P. Harikrishna won the Chess960 event of the 53rd Biel International Chess Festival in Switzerland. It is the first major chess tournament taking place over the board since the coronavirus outbreak.
The World No. 26 from Guntur, who is now living in Prague, scored 5.5 points from seven rounds to top the field of 8 players.
Chess960 is one of the three events of the main section of the Biel festival, the others being rapid and classical. In Chess960, a format invented by the late World champion Bobby Fischer, the game is played with the pieces randomly shuffled on the back rank of either player, because of which the advantage of opening theory is minimised.
Harikrishna showed his mastery in this challenging format as he won the Biel event ahead of strong Grandmasters like David Anton Gujaro of Spain and Radoslwav Wojtaszek of Poland. He finished with 5.5 points, half-a-point ahead of Vincent Keymer, the 15-year-old German prodigy.
The tournament is played under strict guidelines, with the players separated on the board by a plexiglas panel and the pieces, the clock and the board being disinfected after each game. It concludes on July 29.
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