Indian Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli played out two draws against compatriot Eesha Karavade and Spain’s Antonio Pazos Porta in the fifth and sixth rounds respectively of the Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival here.
The World No.9 Indian, playing with white pieces for her first game of the day, got off to a flying start against Eesha. But she could not capitalise on the advantage as Eesha blocked all possibilities to make inroads and lead the game towards neutral territory.
“I didn’t see much happening in the first game and offered a draw, which she gladly accepted,” Harika said after her first-round game.
The draw in the fifth round put Harika up against FM Pazos Porta of Spain. She had to be at her defensive best to contain the attack from her Spanish opponent.
However, it was the Spanish who offered to share the spoils after just 20 moves and Harika accepted. “The position was dead equal and my opponent couldn’t break my defensive strategy, so he offered a draw,” the Hyderabadi said after her second game of the day.
After six rounds in the nine-round Swiss tournament, Harika has registered two wins, three draws and just one loss. She will take on CM Suleymanli Aydin of Azerbaijan for her seventh-round clash and will look to bounce back from the three consecutive draws.