Wednesday, May 22, 2024

India’s 17-year-old Gukesh Dommaraju scripts history, becomes youngest World Chess Championship contender

India’s Gukesh Dommaraju becomes the youngest player to win the Chess Candidates tournament in Toronto, Canada.

Gukesh, a 17-year-old, on Monday held a slender lead with 8.5 points heading into the final round of the tournament, closely followed by World No 2 Fabiano Caruana, Candidates champions Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Word No 3 Hikaru Nakamura, who trailed by just half a point.

“I am so relieved and so happy. Following this crazy game (Caruana-Nepomniachtchi), I was completely emotional. Now I am feeling quite good,” Gukesh said.

Gukesh won five matches, drew eight and lost just the solitary match in the tournament.

Gukesh had become the third youngest player to compete in a Candidates tournament after Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen. At 17, he has become the youngest player to win the tournament and has become the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to compete in the World Championship in the classical format.

The Chennai-native will face reigning world champion, China’s Ding Liren, for the crown in November.

“Congratulations to @DGukesh for becoming the youngest challenger. The @WacaChess family is so proud of what you have done . I’m personally very proud of how you played and handled tough situations. Enjoy the moment,” Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand posted on X.

At 12, Gukesh had become the third youngster to earn the Grandmaster title. Last year, he won a silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

By winning the 2024 Candidates Chess tournament, D Gukesh pocketed Rs 42.6 lakhs. Since he finished with nine points, that is another Rs 56 lakhs. In total, therefore, he won Rs 98 lakhs.

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