Harikrishna holds Navara in Biel Chess Festival

The Indian occupies joint top spot in the tournament.

P. Harikrishna played out a draw in 24 moves.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

India’s P. Harikrishna occupied the tied-first position after overseeing a draw against Czech Grand Master David Navara in the seventh round of the 50th Biel Chess Festival here.

The World No. 20, playing with black pieces, was wary of the Czech’s attacking prowess and started off on a defensive note to lead the game towards neutral territory after only 24 moves. Harikrishna had to be at his defensive best as the game saw both players repeating moves thrice before they agreed to share the points.

“It was an equal game and we had to repeat moves before we decided to end the game as a draw,” the 31-year-old from Guntur said after his game.

As the tournament enters its business end, Harikrishna is tied first alongside three other Grand Masters, courtesy of two wins and five draws, remaining unbeaten after seven rounds.

He will take on former two-time FIDE World Chess Champion and Ukranian Grand Master Ruslan Ponomariov, in his second last game of this 10-man round-robin tournament.