Harikrishna Finishes Third In Biel 2017

By Arvind Aaron

Hou Yifan of China won the Golden Jubilee edition of the Biel Chess Tournament that concluded at Biel in Switzerland on August 2, 2017.

The Biel Chess Festival was founded by Hans Suri (1927-2013) and is supported by the town. This Biel summer event always runs from July middle until August 2, It has also staged the Interzonals or the qualifying events for the FIDE World Championships Candidates. Anand won this event in 1997 and also qualified for the Candidates in 1993 from the Interzonals.

This year, 31-year old Pentala Harikrishna participated and finished third. Harikrishna was the only player to defeat the champion! Born in Vinjanampadu Village (Guntur Dist), Harikrishna also beat the former FIDE World Champion Ponomariov.

Hou Yifan (2666) played at 2809 and won scoring five victories. Bacrot lost to Hou Yifan and won four games for the second place with six points.

Harikrishna won three games, lost one and drew well known opponents like Morozevich, Leko and Vaganian who are all lower rated now. Harikrishna’s start rating was 2737 and he played at 2715. He won the third place.

Final placings: 1 Hou Yifan (Chn) 6.5/10; 2 Etienne Bacrot (Fra) 6; 3 Pentala Harikrishna (Ind) 5.5; 4 Alexander Morozevich (Rus) 5 plus one game in progress; 5-6. Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr), Nico Geordiadis (Swz) 5 each; 7 Peter Leko (Hun) 4 plus one game in hand; 8 Navara David (Cze) 4; 9 Rafael Vaganian (Arm) 2; 10 Noel Studer (Swz) 1.