In the last article - “A Spectacle”, we all saw how an impossible task was made possible with sheer determination. However, this was not the only matter of pride that India celebrated. The hard work of the organizers was made fruitful by the Indian team of players.
They also got to know only 4 months before that the tournament was coming to their homeland and such an opportunity is not one to be missed so the players geared up for the olympiad and how!
The Indian team won two historic bronze medals and 7 Indian Players got board prizes - 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze Medals for their excellent scores at the Olympiad. And as if this much was not enough, India was also awarded the Gaprindashvili cup for the best-combined score!
What a feeling! Isn’t it?
There were many breathtaking performances witnessed at the Olympiad but the one that left people stunned was by the Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli.
Harika currently stands 11th in the women’s world ranking list. Being conferred the “Padma Shri” award by the Indian Government, she surely has numerous achievements on her list. What was unique about this olympiad was that when it was announced that it will be hosted by India, Harika was already a couple of months pregnant. She consulted her doctor and concluded that if she were physically fit, she could play. This was enough for Harika to set her mind on winning the olympiad medal at any cost. Since that day, her only focus was chess and winning the medal. No baby shower, no parties, no celebrations. Her husband and her whole family did not question her twice about her decision. Every step that she took was dedicated towards winning and she proved what a champion she is. She played seven games for her team out of eleven and remained unbeaten! Her team was leading throughout and won the bronze medal at the end which is a historic finish.
In an interview with Chessbase India, she proudly says that the medal is her baby’s first medal! Her husband and her grandma were with her, cheering and taking care of her throughout the tournament & that she was just a week away from delivering her child. She proves to be an inspiration for every human being who wants to follow their passion. Harika has truly set an example for the world and even if we have 1% determination compared to hers, we can achieve some of the greatest deals in life. Just imagine the power her baby must have gotten!
Other than Harika, there’s one youngster, Gukesh D. who got people crazy with his legendary performance. He scored a whooping 8.5/9, making people wonder if he has entered the “GOD” mode.
Unfortunately, in the next round, which was very crucial for the team to win, Gukesh suffered a loss in quite a good position. What charmed me was when they won the bronze medal, he said in an interview that his one moment of madness was the difference between his team winning a gold and a bronze medal. And that is how you own it like a champion! Taking responsibility even when you know you’ve already been doing wonders means a lot.
These stand-out moments are what make history and we love bringing these to you.
Hoping that you are learning from each one of these, there are more on the way! Stay tuned.