Pentala Harikrishna

Moscow, May 13 (IANS) Indian Grand Master Pentala Harikrishna started his Grand Prix Series chess campaign with a hard fought draw against Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway here.

The World No. 16 Indian, playing with white pieces started off aggressively against his lower rated opponent but found himself on the back foot with a miscalculated move here on Friday.

“I made a mistake by playing Ra1, after which my opponent could keep the bishop and I had to defend for a draw from there on,” Harikrishna said after the match.

The Hyderabadi seemed undeterred even after the initial mistake and fought hard to lead the 93-move game towards neutral territory.

“Jon should’ve won the game, but I am glad to have finished with a draw in a really hard fought match,” Harikrishna added.

Harikrishna, making his debut in the Grand Prix circuit will surely have his sights set on the Candidates Tournament 2018.

“I am really looking forward to give my best throughout the series and hopefully break into the Candidates Tournament,” he said.

This is the second leg of the Grand Prix series and will see 18 of the 24 invited players feature in the competition which offers a prize money of approx $1,42,135.

The FIDE Grand Prix Moscow 2017 will be played at a time control of 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, and then 15 minutes to the end of the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1.

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