22 Apr 2024

Candidates Tournament: D Gukesh etches his name in history, what Vishwanath Anand said?

India's D Gukesh has etched his name in history as the youngest player ever to clinch victory in the Candidates tournament, securing the opportunity to challenge chess world champion Ding Liren. This remarkable feat surpasses a record set by the legendary Garry Kasparov four decades ago.

Seventeen-year-old Indian Grandmaster Gukesh secured first place with an impressive score of 9/14 points. He now joins the esteemed company of Viswanathan Anand as only the second Indian player to triumph in the FIDE Candidates Tournament.

Gukesh's victory eclipsed Kasparov's achievement by a considerable margin. Kasparov, at the age of 22, earned his qualification in 1984 to challenge his compatriot Anatoly Karpov.

Reflecting on his victory, Gukesh said: "So relieved and so happy. I was following this crazy game (between Fabio Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi), and then I went for a walk with my second (Gregorz Gazevsky), I think that helped," Gukesh said after winning.

Moreover, Gukesh was awarded a cash prize of €88,500 (roughly Rs. 78.5 lakh) from the overall prize pool of €500,000.

So proud of what you have done: Anand 

"Congratulations to @DGukesh for becoming the youngest challenger. The @WacaChess family is so proud of what you have done . I'm personally very proud of how you played and handled tough situations. Enjoy the moment," Anand posted on 'X' to greet the youngster, who like him, also hails from Chennai.

In the final standings, Caruana, Nepomniachtchi, and Nakamura ended up tied for second place with 8.5 points each, while R Praggnanandhaa, the Indian Grandmaster, secured fifth place with seven points.

The dates and venue for the world championship are yet to be confirmed, signaling the next phase in Gukesh's promising career. Gukesh has already made significant waves in the chess world, becoming the third-youngest Grandmaster in history at the age of 12 and clinching a silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

In the final round, Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 8.5) drew with D Gukesh (9); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 8.5) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (FIDE, 8.5); Nijat Abasov (Aze, 3.5) lost to R Praggnanandhaa (7); and Firouza Alireza (Fra, 5) drew with Vidit Gujrathi (6).

Final standings 

D Gukesh

2-4. Nakamura, Nepomniachtchi, Caruana

5. R Pragnanandhaa

6. Vidit Gujrathi

7. Firouza Alireza

8. Nijat Abasov

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