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Chess all set to return to normal world

Big time chess will soon be back over the board. On July 18, to be precise — when the Biel International Chess Festival kicks off in Switzerland.

It is one of the major events on the chess circuit — with a history of more than half-a-century — and the previous winners include Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand and Anatoly Karpov, all of whom have been the World champions.

Harikrishna to play

India will be represented by World No. 26 P. Harikrishna. “I was glad when I got the invitation a few days ago,” he told The Hindu from Prague, his residence for the last couple of years. “It feels great to know that I can play a competitive game on an actual chessboard after playing all these online events.”

He had won the Masters Open tournament at Biel in 2013. “This time around, there are some restrictions because of the pandemic,” he said. “Players from certain countries — which are deemed high risk — cannot compete.”

The tournament, which concludes on July 29, will still feature prominent players like Radolsaw Wojtaszek, Michael Adams, Anton David and Salem Saleh. India’s Vidit Gujrathi had won the Grandmasters event last year.

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