As widely anticipated, D. Gukesh overtook his idol and mentor Viswanathan Anand in live world rankings after overpowering home-favourite Misratdin Iskandarov in 44 moves for the second time in their second-round match in the FIDE World Cup at Baku (Azerbaijan) on Thursday.
The latest gain of 2.5 rating points raised Gukesh’s live rating to 2755.9, while Anand’s is 2754.0. With this, Gukesh replaced Anand as the World No. 9 in live rankings while the five-time World champion slipped to 10th.
Anand, who first made it to the World’s top-10 in July 1991, has remained India’s top-ranked player in all published lists since January 1987.
Should Gukesh stay ahead of Anand till the release of the next ranking list on 1st September, the 17-year-old will become the first Indian to figure ahead of Anand in the World rankings since Pravin Thipsay in July 1986. At that time, Thipsay was rated 2485 to Anand’s 2420.
In fact, this is the second time, in live ratings, that Anand is seen behind a compatriot. On March 16, 2016, Anand temporarily trailed P. Harikrishna.
This brief change of guard was due to Anand’s loss to Sergey Karjakin in the Candidates tournament. This defeat brought down his live rating to 2763.0 below Harikrishna’s 2763.3. At that time, Harikrishna was placed 13 and Anand 14.
Gukesh, who recently became the youngest to reach 2750 in live ratings, is firmly focussed on breaching the 2800-mark. At present, celebrations will wait for Gukesh since the eighth seed will be preparing to play compatriot S. L. Narayanan for a place in the next round.
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