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Indian Chess GM Gukesh’s advantage at Candidates spurs prayers, leaves hearts beating for his success

Indian Chess GM Gukesh's advantage at Candidates spurs prayers, leaves hearts beating for his success

Chennai, April 21 (SocialNews.XYZ) 17-year-old Grandmaster (GM) D. Gukesh's performance at the FIDE Candidates Open tournament has left the hearts of India's young and old chess players - and their parents - beating excitedly and spurred prayers that he wins and becomes the challenger for the World Chess Champion title against China's Liren Ding.

The final round of the Candidates tournament, underway in Canada's Toronto, is crucial for four players with Gukesh having a slight advantage with a half-a-point lead over the other three -- GM Hikaru Nakamura of the US (World No. 3), Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, and the US GM Fabiano Caruana with eight points --who are in the contention.


"Gukesh winning the Candidates is one of my daily prayers. He is highly disciplined and mature, as he was even as a very young boy," Woman International Master (WIM) Sai Meera Ravi, the wife of IM T.S.Ravi and mother of Woman GM Rakshitta Ravi, told IANS.

“I have known Gukesh as a very young boy. I used to take Gukesh along with Rakshitta for overseas tournaments whenever his parents were not able to accompany him. Similarly, they used to do that when we were not able to accompany Rakshitta for overseas events, " she said.

“Even as a 10-year-old boy, Gukesh was very disciplined and mature. He used to get up early and finish his morning ablutions first so that there is no fight for the bathroom," Sai Meera recalled.

Gukesh’s father D. Rajinikanth was also very helpful and played a key role in Rakshitta’s chess career by taking her to overseas tournaments along with Gukesh without any reservations.

"Today, Nakamura will be under pressure to win against Gukesh. Whereas for Gukesh, a draw is enough and then waiting for the result of the game between Nepomniachtchi and Caruana," young Rakshitta told IANS.

According to her, Gukesh likes to create a complicated position on the chess board which would make his opponent work more calculations and commit mistakes.

"With his nerves like a steel wire, Gukesh has the advantage over Nakamura," IM Ravi added.

The first thing in the morning this family of chess masters does is to track the results and the games played at the Candidates tournament as the games begin at midnight, India time.

"All his games till now in the Candidates were perfect. He lost one game due to time pressure and not otherwise. He deserves the title. The game against Nakamura will be a fighting one. Nakamura has to win against Gukesh to be in contention for the world chess title. For Gukesh, playing with black pieces, a draw is sufficient. But he is a fighter and calculates the moves very well,” GM Aravindh Chithambaram told IANS.

According to Chithambaram, all three Indian GMs -- Gukesh, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, and R. Praggnanandhaa - played well in the Candidates, punching above their weight.

All India Chess Federation's (AICF) former Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan has foregone sleep to watch all the 13 rounds played till now.

"Gukesh’s performance at the Candidates is magical. Today, I will certainly not miss out. All the three Indian players performed well. We never expected Gukesh would do so well in this tournament," Chauhan told IANS.

"It will be very difficult for Nakamura to break through Gukesh’s defence today. There is a 70-80 per cent chance for Gukesh to be the challenger for the world title as all he needs is a draw," IM Vedant Panesar, who also watches the games through the night, told IANS.

“My heart also beats for Gukesh. I also watch the game along with Vedant and prepare some tea and a midnight snack for him. He watches the games online with his chess friends located in different cities," Vedant’s mother Parminder Panesar told IANS.

Chess coach R.R.Vasudevan told IANS: "Gukesh’s form is flowing at the right time. He could march on to become the youngest world chess champion. With fighting results flowing like the river Ganga every round, this Candidates is high on entertainment and has lifted the popularity of chess worldwide."

Former women’s world champion (1996-99), Hungarian-American GM Susan Polgar had told IANS that Gukesh "has the talent, motivation, fearless mentality, strong nerves, determination, and the X-factor. But he has to make sure not to get into time pressure".

In fact, Polgar had said before that Gukesh would go the furthest as he had a maturity beyond his years.

While the 2024 edition is one of the most interesting Candidates tournaments with no clear winner till the last round, it is certainly a memorable one for Indian chess and for Gukesh, the "Rajinikanth" of Indian chess, given how his mettle on the chessboard echoes the Tamil superstar's stupendous feats on the silver screen.

And yes, there is 'Rajinikanth' blood in Gukesh as he is the son of D. Rajinikanth, an ENT surgeon.

At the Chess Olympiad held here in 2022, Gukesh had won the first seven games, a record of sorts.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at

Source: IANS

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Indian Chess GM Gukesh's advantage at Candidates spurs prayers, leaves hearts beating for his success

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