Winning the under-14 World title motivated Vidit Gujrathi

The 21-year old talks about his immediate professional aims, the genesis of his chess career, and what he does to unwind, in a chat with Sportstar.

"I played with dad and he kept defeating me. It angered me and I wanted to learn more about the game. That’s how it all started."   -  The Hindu

Vidit Gujrathi, the soft-spoken GM from Nashik, has set his sights on making it to the 2700 Elo rating club. “In India, very few players have achieved it. It will be nice to be a part of it as soon as possible,” says the 21-year-old, who has a current Elo rating of 2651.

Vidit began playing chess when he was seven. “I played with my dad and he kept defeating me. It angered me and I wanted to learn more about the game. That’s how it all started,” he says with a smile.

Becoming the under-11 National champion in 2005, according to him, was a confidence-booster. Vidit, also a former under-13 and under-15 National champion, says winning the under-14 World title in 2008 was “a high point of my life. It motivated me to continue playing.”

Vidit completed his final GM norm on his 18th birthday in 2012. “It’s funny because once I had missed a GM norm on my birthday.”

According to Vidit, 2015 has been quite good for him. “I qualified for the World Cup, but unfortunately did not play my best. Still, it was a very good learning experience,” he says.

He is looking forward to putting up a good show at the Qatar Masters in December and the Gibraltar Chess Festival in January.

Off the chessboard, Vidit intends to learn photography which, he says, interests him.

“Many of my friends are into photography and when I watch those photographs it makes me curious. I wish to take it up as a pastime,” says Vidit, who is employed with ONGC.

Vidit, who likes to watch TV shows, especially American sitcoms in his spare time, also enjoys Tamil songs despite not understanding the language. “I have friends from Tamil Nadu and I got to know about Tamil songs from them. Most of the numbers are upbeat and gets me pumped up,” says Vidit, who is here competing in the National Premier Chess Championship.