Another feather in Karthik’s cap

Karthik’s bronze medal win in Serbia is a heartening performance. He faced players rated better than him and some of them were International Masters, writes J. R. Shridharan.

KVenkata Krishna Karthik, whose vision was affected due to cerebral palsy, played admirably to win the bronze medal in the 14th International Physically Challenged Association (IPCA) world chess championship in Aptain, Serbia. The 27-year-old garnered 6.5 points in the championship.

Earlier, Karthik (1967) had a profitable outing in Glasgow, winning the gold medal in the physically challenged segment of the Commonwealth chess championship.

Karthik’s win in Serbia is a heartening performance. He faced players rated better than him and some of them were International Masters.

Karthik encountered as many as six Russians and his eighth round loss to Anderi Obodchuk (2370) of Russia proved costly. “I wanted him to go for a draw. But he thought otherwise,” said his coach Khasim. Karthik, who has now added 78 Elo points to his kitty, has earned his first International Master norm as well.

“Language was a problem to Karthik. He also strained his eye during the long-drawn games. He kick-started the tournament in a brilliant manner, defeating the top seed in the very first game,” said Khasim of Global Chess Academy, who was more a cook than a coach in Serbia.

Someone who is said to be an instinctive player with an uncanny knack of coming up with stunning moves, Karthik also has the problem of losing energy as his temperature often shoots up beyond 105 degrees whenever he is engaged in long battles on the board.

Dronacharya Ashok, father of World No. 3 Koneru Humpy, said: “He is a gritty bloke. He knows nothing beyond chess. He is certainly an inspiration to many.”

Andhra Pradesh Chess Association officials, players and coaches looked a happy bunch at the felicitation organised to honour Karthik.

But his father Narasimha Murthy, who is a well known chess organiser in Vijayawada, said: “I want him to settle down in life with a permanent job. That is my only wish.”