Biel (Switzerland): Indian Grand Master Pentala Harikrishna’s unbeaten run came to an end as he lost out to Frenchman Etienne Bacrot in the penultimate round of the 50th Biel Chess Festival to finish third in the standings, late here on Wednesday night.
The World No. 20 Indian, playing with white pieces, started off aggressively but a simple mistake in the initial phases cost him the game eventually. Harikrishna tried all the tricks up his sleeve but couldn’t save the game as the Frenchman kept mounting pressure and the Indian ultimately had to give in on the 29th move.
“It was a simple error in the starting of the game which was the cause of my loss,” Harikrishna said after the match. “It is a bit disappointing as this happened in the very last round of the tournament,” he added.
The 31-year-old from Guntur had remained unbeaten throughout eight rounds by registering three wins, five draws and just the one loss in the last round had proved to be the reason which didn’t let him embrace the top spot as the tournament culminated.
Nonetheless, Harikrishna managed to finish third on the podium of this highly prestigious tournament behind his last round opponent Etienne Bacrot and former two-time World Women’s Chess Champion Hou Yifan, who took the top honours.
Harikrishna will now shift his focus on the World Cup which is slated to be held in Georgia from September 2, 2017. The World Cup will feature almost all the top players in the World such as top seed Magnus Carlsen and India's No. 1 Vishwanathan Anand, to name a few.