17-Year-Old D Gukesh Become Youngest World Chess Championship Challenger

D Gukesh Shatters Records

Toronto: In a historic victory at the Candidates Chess Tournament in Toronto, India’s chess prodigy, D Gukesh, has shattered a 40-year-old record to become the youngest-ever challenger for the World Chess Championship title. At just 17 years of age, Gukesh has eclipsed the record previously held by the legendary Garry Kasparov, who was 22 when he earned his shot at the title in 1984.

Gukesh’s strategic prowess was on full display as he clinched a crucial draw against American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura in the final round, securing a total of 9 points out of 14. This impressive scoreline has paved the way for him to challenge the reigning world champion, Ding Liren of China, in what promises to be a riveting contest at the end of the year.

Hailing from Chennai, Gukesh has become only the second Indian, after the esteemed five-time world champion Vishwanathan Anand, to win this prestigious tournament. Anand, who last won the title in 2014, has been a source of inspiration for Gukesh, who has followed in his footsteps to etch his name in the annals of chess history.

Reflecting on his monumental achievement, Gukesh expressed a sense of relief and shared his routine of watching the match between Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi, followed by a walk that helped him stay composed. His victory also comes with a handsome reward of 88,500 Euros, contributing to the tournament’s total prize pool of five lakh euros.

Vishwanathan Anand, in a message filled with pride, congratulated Gukesh on becoming the youngest challenger, commending his exceptional gameplay under challenging circumstances. Gukesh, who claimed the title of Grandmaster at the tender age of 12, has been recognized as the third youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess and is a silver medalist from the Hangzhou Asian Games.

The tournament’s outcome hinged on the final round, where Gukesh’s draw was sufficient to secure his position as the youngest challenger, while the parallel match between Caruana and Nepomniachtchi also concluded in a draw, eliminating the possibility of a tiebreak. Caruana, Nepomniachtchi, and Nakamura each finished with 8.5 points, sharing the second spot.

In related news, Indian Grandmaster R Praggnananda finished fifth with seven points, defeating Nizat Abbasov of Azerbaijan. Vidit Gujarati, another prominent Indian player, drew with France’s Firozha Alireza to finish sixth, while Alireza and Abbasov took the seventh and eighth places, respectively.

D Gukesh Shatters Records

Gukesh’s ascent to the pinnacle of chess at such a young age heralds a new era in the sport, signaling the rise of a new generation of chess masters poised to make their mark on the world stage.