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  5. India's Gukesh D becomes youngest Candidates tournament winner, to compete in World Championship final

India's Gukesh D becomes youngest Candidates tournament winner, to compete in World Championship final

India's teenage chess sensation D Gukesh became the youngest player to win the Candidates tournament after holding American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura on to a draw. Gukesh has become only the second Indian to compete in the World Championship final and is set to take on Ding Liren.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: April 22, 2024 7:11 IST
Gukesh D drew with Hikaru Nakamura but with Fabiano Caruana
Image Source : FIDE CHESS Gukesh D drew with Hikaru Nakamura but with Fabiano Caruana drawing with Ian Nepomniachtchi, India's 17-year-old registered victory

Not considered as a title favourite by many, India's teenage sensation Gukesh D has become the youngest to win the Candidates tournament after 14 rounds of play over three weeks as he held American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura on to a draw. Gukesh needed to win the Round 14 game, but after the draw, his title contention depended on the Fabiano Caruana-Ian Nepomniachtchi clash. After 109 moves, the duo reluctantly shook hands before agreeing to a draw which meant that the 17-year-old was declared the youngest winner of the Candidates.

Gukesh has become only the second Indian to qualify for the World Championship final after Viswanathan Anand. Gukesh will be the first teenager to compete for chess' biggest prize as he is set to take on China's Ding Liren later this year for the title.

If either Caruana or Nepomniachtchi had won, Gukesh would have faced the winner in the tiebreaker but the draw was enough for the Indian youngster to win. Ahead of his final game, Gukesh mentioned that because of his age, there would have been too much focus on that factor and admitted that there is lack of experience but mentioned that he had no baggage because of it. "There are pros and cons considering my age and, you could say, lack of experience, but there are also some advantages. Like such a long tournament, it is easier to be focused at my age. There is a lack of experience, but I am trying my best."

Gukesh was the third youngest to compete in Candidates after Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen and was nowhere near the title favourites talks. Gukesh won five games and lost only one to Alireza Firoujza of France.

Tan Zhongyi won the Women's Candidates tournament by a 1.5-point margin. Zhongyi had a winning position against Anna Muzychuk, but a draw was enough to secure the title win and now she will compete against Ju Wenjun in the Women's World Championship.

In the other games, R Praggnanandhaa beat Nijat Abasov while Vidit Gujrathi agreed to a draw against Firoujza. In the women's competition, R Vaishali registered her fifth consecutive win after beating Kateryna Lagno while Humpy Koneru defeated Lei Tingjie. 

 

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