Aravindh upsets top seed Vidit, stays ahead with Karthikeyan

Playing in the form of his life, young Aravindh Chithambaram punished top seed Vidit Gujarathi for his overambitious plans and kept pace with defending champion M. Karthikeyan in their engrossing race for the National chess title here on Tuesday.

Aravindh Chithambaram won in 37 moves after Vidit seriously erred on the 24th move.   -  rajeev bhatt

Playing in the form of his life, young Aravindh Chithambaram punished top seed Vidit Gujarathi for his overambitious plans and kept pace with defending champion M. Karthikeyan in their engrossing race for the National chess title here on Tuesday.

Ahead of Wednesday’s final round, Chithambaram and Karthikeyan share the lead with 9.5 points. Their 1.5-point lead has ensured a 1-2 finish for them, irrespective of the outcomes on the final day.

Sitting behind black pieces in this Sicilian Defence game, third seed Chithambaram won in 37 moves after Vidit seriously erred on the 24th move and five turns later he made another sub-optimal bishop-move to let his younger rival gain a firm grip.

This violent game, which threw up some exciting moments, saw a desperate Vidit trade his rook for Chithambaram’s menacing knight but the deal only worsened his prospects. Wiser, Vidit gave up soon.

Karthikeyan also won with black pieces at the expense of S. Nitin in 44 moves after facing some fierce resistance.

The results (the points include those awarded for walkovers):

12th round: Vidit Gujarathi (8) lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (9.5); S. Nitin (6.5) lost to M. Karthikeyan (9.5); Abhishek Kelkar (4.5) drew with B. Adhiban (8); Tejas Bakre (6.5) drew with S. Ravi Teja (7.5); R. R. Laxman (7) drew with Abhijit Kunte (6.5); D. B. Chandra Prasad (5) drew with Sriram Jha (3).

Final-round pairings: Chithambaram-Laxman; Karthikeyan-Prasad; Teja-Vidit; Adhiban-Nitin; Jha-Tejas; Kunte and Kelkar bye.