Gukesh Makes History: Youngest Ever to Win FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024

History has been made in the world of chess. 17-year-old Indian Grandmaster D. Gukesh has won the 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament, becoming the youngest player ever to qualify for the FIDE World Championship. Gukesh’s remarkable victory marks a generational shift, securing his place as a challenger to reigning champion GM Ding Liren. The Candidates Tournament is a prestigious event where the world’s top players vie for the ultimate prize in chess – the right to become World Champion.

Key Moments

Despite narrowly missing the record for youngest-ever Grandmaster, Gukesh’s determination fueled his subsequent successes. Gukesh’s remarkable win in the Candidates Tournament was marked by several decisive victories and strategic plays. Here are some of the key moments that solidified his path to history:

  • Round 13 Victory Over Firouzja: This pivotal win established Gukesh’s dominance, and his ability to defeat another rising star in the chess world.
  • Missed Opportunity for Caruana: Fabiano Caruana’s nearly six-hour battle against Nepomniachtchi ended in a draw. Had Caruana won, tiebreakers would have been possible, creating uncertainty for Gukesh’s overall victory.
  • Early Wins Set the Tone: Gukesh’s strong start to the tournament, including early wins over Nijat Abasov, created a foundation of confidence and momentum.
  • Consistency Amidst Tension: As the stakes increased, Gukesh demonstrated remarkable poise. His ability to secure draws against highly-rated opponents like Ian Nepomniachtchi was crucial in maintaining his lead.

Gukesh’s Rise

D. Gukesh’s exceptional talent was evident early on. In 2019, he became the second-youngest chess Grandmaster in history at the age of 12. This prestigious title marked him as a prodigy to watch.

Gukesh’s dedication and talent propelled him into the top 100 players worldwide within a few years of becoming a Grandmaster. His remarkable ability to consistently improve led to his rapid climb up the FIDE rating ladder.

In 2022, Gukesh delivered a stellar performance at the prestigious Chess Olympiad, where he contributed to India’s bronze medal win. This international success further solidified his reputation as a top contender.

These achievements, along with strong results in other high-level tournaments, paved the way for his qualification to the 2024 Candidates Tournament. This qualification positioned him to make history and secure his spot as a World Championship challenger.

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Tournament Standings

The 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament concluded with a thrilling finish, with Gukesh emerging as the youngest-ever winner. Here’s a look at the final standings:

Gukesh Makes History

Gukesh Early Days From Chess Com

Early Chess Career

Gukesh’s remarkable rise began later than many chess prodigies, learning the game at age seven. However, his talent and the supportive chess environment in his hometown, Chennai, quickly propelled him to success. His early training with Mr. Bhaskar led to a FIDE rating within six months. Under the guidance of Mr. Vijayanand, he triumphed at the 2015 Asian School Chess Championships (Under-9) and achieved the Candidate Master title. His meteoric ascent continued in 2018 with multiple gold medals at the Asian Youth Championships, followed by his dominant victory at the World Youth Championship (Under-12). Gukesh’s quest for the Grandmaster title began shortly after, and in 2019, with guidance from GM Vishnu Prasanna, he became the second-youngest Grandmaster in history. His resilience after narrowly missing the youngest record exemplifies Gukesh’s determination from a young age.

The World Championship Outlook

Gukesh’s historic Candidates win sets the stage for an intriguing World Championship showdown against the reigning champion, GM Ding Liren. Ding is a formidable player with a wealth of experience and a reputation for consistency. While Ding Liren’s historical performance against younger players is inconclusive, his methodical style presents a stark contrast to Gukesh’s fearless aggression. This clash of styles has ignited excitement in the chess world, with many speculating about a potential generational shift.

“The journey is only halfway through,” Gukesh remarked after his victory. “I’m just looking forward to the next big thing.” His determination and focus, coupled with his exceptional talent, suggest that he’ll be a fierce challenger to the World Championship throne. Chess fans around the world will be eagerly waiting to see if Gukesh can continue his meteoric rise and dethrone the established champion, ushering in a new era of chess.


  1. Gukesh Dommaraju’s profile:
  2. Gukesh Dommaraju’s FIDE profile: