Candidates Chess: Gukesh becomes youngest champion, to challenge for world title

Indian GM Gukesh. File photo: X@FIDE

Toronto: India's 17-year-old Grandmaster D Gukesh scripted history by winning the Candidates Chess Tournament here to become the youngest-ever challenger to the world title. He will take on the reigning world champion, China's Ding Liren, for the crown later this year.

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.

"Congratulations to @DGukesh for becoming the youngest challenger. The @WacaChess family is so proud of what you have done. I'm personally very proud of how you played and handled tough situations. Enjoy the moment," Anand posted on 'X' to congratulate the youngster, who like him, also hails from Chennai.

The Indian needed the last game between Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia and top-seeded American Fabiano Caruana to end in a draw and this is exactly how things panned out. Had any of these two players won, the tournament would have needed a tie-break as Gukesh and the winner would have ended up in joint lead.

Gukesh has been making waves for a while now after becoming the third youngest in chess history to earn the Grandmaster title at the age of 12. Last year, he won a silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games. The dates and venue for the world championship are yet to be finalised. 

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