Vidit Santosh Gujrathi got off to a flying start, quickly winning her first round match in the World Junior Chess Championship, which commenced at Hotel Hyatt, in Pune, on Monday.
The 13-round tournament, sponsored by LIC, kicked off with 137 players from 50 countries, and 78 participants in the girls’ category, battling it out.
Second seed Robin Van Kampen also breezed through his game against Jan Rindlisbacher of Switzerland with black pieces, winning in 28 moves after adopting the Sicilian Defence.
FM Rakesh Kumar Jena, rated 2164, created a flutter when he held 10th seeded GM Grigoryan of Russia to a draw after 30 moves of a Sicilian Defence.
Gujrathi, the fourth seed, was pitted against compatriot Ritviz Parab, rated 71, with the Black pieces and opted for a super sharp –Sicilian defence against the King Pawn Opening.
"I had decided to play aggressively and am happy that my gamble paid off, as I managed to get an advantageous position early on,” beamed Vidit after the game.
A tentative and timid pawn push in the centre on the 15th turn by Ritviz had Vidit immediately pushing his pawn more boldly in the centre to get advantage.
Another wrong queen move on the next turn had Vidit smelling victory and his queen, rook and knight soon swung into action, deciding the game in his favour after 23 moves.
Iran’s FM Amir Kousarania (2331) missed his flight and was not paired in the first round. He will begin his campaign from the second.
In the girls’ section, WIM Zhao Mo of China defeated WFM San Diego Marie Antoinette.
Image: Vidit Santosh Gujrathi