National C'ship: Vidit joins three-way lead

Top seed Vidit Gujarathi carved out a much-needed victory to get a share of the lead with third seed Aravindh Chithambaram and defending champion M. Karthikeyan following the 10th round of the National Chess Championship.

Aravindh Chithambaram was held to a draw by D. B. Chandra Prasad.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Finally, top seed Vidit Gujarathi carved out a much-needed victory to get a share of the lead with third seed Aravindh Chithambaram and defending champion M. Karthikeyan following the 10th round of the National Chess Championship here on Sunday.

With three rounds to go, Vidit outplayed fellow Grandmaster R. R. Laxman in 32 moves to reach 7.5 points, a tally matched by Karthikeyan following a point received for a bye.

In fact, Vidit and Karthikeyan also owed it to a gritty D. B. Chandra Prasad who played way over his rating to hold overnight leader Chithambaram in 56 moves.

In two other decisive results, Abhishek Kelkar added to the misery of Sriram Jha by scoring a 30-move victory. In the eight games that Jha has played so far, this was his seventh defeat. S. Nitin continued to impress with his fierce competitiveness by trapping S. Ravi Teja in a checkmating net in 26 moves.

The results:

10th round: Vidit Gujarathi (7.5) bt R. R. Laxman (5.5); Tejas Bakre (6) drew with Abhijit Kunte (5.5); D. B. Chandra Prasad (4.5) drew with Aravindh Chithambaram (7.5); S. Nitin (5.5) bt Ravi Teja (6); Abhishek Kelkar (4) bt Sriram Jha (2.5); M. Karthikeyan (7.5) and B. Adhiban (6.5) byes.

11th-round pairings: Kunte-Vidit; Aravindh-Bakre; Karthikeyan-Kelkar; Teja-Prasad; Jha-Nitin; Adhiban and Laxman byes.