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

Grandmaster D Gukesh scripted history for India as he became the youngest man in the world to win the Candidates tournament. The 17-year-old will challenge Ding Liren for the World Championship crown later in 2024.
D Gukesh becomes youngest man to win FIDE Candidates, to challenge for World Championship
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

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.

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 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.

THRILLING FINISH TO CANDIDATES 2024

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.

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

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.

Source: India Today

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