Talking over phone from Prague, Pendyala Harikrishna sounded cheerful on Thursday evening. He had reasons to be happy; he finally was able to play in a chess tournament after a gap of five months.

The Biel International Chess Festival, which concluded in Switzerland on Wednesday, was the first major chess tournament amid the coronavirus crisis.

Harikrishna won the titles in the classical and Chess960 events and finished runner-up overall, by just half-a-point.

“It was a great feeling to be back in a tournament hall after five months,” the World No. 26 told Sportstar.

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Biel chess festival: Harikrishna triumphs in classical, finishes second overall

“Though I have been playing quite a bit of online chess like everybody else, there is nothing like sitting in front of a chessboard, facing your rival.”

But the conditions were a lot different, of course, in Biel. The COVID-19…

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