Abu Dhabi International: Harika starts her campaign with a win

Harika Dronavalli, playing with white pieces, started aggressively as she found an opening in the initial phases of the game and was dominant throughout the three-and-a-half-hour-match.

Harika Dronavalli will take on the third seed Rauf Mamedov from Azerbaijan in her second round encounter.   -  PTI

Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli started her campaign in style, beating compatriot Mithil Ajgaonkar at the Master’s Tournament of the Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival here.

The world No. 9, playing with white pieces, started aggressively as she found an opening in the initial phases of the game.

It was an uphill task for Ajgaonkar from there on and eventually succumbed to the pressure after toiling for a long three and a half hours.

“I got a clear advantage in the opening stages itself and could easily convert it after just 34 moves,” Harika said after her first round.

The Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival will offer an impressive prize money of USD 36,100 to the top-10 players competing in the Master’s category.

The winner of the tournament will bag an amount of USD 13,000, while the second and third will pocket USD 7,500 and USD 5,500 respectively.

Harika will take on the third seed Rauf Mamedov from Azerbaijan in her second round encounter.