Indian Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna finished runner-up in the Rapid Chess Championship at the Biel International Chess Festival here.
The eight-player closed tournament saw the likes of former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan, top seed David Navara, Alexander Morozevich, Yannick Pelletier, Rafael Vaganian and Vlastimil Hort, besides Harikrishna competing for top honours at the prestigious event.
Harikrishna, seeded second, got the better off Vlastimil Hort in the first round before tactfully drawing the second to breeze into the semifinals.
The 31-year-old from Guntur was up against a local lad Pelletier in the semifinals.
The Indian comfortably defeated the Swiss in both the games to set up a summit clash with top seeded Czech Grandmaster Navara.
Harikrishna had a great chance to go the distance, but he could not sustain the momentum with Navara clinching the opener in 37 moves.
The Indian was looking for redemption in the second encounter and take the tie to the third and final Armageddon game. However, the Czech Grandmaster did well to hold on to his fort to gradually lead the game towards neutral territory after 46 moves and eventually take the crown.
The World No. 20 Indian, will now start his campaign in the Grandmaster Tournament, which will be played at Classic time control and will have a playing field of 10 very competitive Grandmasters.
He will take on Rafael Vaganian from Armenia later tonight for his first-round encounter in the single round- robin tournament. PTI Cor CM