Born in the Guntur district of the Southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in 1991, Harika Dronavalli had tremendous success from an early age. She won the silver medal at the World Youth Girl’s U10 Championships in 2000. Harika followed this up with another silver medal in the U12 section in 2001. Her junior successes are too many to name, but one of the most eye-catching was capturing gold at the Asian Girl’s U18 games in 2002 as an 11-year-old. In fact, she’s won a whopping 16 medals at national level tournaments throughout her career.
Harika is a regular participant in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series, and won the 2016 Chengdu event. She’s also had consistent success at the Women’s World Championship knockout events, winning the bronze medal three times (2012, 2015, 2017).
Her exploits have made her a star in her country, as she was named Chess Player of the Year in The Times of India in 2016 and 2017. She was also featured in Verve Magazine’s top 40 popular women sportspersons of 2017.