Candidates 2024: The Indian challenge

R. Praggnanandhaa: Blessed with the right temperament and groomed for bigger challenges on a chess board, this 18-year-old is the strongest of the three Indians figuring in the bottom half of the seedings.

Koneru Humpy: Her consistency is testimony to her determination to give her best each time. No wonder, she stands third in the all-time list of women players with the highest rating. Only Judit Polgar (2735), who tops the list, and Hou Yifan (2687) are ahead of Humpy (2625).

D. Gukesh: Much like Carlsen, he has the patience to wait for weaknesses or even a move of sub-optimal strength to seize his chance. That’s the reason he has managed to emerge stronger from seemingly equal positions even until the late middle-game.

Vidit Gujrathi: The 29-year-old has the game, experience and the skill set to make his presence felt. A perpetual underdog without much pressure of expectations, trust Vidit to spring a surprise or two.

R. Vaishali: Unlike her brother Praggnanandhaa, Vaishali finds it difficult to overcome losses or blown-away winning possibilities. A good start should steady the nerves and thereafter, Vaishali can be expected to spring surprises. With coach Ramesh around in Toronto, she will be in her comfort zone.