’.
N: That was a lot of chit-chat! There is a special addition to the interview. Let’s get to the board now
N: What is so special about this position?
H- Every move is forced until mate.
H- Kxe1, h3, h8N, takes c5 pawn and then c4 pawn and Na5
Can you win with white? ☺
N: Can you elaborate on how you decided on a move in this position?
H– I felt all my other pieces are in perfect squares and black can’t do much than waiting, so I got time to regroup my knight to a better square.
Harika,Dronavalli (2528) – Hou Yifan (2649) [A10]
chess.com IoM Masters Douglas ENG (7.13), 07.10.2016
And I hope it was fun and worth your time!