National C'ship: Vidit loses after running out of time

Vidit Gujrathi’s campaign hit a speed-breaker as he was declared "lost on time" to defending champion M. Karthikeyan in the second round of the national chess championship on Friday.

Vidit Gujrathi (left) was two short of the stipulated count, in his allotted time of 90 minutes plus 30-second increment per move.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Top seed Vidit Gujrathi’s campaign hit a speed-breaker as he was declared “lost on time” to defending champion M. Karthikeyan in the second round of the national chess championship here on Friday.

Vidit made 38 moves – two short of the stipulated count – in his allotted time of 90 minutes plus 30-second increment per move. The youngster made a written protest where he claimed he had one second left when he pressed the clock.

He alleged that the clock was “faulty” since it did not register a 30-second increment (for his 38th move). The Appeals Committee –comprising Tejas Bakre, Sriram Jha and Neeraj Kumar Mishra – deliberated the matter, found the clock to be working fine and eventually rejected Vidit’s plea.

'Lost position'

The committee also did not miss the point that Vidit was in a “lost position” when the game ‘ended’ suddenly. After 38 moves, Karthikeyan had two rooks and a pawn against Vidit’s rook, bishop and five pawns.

The undesirable ‘drama’ meant the round lasted close to six and a half hours and pushed into the background some of the other performers of the day.

Young Aravindh Chithambaram cruised to a second successive victory by brushing aside Surya Praneeth to emerge as the first sole leader. At the other end of the scale, Sriram Jha and Neeraj Kumar Mishra crashed to a second straight loss.

Second seed B. Adhiban, who next faces Vidit on Saturday in a much-awaited clash, scored his first victory after facing Bakre. Besides Karthikeyan and Adhiban, who scored their first victories, were R. R. Laxman, Abhishek Kelkar and D. B. Chandra Prasad.

The results:

Second round: Surya Praneeth (1) lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (2); S. Ravi Teja (1) drew with Abhijit Kunte (0.5); Sriram Jha (0) lost to R. R. Laxman (1.5); M. Karthikeyan (1.5) bt Vidit Gujrathi (1); B. Adhiban (1.5) bt Tejas Bakre (0.5); Neeraj Kumar Mishra (0) lost to D. B. Chandra Prasad (1.5); Abhishek Kelkar (1) bt S. Nitin (1).

Third round pairings: Nitin-Praneeth; Prasad-Kelkar; Bakre-Mishra; Vidit-Adhiban; Laxman-Karthikeyan; Kunte-Sriram; Chithambaram-Teja.