India’s Grandmaster P Harikrishna finished on top in the ACCENTUS Chess960 tournament, part of the 53rd Biel Chess Festival 2020, with 5.5 points from seven rounds.
Harikrishna (Elo 2690) remained unbeaten through the seven rounds and benefitted from the loss of Poland’s Radoslaw Wojtaszek in the final round to Swiss player Noel Studer to claim the top spot late on Saturday.
German Vincent Keymer, 15, was the surprise package in the Chess960 event (also known as Fischer random chess), claiming second spot with five points. Wojtaszek, with 4.5 points, took the third spot.
Harikrishna started with a draw against England’s Michael Adams and posted wins over Alexander Donchenko and Noel Studer of Switzerland in the second and third rounds respectively.
The 34-year old Indian then settled for draws against Keymer and Wojtaszek in rounds four and five before victories in the next two rounds over Romain Edouard and Spain’s David Anton Guijjaro, the highest ranked player in the tournament, saw him emerge triumphant.
GM Arkadij Naiditsch replaced GM Salem Saleh as the UAE player could not make the trip due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The tournament continues Sunday with the rapid event and the classical event will begin on July 21 after a day’s rest on Monday.
The Biel Chess Festival is being held by adhering to all health protocols due to the pandemic, according to the tournament website.
At the chess board, the distance is increased by having two tables between the players. All pieces, boards, and chess clocks are cleaned after each game. Also, spectators are not allowed at the venue.