Indian teen becomes youngest challenger for world chess title

Indian teen becomes youngest challenger for world chess titleIndian teen becomes youngest challenger for world chess title
via GothamChess (left), ChessBase India (right)
Ryan General
15 days ago
Dommaraju Gukesh, 17, recently became the youngest-ever challenger for the World Chess Championship title.
Key points:
  • Gukesh qualified for the world championship after winning the Candidates Tournament in Toronto on April 22.
  • He is the youngest ever to win the Candidates ­Tournament.
  • Gukesh is set to meet reigning champion Ding Liren of China later this year.
Catch up:
  • Ding made history last year by becoming China’s first men’s world chess champion.
About Gukesh:
  • Currently ranked World No. 6, the Chennai-based grandmaster earned his grandmaster title at the age of 12 years and seven months in 2019.
  • A major influence on Gukesh’s development is chess legend Viswanathan Anand, who now serves as his mentor.
  • He is also the third youngest to achieve a chess rating of 2700 and the youngest to reach a rating of 2750.
  • Gukesh won the individual top board gold medal at the 2022 Chess Olympiad. He went on to secure his spot in the Candidates by dominating the Fide Circuit.
  • Last year, Gukesh became the youngest player ever to beat World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen as World Champion. Carlsen said he advised Gukesh to not “go crazy, because others generally will” before the Candidates.
The details:
  • Gukesh qualified for the world championship by outperforming experienced rivals like Fabiano Caruana (USA), Hikaru Nakamura (USA) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) in the Toronto tournament.
  • Gukesh broke Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov’s record, who was the youngest challenger to the world title at age 20 in 1984. Kasparov, hailed Gukesh’s victory, calling it “an Indian earthquake in Toronto.”  
  • Gukesh’s calmness under pressure was a key factor in his success. While some analysts question his overly conservative style at times, he has shown that he can attack aggressively when necessary. 
  • Gukesh’s return to Chennai on April 25 was met with fanfare and praise from Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He told local reporters that he is ready for his upcoming match against Ding.

“Wherever I play, the goal is to be focused and to win the match.  Ding is a strong player, but I have full belief that I can beat him. I will prepare well for him.”

What’s next:
  • Gukesh will face 31-year-old defending champion Ding in a highly anticipated World Chess Championship match from Nov. 20 – Dec. 15.
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