Harikrishna and Harika bag a silver each in the 13 Asian Continental Blitz chess championship

It was a splendid silver-lining from the Hyderabad duo of Super GM Pentyala Harikrishna and GM Dronavalli Harika, who bagged a silver each in the just-concluded 13 Asian Continental Blitz chess championship in Sharjah.

Chinese player Yu Yangyi emerged champion while Harikrishna, who was leading until the eighth round, finished second because of his loss to Vietnam player Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son in the eighth round.

However, Harikrishna informed The Hindu that his win against Indian teammate GM Vidit Gujarati in the next round helped him finish second.

For someone who featured in four World Cups in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2011 with a third-round appearance in the knock-out format being his best performance, this BPCL officer believes that it is high time he comes up with a special performance in the 14 or 12 player Grand Prix Series.

“Yes, this result after being rated (ELO 2726) the next best player from India after five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand (ELO 2785) is something special. But for that loss in the eighth round, the result would have been better,” Hari said from Sharjah.

“Well, this is not the end of it all. The journey, step by step, has to go on to reach the pinnacle and the World Blitz championship in June this year should be another major test for my preparations,” he said.

For her part, Harika (ELO 2507) is pleased with her silver medal. “Playing Blitz is far more difficult for the simple reason that the reaction time is very quick. It is nevertheless exciting,” says the 23-year-old GM from Hyderabad, who is now ranked World no. 14.

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