In 2013, a young D. Gukesh looked up to an inspired R. Praggnanandhaa - older by nine months and 19 days - in Tamil Nadu chess. In 2019, Gukesh broke Praggnanandhaa’s record to become the country’s youngest Grandmaster.
Since then, Gukesh has stayed on the fast lane in cruise mode.
On Thursday, 17-year-old Gukesh replaced his mentor Viswanathan Anand as the country’s top-ranked player on the published world rating list, effective September 1. For the first time since taking over as India’s numero uno on 1 July 1986 – in other words, after 37 years and two months – Anand relinquished the India No. 1 spot.
The five-time World champion is currently ranked ninth - a spot below Gukesh on the world list – is semi-retired from active chess. Since last August, Anand has been performing the duties of the FIDE Deputy President of the FIDE (the world chess federation), as a commentator and mentoring the new crop of players.
In live ratings, Anand did slip briefly in March 2016 when he lost to Sergey Karjakin in the fourth round of Candidates Tournament to be behind compatriot Harikrishna. The defeat brought down Anand’s live rating to 2763 – as against Harikrishna’s 2763.3 – and placed him at the 14th place, one behind his younger countryman.
For the record, World No. 8 Gukesh is the new India No. 1 with a rating career-high 2758. He also gatecrashed into the top-10 bracket after gaining three spots since August 1 by reaching the World Cup quarterfinals where he lost to the eventual champion, World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen.
During the Covid-outbreak, Gukesh worked extensively with Grandmaster Vishnu Prasanna on several aspects of chess. Since returning to competition with the National championship in late February 2022, Gukesh played 127 rated games during the year and raised his rating from 2614 to 2725 and jumped over 100 places to be 25 in the world.
This amazing run saw him win three tournaments in Spain on the trot – La Roda Open, Menorca Open and Formentera Open – in April-May last year. He played 26 unbeaten games spread over 25 days and became World No. 66 in live ratings.
Gukesh crossed the 2700 in rating during his jaw-dropping sequence of victories in the first eight rounds of the Chess Olympiad that made the chess world sit up and take note.
This year, Gukesh has played 76 rated games to move from 2725 to 2758. Going ahead, he has tough events to qualify for the eight-player Candidates Tournament scheduled in April next year and join Praggnanandhaa, who enjoys a career-best World ranking of 19.
Next, Gukesh’s goal is to breach the 2800-rating barrier and with it, keep Carlsen’s company.
- India vs New Zealand Live Score, World Cup 2023: IND looks to continue win streak; Toss at 1:30 PM IST
- Inter sinks Torino 3-0 to go top of Serie A table; Kvaratskhelia scores brace in Napoli win
- Messi plays entire game for Inter Miami in a 1-0 loss as Charlotte qualifies for the MLS playoffs
- IND vs NZ, ODI World Cup: Rohit Sharma versus New Zealand pacers outcome key for India’s campaign
- Vinícius is targeted again as Sevilla ejects fan for ‘racist behaviour’ at Real Madrid game