Vidit Gujrathi becomes first chess player from Maharashtra to win medal at World Junior chess championship

Nashik-based GM Vidit Gujrathi created history by becoming the first chess player from Maharashtra in the boy’s category to win a medal at World Junior chess championship in Kocaeli, Turkey, on Thursday.

Gujrathi, who garnered 9.5 points from a possible 13, was tied for the third place with GM Cori Jorge of Peru. Jorge defeated another Indian P Sethuraman, in the last round to catch up with Vidit on 9.5 points. However, the 19-year-old Vidit clinched bronze by virtue of a better tie-break score.

“It’s a dream-come-true moment for us,” said his Vidit’s father Santosh Gujrathi while talking todna from Nashik on Friday. “Vidit has been performing well consistently. He had won gold in under-14 followed by silver in under-16. So, we were sure about his podium finish. However, the tournament was quite tough and Vidit made a strong comeback after the sixth round. I believe that was the turning point for him as he scored 5.5 points from the next seven rounds.

“He was a little upset when he had just four points in the first six rounds. So he spoke to me and his mother. We advised him to stick to his game plan.”

Eventually, parents’ encouragement did wonders for Vidit as he registered three wins on the trot before holding top-rated Yu Yangyi of China in the penultimate round to finish third.
He received his medal from the legendary Garry Kasparov.

Meanwhile, Sethuraman tallied nine points to finish fifth. Among girls, Padmini Rout finished eighth.

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