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Harika Dronavali: I was so tensed that I was winning
IMG 5112Harika Dronavali won the Quarterfinals match against Meri Arabidze in regular games and earned an extra rest day. She spoke to FIDE Press Officer shortly after the match.

Anastasia Karlovich: Dear chess friends, welcome to the press center. We have Harika Dronavali with us. Harika has just won her match against Georgian player Meri Arabidze. It was very tense and difficult match especially the second game. Please tell us what happened during today’s game.

Harika Dronavali: In the beginning my opponent started to exchange a lot of pieces. My feeling was that she wanted to make a draw somehow. I realized her intention and at some point Meri even offered a draw. But to my mind I had a pleasant ending; I just needed to put more pressure. I started pushing and pushing. To my mind it could have been still a draw, if she played normally.

She just had one weakness and I kept playing on that. I just scared her actually that something was there. But there was nothing dangerous there I think. Slowly she started playing bad moves and I had a clearly winning rook ending.

- What was the moment when you were sure it’s winning?

- After she played Kg7 at some point I played Rg5. After that move I was sure I was winning. When I got a pawn up and a-pawn was also falling, I just had to take it. But I was so tensed that I was winning, I was thinking ok, I will make one-two moves and I will take it then. Suddenly I realized that it has got really bad. There was possibility to get into Vancura position. It could have been a draw even. Then I thought if I don’t win this position, I will not be able to play tomorrow. I just kept playing and playing. Plus she was under severe time trouble. So I managed to get a win.

- It was really a tense match. After Re5, she could have taken on a5 and play the King, something like this. Did you see this move? Instead she took her rook back.

- I am sorry now I just can’t understand what you are saying at all. It was such a long game. I even don’t remember what I played, I just kept playing. I can’t even analyze my own game now.

- Ok, you are at least happy that you went through.

- Yes, I am happy that I will not play another tie breaks and I will get some rest before semifinals. I will try my best in future games.

- Thank you very much, Harika, and have a good rest.

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