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Gukesh D was playing extremely ambitious chess when I first met him, says Magnus Carlsen

Published at :May 3, 2024 at 5:07 PM
Modified at :May 6, 2024 at 2:33 AM
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(Courtesy : X/chesscom and DGukesh)

Shashank Tripathi

Gukesh D became the youngest FIDE Candidates champion in the sport’s history last month.

Chess World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen has lavished praise on India’s Gukesh D by stating that he’s ambitious about the game.

Last month, Gukesh D became the youngest event chess player to win the FIDE Candidates. He also broke chess legend Garry Kasparov’s four-decade-old record to become the youngest champion in the game’s history.

Before the 2024 FIDE Candidates got underway, Magnus Carlsen predicted that Gukesh D would have a below-average campaign in the tournament. However, after the Indian Grandmaster outplayed the likes of Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi to win the prestigious event, Carlsen also lauded the 17-year-old.

Magnus Carlsen said that he somehow underestimated the Indian Grandmaster’s chess prowess. However, World No. 1 has again praised the 17-year-old by stating that he’s ambitious towards the game. Carlsen also recalled his game against Gukesh D, where he was on the verge of losing. The Norwegian Grandmaster said in the podcast Sjakksnakk (“Chess Chat”):

“What was noticeable about Gukesh, even compared to other youngsters, was that he was playing extremely ambitious chess. It struck me when he played on the Champions Chess Tour in 2021 I think I played the opening a little bit too casually against him. I was a lot worse as white in some London system.”

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Carlsen affirmed that, despite getting an unfavourable start against the 17-year-old, he managed to turn the game in his favour at a crucial moment. He added:

“I eventually managed to turn the game around, and I pushed him a little bit before it was a draw, but he had a style in which you could see that he could become something really special. I was surprised that it took him this short a time to become a World Championship Challenger, obviously, that’s a surprise to most people, but he always had that potential of being up there.”

Later this year, Gukesh D will be facing China’s Ding Liren in the FIDE World Championship match. Consequently, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) is looking forward to bidding to host the tournament.

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