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Harika Dronavalli starts her campaign with a win at the Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival

Harika will next face third seed of the tournament, Rauf Mamedov from Azerbaijan, in her second round encounter.


Harika Dronavalli
Harika Dronavalli

Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli started off her campaign in style as she beat Mithil Ajgaonkar of India in dominating fashion at the Master’s Tournament of the Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival here in the capital city of UAE late on Mondaynight.

The World No. 9 Indian, playing with white pieces, started off on an aggressive note as she found an opening in the initial phases of the game. It was an uphill task for Ajgaonkar from there on after 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,” the Guntur lass said after her first-round encounter.

The Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival will offer an impressive prize purse of $ 36,100 to the top ten players competing in the Master’s category. The winner of the tournament will bag a handsome amount of $13,000, while the second and third pocket $7,500 and $5,500 respectively. There will be impressive cash prizes for the best women’s player and best player under 2400 ELO points category also.

Harika will continue her battle for top honours as she takes on the third seed of the tournament, Rauf Mamedov from Azerbaijan, in her second-round encounter of this 9 round Swiss tournament being played at classic time control.

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