New Delhi, January 10: The games had begun, the top seeds were comfortably seated on their boards, but American Grandmaster Timur Gareyev was nowhere to be seen.
The clock was ticking and the walkover time-limit of 30 minutes was fast approaching, as 14-year-old Koustav Chatterjee waited anxiously for his opponent in the 16th Delhi International Open Chess Tournament.
Gareyev did reach the venue eventually, three minutes late, forcing the chief arbiter, Vasanth BH, to award the point to the Chatterjee. Desperate to score or a GM or IM norm, Chatterjee played the higher rated American and lost the game after a fight, but the point went to the Indian.
Third seeded Indian Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta comfortably beat Ankit Gajwa. GM Arkadij Naiditsch, the top seed with a rating of 2701, had another normal day at the office as he managed to defeat Egyptian Adham Kandil, rated 2294.
On the second table, unheralded Tamil Nadu youngster A L Muthiah managed to hold second seed GM Amonatov Farrukh to a draw.
Gareyev later said, "I was in the process of changing the rooms in my hotel and hence, was delayed. The kid played a nice game and it was probably drawish but he blundered in the end and lost."
Gareyev sportingly decided to put the incident behind him and focus on playing well in the rest of the tournament.
The tenth-seeded GM Diptayan Ghosh, rated 2556, was playing Odisha's Rajesh Nayak, rated 2247. Diptayan had a winning position with the white pieces but a hasty 36.f5 break, which turned out to be a blunder, meant that he had to settle for a draw.