Chennai teen D Gukesh goes down in chess folklore with historic victory, 2nd Indian after legend Anand to win Candidates - Hindustan Times
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Chennai teen D Gukesh goes down in chess folklore with historic victory, 2nd Indian after legend Anand to win Candidates

Apr 22, 2024 10:42 AM IST

17-year-old teenage sensation D Gukesh won the Candidates tournament on Sunday, to become the first teenager to achieve such a feat.

17-year-old D Gukesh won the FIDE Candidates in Toronto on Sunday, scripting history by becoming the first teenager to win the tournament. Meanwhile, he also became the youngest World Championship challengers and only the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to clinch the Candidates.

D Gukesh won the Candidates in Toronto.(PTI)
D Gukesh won the Candidates in Toronto.(PTI)

Humble beginnings

The teen sensation was born on May 29 2006 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He is from a Telugu-speaking family, who hail from the Godavari delta region of Andhra Pradesh. Dr Rajnikanth, his father, is an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Meanwhile his mother, Padma, is a microbiologist. He is currently studying at the Velammal Vidyalaya School in Chennai and began to play chess reportedly when he was seven-years-old.

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Also Read | How D Gukesh clinched a historic victory for India at Candidates in Toronto

Child prodigy

Gukesh first caught everyone's attention when he won the U-9 category of the Asian School Chess Championships in 2021, followed by the World Youth Chess Championships in 2018 in the U-12 section. He also won five gold medals at the 2018 Asian Youth Chess C'ships. In March 2018 at the 34th Cappelle-la-Grande Open, he secured the requirements for the title of International Master.

He became the second-youngest Grandmaster in history at that time on January 15 2019, at the age of 12 years, seven months and 17 days. He almost overtook SErgey Karjakin's record, but missed it by 17 days. It was later beaten by USA's Abhimanyu Mishra and Gukesh became the third-youngest.

Shocks Magnus Carlsen

Gukesh reached a rating of over 2700 for the first time, with a rating of 2726 in September 2022, becoming the third-youngest player to cross 2700, since Wei Yi and Alireza Firouzja. Then in October 2022, he became the youngest player to defeat Magnus Carlsen, since the Norwegian became World Champion, at the Aimchess Rapid tournament.

Overtakes Viswanathan Anand

In August 2023, he became the youngest player to reach a rating of 2750. He reached the quarter-finals of the Chess World Cup 2023, before losing to Carlsen in the quarter-finals. He overtook Viswanathan Anand in September 2023, as the top-ranked Indian Grandmaster, making it the first time in 37 years that Anand was not the top-ranked Indian player.

Scripts history at Candidates

He qualified for the 2024 Candidates in December 2023. He was second in the Circuit, and Fabiano Caruana, who was the winner, qualified through the World Cup. Thereby, he became the third-youngest player to feature in a Candidates tournament, behind Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen.

In the 2024 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, he lost to Wei Yi in the finals. On Sunday, he became the youngest-ever Candidates champion, and will be the youngest-ever Grandmaster to play in a World C'ship match.

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