Less than 24 hours after Arjun Erigiasi showed the way, a fortuitous D. Gukesh brought down World champion Magnus Carlsen in the $150,000 Aimchess rapid online chess tournament on Monday.
In the ninth round of the 15-round league phase, Gukesh played white and appeared lost after his 25th move. Luckily for the youngster, Carlsen responded with a rook-move which proved a huge blunder. Gukesh seized his chance while Carlsen, playing from a log cabin in northern Sweden, realised his mistake and resigned on the 29th move for his first loss to the rising Indian star.
Gukesh, the youngest Indian Grandmaster and the second behind Viswanathan Anand in classical ratings, also became the youngest to beat Carlsen after he became the World champion in 2013.
Interestingly, Gukesh broke the record of fellow Chennai-teenager R Praggnanandhaa. In February, Praggnanadhaa was 16 years, six months and 10 days old when he beat Carlsen in the Airthings Masters. Gukesh surpassed the mark on Monday at 16 years, four months and 20 days.
“Obviously, beating Magnus is always special but I was not really very proud of that game,” was Gukesh’s candid admission.
Carlsen said, “I was really disappointed because I’d seen an easy way to win, but I thought I’d seen something even easier, but I hadn’t seen his threat of trapping the queen in the middle of the board.”
Asked about his recent losses to Indian youngsters, Carlsen said, “Pragg is the only one I’ve lost multiple times to. As for Arjun and Gukesh..., Arjun… I’ve generally beaten, Gukesh… very similar.”
About Gukesh, Carlsen said, “I think Gukesh has been extremely impressive in classical chess recently. Perhaps this rapid win wasn’t his proudest effort, even though getting a win is always nice.”
Gukesh, placed third with Arjun and Carlsen, won three out of four rounds, including the one against-placed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, but lost to new leader Jan-Krzsztof Duda.
Arjun, who lost to Mamedyarov and ended the day with a loss to teammate Aditya Mittal, defeated Eric Hansen and Vincent Keymer.