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Chess | Harikrishna readying for Sochi World Cup

Sporting couple: P. Harikrishna is using the lockdown period to train with wife Nadezda Stojanovic.  

For someone known for making the best moves against the toughest opponents on the 64 squares, GM P. Harikrishna is enjoying being ‘cornered’ by a new member in his family — three-month-old daughter Maya.

“It has been a fabulous time no doubt. Obviously, chess took a back seat for the last few months as we (he and wife, former Serbian chess player Nadezda Stojanovic) are busy taking care of our new family member,” Harikrishna said in a chat with The Hindu from Prague, his second home now.

“The last event I competed was the Tata Steel and I was happy with my performance having drawn my games against the likes of Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana. So essentially, my focus will be the next World Cup scheduled in Sochi (Russia) this July,” said the former World junior champion. “As things stand, it is still on and hope it remains so,” he added.

“It is not that I was completely away from the sport because of family commitments but real, serious practice will begin very soon as like anyone I have to be ready as and when the competitive circuit begins hopefully with the pandemic fading away,” the 35-year-old said.

“Life has been really tough as there is complete lockdown again here (Prague). But, again inevitable. There are positives too like being with the family. Luckily, since Nadezda is a chess player it is handy though I prefer to have on-board training with my seconds, especially ahead of the World Cup,” he said.

“There are more benefits training and competing on the boards,” he said.

Hari, who says he will be playing in his eighth World Cup with two previous best performances being making it to the last 32 stage, believes that the pandemic is a real test of character for everyone.

“Whoever stays mentally tough, understands the ground reality better and continues to be focussed on what he has to do will play better chess,” Hari concluded.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 12:00:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/chess-harikrishna-readying-for-sochi-world-cup/article34537464.ece

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