Gukesh winning Candidates 2024 marks tectonic shift in world chess order: Garry Kasparov

The world champion from 1985 till 1993, Kasparov, said that chess players from China and India are beginning to make their mark in global competitions

Published : Apr 23, 2024 11:28 IST , NEW DELHI - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Former World chess champion Garry Kasparov at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019
FILE PHOTO: Former World chess champion Garry Kasparov at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 | Photo Credit: REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: Former World chess champion Garry Kasparov at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov lauded teen D. Gukesh for becoming the youngest ever challenger for the world title, and said the triumph marks the “shifting tectonic plates” in the game’s global order.

The 17-year-old Gukesh bettered the record created by Kasparov 40 years ago. The Russian was 22 when he qualified in 1984 to clash with compatriot Anatoly Karpov, making him the youngest challenger of that time.

“Congratulations! The Indian earthquake in Toronto is the culmination of the shifting tectonic plates in the chess world as the 17-year-old Gukesh will face the Chinese champion Ding Liren for the highest title,” wrote Kasparov on social media, obliquely referring to the Russian domination of the past.

ALSO READ | We’ll aim to stay as number one for a few years, says Gukesh’s coach, Vishnu Prasanna

Gukesh played out an easy draw with American Hikaru Nakamura in the 14th and final round to finish with nine out of a possible 14 points in the tournament that is held to decide the challenger to the world champion.

The triumph entitles Gukesh a clash against reigning world champion Ding Liren of China in the last quarter of the year.

India’s five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand has spawned a chess culture in India and the country is reaping the rewards of the Grandmaster’s success with thousands of youngsters, mostly in their teens, taking up chess.

Kasparov acknowledged Anand’s contribution to Indian chess, saying, “The ‘children’ of Vishy Anand are on the loose!” Kasparov was responding to a congratulatory tweet by Grand Chess Tour following Gukesh’s success here.

In another social media post Kasparov highlighted the shift in power centre of chess, saying, “Look at the names of many of the top junior players to see that the Chinese and Indian diaspora are just as passionate [as anyone] to achieve at chess.

“The Kasparov Chess Foundation has watched this wave rise and Gukesh’s success will raise it further,” Kasparov, the world champion from 1985 till 1993, wrote.

Kasparov, following a dispute with the international chess federation (FIDE) set up a rival organisation, the Professional Chess Association. He was ranked world No. 1 for a record 255 months overall, from 1984 until his retirement from regular competitive chess in 2005.

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