Vidit Gujarati became the first men's chess player from Maharashtra to win a World Junior chess championship medal when he held eventual champion Yu Yangyi of China to a draw in the 13th and penultimate round to finish third in Kocaeli, Turkey, on Thursday night.
The country’s 30th Grandmaster, who had to overcome an indifferent start to the tournament, was tied with GM Cori Jorge of Peru at 9.5 points but clinched the bronze medal thanks to a better tie-break score.
Gujrathi, who is supported Lakshya-Vascon, has now joined the list of elite Indians winning medals in the world junior champions starting from a gold medal won by world champion V Anand in 1987, gold by Harikrishna in 2004, gold by Abhijeet Gupta in 2008 and Bronze by Sahaj Grover in 2011.
The silver went to Alexander Ipatov of Turkey, who finished with 10.5 points.
In the girl's category, Maharashtra's Soumya Swaminathan had won the gold medal in 2009 and Eesha Karavade bagged the bronze medal in 2004. Both the players are also supported by Lakshya.
The Nashik boy, who had earlier held the world u-14 title in 2008, had looked down and out after six rounds having managed just four points after suffering a loss against compatriot Sahaj Grover. However, the youngster rose to the occasion by winning five of his last seven rounds and then managing a quick draw against Yangyi with black in the final round to seal the bronze medal.
“I am extremely happy with the way I fought back in the tournament. I am thankful to Lakshya and my sponsors Vascon as a special coaching camp with Evgeny Vladimirov ahead of the tournament helped me prepare well for the tournament and bring home a medal,” Vidit said from Turkey.
Lakshya president GM Abhijit Kunte, who had coached Vidit earlier, congratulated the youngster for his stupendous effort and said there was no doubt that the boy would achieve far bigger goals in the near future.
“There is no doubt that Vidit is extremely talented and can win many more medals at the world level. This bronze medal will only boost up his confidence and we at Lakshya are determined to provide him all the necessary support in his endeavour,” Kunte added.
Among the other Indians in the fray, GM S P Sethuraman lost the final round against Ipatov to finish fifth with nine points. In the girl’s section, Padmini Rout was the best Indian performer who finished eighth.
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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2013 09:46:15 IST