Gukesh wins Candidates tournament, becomes youngest challenger in history of World Chess Championship

D. Gukesh during the FIDE Candidates 2024 chess tournament, in Toronto, Canada.
| Photo Credit: PTI

D. Gukesh will play for the World chess championship as the youngest challenger in history. The 17-year-old from Chennai won the qualifying event, the Candidates tournament, in Toronto after drawing his final round encounter with second seed Hikaru Nakamura of the United States.

He, however, had to wait for the result of the game between top-seeded American Fabiano Caruana and Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, the winner of the last two editions of the tournament. Gukesh would be the outright champion if that too ended in a draw.

That was what happened. That meant Gukesh, with nine points, would finish on top of the table of eight players who played one another twice. Nakamura, Nepomniachtchi and Caruana ended with 8.5 points each.

Gukesh thus became the only second Indian, after Viswanathan Anand, to qualify for the World title match. He will take on the reigning champion Ding Liren of China.

The women’s tournament was won by China’s Tan Zhongyi, who finished with nine points, 1.5 ahead of the competition. The Indian duo of Koneru Humpy and R. Vaishali tied for second place with 7.5 points each, along with Lei Tingjie of China.

Tan will meet her compatriot Ju Wenjun for the women’s World championship. Open:

1. D. Gukesh 9; 2-4. Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Ian Nepomniachtchi (FIDE) and Fabiano Caruana (USA) 8.5; 5. R. Praggnanandhaa 7; 6. Vidit Gujrathi 6; 7. Alireza Firouzja (Fra) 5; 8. Nijat Abasov (Aze) 3.5.


1. Tan Zhongyi (Chn) 9; 2-4. Koneru Humpy, Lei Tingjie and R. Vaishali 7.5; 5. Aleksandra Goryachkina 7; 6. Kateryna Lagno (FIDE) 6.5; 7-8. Nurgyul Salimova (Bul) and Anna Muzychuk 5.5.

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