Indian D Gukesh becomes youngest chess player to beat world champion Magnus Carlsen
Gukesh’s 29-stroke dismantling of Carlsen comes a day after fellow 19-year-old Arjun Erigaisi picked up his maiden win against the world champion.
Indian teenage grandmaster D Gukesh upset Magnus Carlsen in the ninth round of the preliminary round of the Aimchess Rapid online chess tournament, becoming the youngest person to beat the world champion. The 16-year-old from Chennai beat the world no. after the 12th. round.
Gukesh’s 29-stroke dismantling of the world champion comes a day after 19-year-old compatriot Arjun Erigaisi scored his maiden victory against the world champion. “Gukesh has just become the youngest player ever to beat Magnus after becoming a WC! Hats off to the 16-year-old Indian superstar,” the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, of which the Aimchess Rapid event is part of, said on his Twitter feed.
Gukesh is 16 years 4 months 20 days as the previous record before his victory was R Praggnanandhaa’s 39-stroke win over Carlsen at the Airthings Masters in February. Pragg was 16 years 6 months and 10 days old when he beat the world No.
The Indian, for his part, was quoted as saying after the momentous win: Beating Magnus is always special, but I wasn’t very proud of that game. Mamedyarova and Eric Hansen in the next two rounds.
Erigaisi has as many points (21) as Gukesh and is fourth as the race for the knockout stage draws closer. Erigaisi, 19, started the third day of preliminaries with a defeat against Mamedyarov before scoring against Hansen and the talented German Vincent Keymer. However, a defeat at the hands of fellow Indian Aditya Mittal in the 12th round spoiled what would have been a good day.
Gukesh continued what has been a superb year so far for the young Indian player by becoming the third to put him through Carlsen after Praggnanandhaa and Erigaisi.
Even as Gukesh and Erigaisi highlighted their talent and picked up victories, the other Indians – Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi, Aditya Mittal and P Harikrishna – failed to impress. Gujrathi sits in 10th place and out of knockout qualifying range with 14 points. He lost two of his four games against Duda and Hansen. He drew against Mamedyarov before ending the day with a win over Keymer.
Mittal (12 points) is in 12th place. He upset Erigaisi in round 12 after losing his previous three matches against Anish Giri (Netherlands), Richard Rapport and David Anton Guijjaro in rounds 9, 10 and 11 respectively.
Harikrishna is 15th after 12 rounds of play and is not in contention to reach the quarter-finals. To his credit, however, he held Carlsen to a tie in the 10th round in a 76-hit game.
World champion Carlsen is in fifth place after a quiet day. After losing to Gukesh, it drew against Harikrishna and world rapid champion Nodirkbek Abdusattorov and ended with a win over Daniel Naroditsky.
Gujrathi picked up an impressive win over fast-paced world champion Abdusattorov but drew with Grandelius and Naroditsky and a loss at the hands of Carlsen caught up with him.
The Aimchess Rapid tournament is part of the Meltwater Champions tour and brings together 16 players including five Indians. After the 15-round knockout, the top eight advance to knockouts.