Harikrishna to feature in Biel International Chess Festival

P. Harikrishna will represent India at the Biel International Chess Festival in Switzerland, which is one of the major events on the chess circuit.

HARIKRISHNA

If Harikrishna wins the Biel International Chess Festival, he will become the second Indian to be crowned in as many years -- Vidit Gujrathi had won the Grandmasters event last year.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Chess will make a return to the board for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak when the Biel International Chess Festival kicks off in Switzerland on July 18.

It is one of the major events on the chess circuit – with a history of more than half-a-century – and the previous winners include Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand and Anatoly Karpov, all of whom have been the World champions.

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India will be represented by World No. 26 P. Harikrishna. “I was glad when I got the invitation a few days ago,” he told Sportstar from Prague, his residence for the last couple of years.

“It feels great to know that I could play a competitive game on an actual chessboard after playing all these online events,” he added.

He had won the Masters Open tournament at Biel in 2013. “This time around, there are some restrictions because of the pandemic,” he said. “Players from certain countries – which are deemed high risk – cannot compete,” he noted.

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The tournament, which concludes on July 29, will still feature prominent players like Radolsaw Wojtaszek, Michael Adams, Anton David and Salem Saleh.

If Harikrishna triumphs, he will be the second Indian to be crowned in as many years. Vidit Gujrathi had won the Grandmasters event last year.

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