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India's D Gukesh becomes youngest man to win 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.

17 year old D Gukesh becomes youngest man to win Candidates, to challenge for World Championship gcw
First Published Apr 22, 2024, 8:37 AM IST

Grandmaster D Gukesh, 17, of India made history by becoming winner in the Candidates Chess Tournament, making history as the youngest contender for the world championship. Later this year, he will challenge China's Ding Liren, the current world champion, for the title.

Gukesh accumulated nine out of a possible 14 points here after drawing his final round game against American Hikaru Nakamura. He became only the second Indian after the great Viswanathan Anand to win the Candidates. Five-time world champion Anand's triumph came in 2014.

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. 

The teenager from India finished as the sole leader at the end of a gripping 14-round Candidates tournament in Toronto, Canada. 

Gukesh will have the opportunity to become the youngest world champion when he challenges Ding Liren later this year. At the age of 22, Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov emerged as the world champions.

Gukesh bettered Kasparov’s record by quite a distance as the Russian great was 22 when he qualified in 1984 to clash with compatriot Anatoly Karpov. Gukesh also won a cash award of 88,500 Euros (approx Rs 78.5 lakh). The total prize fund of the Candidates was 5,00,000 Euros.

“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.

The dates and venue for the world championship are yet to be finalised.

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