Mahindra Scorpio TOISA: Harika Dronavalli is Chess Player of the Year once more

February 27, 2018

ChessHarika Dronavalli


MUMBAI: Grand Master Harika Dronavalli has been named Chess Player of the Year for the second year in a row, winning the top prize in her category at the third Mahindra Scorpio Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA) powered by All-Out on Monday.

This is Harika’s third TOISA win, after she was voted Chess Player of the Year by the jury at last year’s event and won the People’s Choice Award in 2015.

In 2017, the year in which TOISA based its criteria for performances on, Harika claimed a hat-trick of bronze medals at the World Chess Championships in Tehran, was adjudged best women’s player at the Reykjavik Open, where she claimed six wins, two draws and two losses to finish 17th, and was part of the Indian women’s team that beat the USA in round two of the World Women’s Team Chess Championship and Babuti Club Nona which lifted the European Chess Club Championship in Antalya, Turkey.

Also nominated were Nashik-based Grand Master Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and teenagers Vidya Pillai and R Vaishali. In 2017, 22-year-old Gujrathi became the fourth Indian chess player to cross the 2,700 ELO rating points after Viswanathan Anand, Pentala Harikrishna and Krishnan Sasikiran. At the age of 11, young Deshmukh won gold, silver and bronze at the Asian Youth Chess Championship held in Tashkent and later claimed India’s only medal, a gold, at the World Cadet Chess Championship in Brazil. Chennai’s Vaishali won gold at the Asian Continental Blitz Championship, with eight points from nine rounds at the event in Chengdu, China.

The esteemed jury for TOISA comprises five luminaries of Indian sport in Abhinav Bindra, Bhaichung Bhutia, Devendra Jhajharia, Reeth Abraham and Gautam Gambhir along with the Chief Editor of Times Internet Ltd and member of the PM’s task force on the preparations for the next three Olympics, Rajesh Kalra.

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