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D Gukesh becomes youngest man to win Candidates, to challenge for World Championship

Mangalore Today News Network

New Delhi, April 22, 2024: 17-year-old Grandmaster Gukesh Dommaraju scripted history by becoming the youngest man to win the prestigious Candidates tournament and earn the right to challenge for the World Championships crown later this year. The teenager from India finished as the sole leader at the end of a gripping 14-round Candidates tournament in Toronto, Canada. Gukesh will face Ding Liren, the reigning world champion, for the world title later in the year.

Gukesh Chess winner

D Gukesh drew his final-round match in black pieces against Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura of the USA on Sunday. Gukesh needed just that on the final day to secure the Candidates title as the game between Grandmasters Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi ended in a thrilling draw. Soon after the final match of the Candidates ended, loud cheers were heard at the Great Hall in Toronto as the crowd was up on its feet, lauding the extraordinary feat of the newest world title challenger. .

Gukesh will have the opportunity to become the youngest world champion when he challenges Ding Liren later this year. Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov were 22 when they became the world champions.

Gukesh also became the 2nd Indian after Viswanathan Anand to win Candidates Chess and the first since his mentor to emerge victorious after a decade.

As expected, legendary Viswanathan Anand, Gukesh’s mentor, took to social media to congratulate the teenager for winning the Candidates. Anand noted how Gukesh was able to handle tough situations throughout the tournament - a trait that was evident in his final-round draw against the seasoned Nakamura.

Gukesh, who became a Grandmaster when he was 12, has been on a history-making spree. The 17-year-old had become the top-ranked player from the country, overtaking his mentor in October 2023. His Candidates success only reaffirms the world-beating potential that the teenager displayed over the years.


Gukesh was in the sole lead after the penultimate round ended on Saturday. The Chennai chess star was rewarded for his grit and determination as he recovered from a slow start to beat France’s No. 1 Firouzja Alireza. Gukesh took his tally to 8.5 points out of a possible 13 to emerge a half point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana of the United States.

In one of the most thrilling finishes to the Candidates, Gukesh needed to hold Nakamura for a draw and then hope Nepomniachtchi and Carauana also played out a draw.

Despite Nakamura’s aggressive tactics and attempts to complicate the position, Gukesh remained unflustered. The seasoned American was desperate for the win and it was evident in his moves. The turning point came when Nakamura, perhaps feeling the pressure to win, overextended his position. Gukesh seized the opportunity and executed a series of precise moves that neutralised Nakamura’s threats.

If Gukesh had won against Nakamura, the final result would have come earlier. However, with Gukesh holding Nakamura for a draw, Nepomniachtchi and Carauana thrilled the fans in a topy-turvy game that ended well past midnight.

R Praggnanandhaa and Vidit Gujrathi also finished in the 5th and 6th spots after an impressive show in their Candidates debut.

Final standings:
1. D Gukesh 2-4: Nakamura, Nepomniachtchi, Caruana 5. Pragnanandhaa 6. Gujrathi 7. Alireza 8. Abasov.

Courtesy: India Today

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