D Gukesh Defies Magnus Carlsen's Prediction to Win 2024 Chess Candidates Tournament

17-year-old Indian chess prodigy D Gukesh wins the 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament, becoming the youngest-ever challenger for the World Chess Championship. His historic victory defies predictions and sets the stage for an exciting championship match against Ding Liren.

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Salman Khan
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D Gukesh Defies Magnus Carlsen's Prediction to Win 2024 Chess Candidates Tournament

D Gukesh Defies Magnus Carlsen's Prediction to Win 2024 Chess Candidates Tournament

In a stunning victory, 17-year-old Indian chess prodigy D Gukesh has won the 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament in Toronto, becoming the youngest-ever challenger for the World Chess Championship. Gukesh secured the historic win by drawing his final round game against American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, finishing the tournament with an impressive 9 out of 14 points.

Gukesh's triumph comes despite pre-tournament predictions from former World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who had doubted the young Indian's chances. In an exclusive post-tournament interview with ITG Sports, Gukesh addressed Carlsen's comments, acknowledging that he had read the Norwegian's expectation that he would finish the tournament somewhere between +2 to -5.

However, Gukesh proved Carlsen and other doubters wrong, leaving behind Carlsen's predicted favorites like Ian Nepomniachtchi, Fabiano Caruana, and Hikaru Nakamura. Carlsen later admitted that he had been "confused" about Gukesh, acknowledging that the young Indian player is "probably a bit stronger" than he and others had realized.

Gukesh's path to victory was not without challenges. He suffered a painful loss against Alireza Firouzja in the 7th round, but he used the defeat as motivation for the remainder of the tournament. In the final round, Gukesh admitted to getting distracted by the game between Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi, but fortunately, it did not significantly impact his result against Nakamura.

Why this matters: Gukesh's historic win at the 2024 Candidates Tournament marks a significant milestone in chess history. As the youngest player to ever challenge for the World Chess Championship title, Gukesh's victory showcases the rise of a new generation of chess talent and sets the stage for an exciting championship match against reigning champion Ding Liren later this year.

Expressing gratitude for the support he received in Toronto, Gukesh said it was "everything and more" than he could have hoped for. The young Grandmaster will now face World Champion Ding Liren in the championship match at the end of the year, where he will have the opportunity to make history once again by becoming the youngest World Chess Champion, breaking a record held by Garry Kasparov for nearly four decades.

Key Takeaways

  • 17-year-old Indian GM D Gukesh wins 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament.
  • Gukesh becomes youngest-ever challenger for World Chess Championship.
  • Gukesh overcomes doubts from former champion Magnus Carlsen.
  • Gukesh to face reigning champion Ding Liren in championship match.
  • Gukesh aims to become youngest World Chess Champion, breaking Kasparov's record.