Mumbai: Dronavalli Harika followed the footsteps of her compatriot and fellow Andhraite Koneru Humpy to earn a chess Grandmaster title following her fine display at the 1st Hangzhou Women`s Grandmasters Tournament in China, where she finished third with 5.5 points.
Harika won two of her matches and secured seven draws in the round robin format tournament in which the top ten women players in the world took part, a media release said on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Harika, a former world junior girls champion, had held double norms for Grandmaster and had already bagged the titles of woman Grandmaster and International Master previously.
An ecstatic Guntur-born Harika, supported by Pune-based sponsors Lakshya and Flame, said her feat of becoming only the second woman GM from India was a dream come true.
"It`s been a dream come true for me. I have been working hard to achieve this since the past few years and was confident of getting into this tournament. I am naturally very happy. I am looking forward to the future tournaments and will continue working hard to be the world no.1," she said.
Harika, gold medal winner at this year`s Asian women`s championship in Iran, silver winner in the Commonwealth Championship in South Africa and bronze medal winner at last year`s Asian Games in Guangzhou, had undergone special training at Pune at the chess camp by Kazakh GM Evgeny Vladimirov.
Hailing her achievement Vladimirov said, "There was never a doubt in my mind about her capability. I am sure she will continue this form and bring more laurels."