Gukesh D: Youngest Player To Win Candidates Chess Tournament

Gukesh D: Youngest Player To Win Candidates Chess Tournament

Dommaraju Gukesh scripts history by becoming the youngest player to win the FIDE candidates tournament. 

The 17-year-old chess grandmaster, D. Gukesh, became the youngest World Championship Challenger to win the Candidates Chess tournament held in Toronto. He will face the current world champion, GM Ding Liren, for the title later this year. Gukesh played an easy draw by scoring nine out of a possible 14 points in the final round against America’s Hikaru Nakamura. With this win, he became only the second Indian player, after the great Viswanathan Anand, to win the Candidates Chess Tournament.

With four players battling in the final round, Gukesh D needed ‘not to lose’ against Hikaru Nakamura, which Gukesh did swiftly by achieving an equal position. By the 20th move, the game became intense but was moving towards a draw. Though Nakamura initially had the upper hand in the game, Gukesh’s sharpness ended this game in a draw. Now it was all about the match between the other two players, Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi, who were both in a win situation. Whosoever wins will join Gukesh in a tiebreaker round. 

After 109 moves of an intense game, both players agreed on a draw, making Gukesh D a clear winner of the 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament. Talking about the win, Gukesh said, “ I am really happy; I was going with the flow; my strategy was to play good moves”.

After this news came to the limelight, social media erupted, praising the chess prodigy for this massive achievement. Moreover, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, on his X account, showered praise on the youngster. 

Achievements Through The Journey 

Gukesh was born in 2006 in Chennai and started playing chess at the age of 7. His success story began when he won the under-9 School chess championship in 2015. Continuing his feat of success, he won five Gold medals at the 2018 Asian Youth Championships. In 2019, he became the second youngest Chess Grand Master at the age of 12 years, 7 months and 11 days. 

Carrying his momentum, in 2022, he participated in the Chess Olympiad and finished with 9 out of 11 points to win a Gold Medal. Moreover, in the same year, he crossed 2700 Elo rating points and became the third-youngest Chess player to do so, after Wei Yi and Alireza Firouzja. 

In 2023, he became the youngest player to reach 2750 rating points and broke Vishwanathan’s record for the first time in 37 years.  In 2024, he qualified for the FIDE Candidates tournament and became the youngest-ever Indian challenger to compete for the World Championship title. 

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