Other Sports

Harikrishna bemoans lack of quality opposition

In 2001 reigning World champion Viswanathan Anand had predicted that P. Harikrishna was one of the potential candidates to become the ‘King of 64 squares'.

But, exactly a decade later GM Harikrishna is yet to fulfil that prophecy. “It is a very difficult task and my focus is now only to break into the Elo 2700-plus category,” he said after winning the Tata Steel Corus Group ‘B' championship a few days ago.

“We lack the opportunities to compete against leading Grandmasters, especially in India. This is a major handicap for all senior players in India. And, it is a very expensive proposition to keep playing on the European circuit,” the 25-year-old told The Hindu on Wednesday.

“We should play in more and more round-robin tournaments where everyone plays for a win. That helps to take your game to a new level,” the BPCL officer said.

Excellent system

“I feel the system in India is excellent in grooming young talent till the junior grade. But, once you are in the transition phase from junior to senior, it becomes difficult,” he said

“Unfortunately, even across Asia not many round-robin events are held featuring leading GMs,” he said.

“And, the problem for players like me is that when we plan on a three-event tour of Europe and fare badly even in one event, we lose valuable points.

“My focus now is not on the World title and I have set no time frame for that. I wish to take my career event-by-event,” said Harikrishna.

“I feel the win at the Corus event is more important than the Asian championship which I won last year, given the intensity and quality of the competition. It should help me in achieving my first objective of breaking into the Elo 2700-plus category.”

Harikrishna, whose rating now is Elo 2665, is expected to pick up 13 points from the Corus win and another six from the Bundesliga.

What next? “I will be leaving for France to play in the Capelle la Grande tournament before joining my German club team Eppingen,” says Harikrishna.

Training in Spain

The 2004 World junior champion will be joining his mentor and coach GM Elizbar Ubilava for a two-week training camp in Spain. “He analyses my games and should be ready with moves in all the areas where I have to focus more,” he said.

“I would love to have a base in any European City, not necessarily Spain, to facilitate greater frequency of taking part in tournaments there. This should eliminate the huge travelling too,” Harikrishna said.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 29, 2022 1:22:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/harikrishna-bemoans-lack-of-quality-opposition/article2872400.ece