India scripted history in chess as Gukesh D, at the age of 17, became the youngest player ever to win the FIDE Candidates Chess tournament in Toronto. The teenager, who one of the pillars of the revolution India has caused in chess across the globe, also became the youngest challenger to the World Championship title, courtesy of his victory at the event. Gukesh needed only a draw against American Hikaru Nakamura in the 14th and final round to secure that tile. He did so by accumulating a total of nine points out of a possible 14.

It is only the second time in India’s sporting history that a player has gone on to win the Candidates tournament. The previous win had come in 2014 when the legendary Viswanathan Anand had done so. With the win, 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.

The teenage prodiy is now only one step away from bettering a record created by the legendary Garry Kasparov 40 years ago.

Who is Gukesh D, the Candidates Chess Winner?

Gukesh was just 7 years old when he learned to play chess. Hailing from Chennai, the same city as GM Viswanathan Anand, Gukesh was introduced to chess by his school, which is part of the Velammal group of schools across Chennai. Gukesh’s first coach at the school, Mr. Bhaskar, quickly realised the boy’s potential and helped him become a FIDE-rated player just 6 months after learning the game.

Vijayanand then took up as Gukesh’s coach and the boy started to find success at the international level. At the 2015 Asian School Chess Championships, he emerged triumphant at the under-9 section while also earning the candidate master’s (CM) title. His first major win came in 2018. Gukesh won 5 medals at the Asian Youth Chess Championships. The same year, he made the under-12 title his own at the World Youth Championships with 10/11 points.

Gukesh became an international master at 11 years, nine months, and nine days old. He then started working on his quest to become the youngest grandmaster in the history of the game.

Gukesh’s first grand achievement came in January 2019, when he earned the Grandmaster’s title at the age of 12 years, 7 months, and 17 days of age-narrowly missing out on GM Sergey Karjakin’s record by just 17 days.

Gukesh has long been considered one of India’s brightest chess talents. In July 2022, he achieved a live rating of 2700. In the process, he became the fourth-youngest player to ever do so.


The chess prodigy continued going strong at the international level after becoming the second youngest grandmaster of all time. He won team bronze and individual gold at the 2022 FIDE Chess Olympiad.

In 2023, he also claimed victory at the Junior Speed Chess Championship. He defeated IM Emin Ohanyan, GM Pranav V, and GM Raunak Sadhwani to claim the title. In July, he crossed the 2750 FIDE rating barrier, becoming the youngest player in history to do so, as per

With PTI inputs

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