oppn parties D Gukesh Is The Youngest New Challenger For The World Chess Crown

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D Gukesh Is The Youngest New Challenger For The World Chess Crown

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-04-22 03:35:26

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

Dommaraju Gukesh, more commonly known as D Gukesh, created history by winning the Candidates tournament with 9 points in 14 rounds. He became the youngest player to qualify to challenge a reigning world champion. He will clash with Ding Liren of China later this year.

The unassuming Gukesh was initially the most underrated of the three Indians in the draw. Vidith Gujrathi and R Praggananandhaa were rated higher and former Indian great Vishwanathan Anand rated Gujrathi as the player most likely to make an impact. In fact, all commentators had repeatedly said before the start of the tournament that although three Indian players were in the main draw, this would be part of the learning curve for them as they were not experienced enough to challenge the likes of Ian Nepomniachtchi and Hikaru Nakamura. Gukesh was seen as unprepared.

But as the tournament progressed, Gukesh's so-called unpreparedness became one of his strongest weapons. He won five matches, drew 8 and lost just one match against France's Alireza Firouzja. He was incredibly composed throughout the tournament, was unfazed in tough situations and foxed his opponents with some innovative moves. This worked in his favour and enabled him to score over Alireza Firouzja when they met for the second time in the 13th round. Former Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay said that it was "an extremely risky, sharp and scary game". Thipsay wrote that Gukesh deviated from the known positions in the game and created a situation where he took extreme risks and when Firouzja failed to anticipate the dangers, won the game. That game made him the sole leader and with just one round remaining, he was in a strong position with eight and half points.

On the last day, Gukesh forced Nakamura to a draw and when Nepomniachtchi also drew with Caruana, Gukesh won the tournament and the right to challenge Ding Liren for the world crown later this year. The chess community showered praise on the youngster for his great feat and chess star Tania Sachdev wrote on X that "The future is here. It's today." Truly, it is a historical and inspiring win by Gukesh.