In our past editions of the 3L&3S, we have been featuring pieces on the rise of Indian chess. Last Sunday, that rise hit a crescendo of sorts as D Gukesh became the youngest to win the Fide Candidates tournament, beating the legendary Gary Kasparov’s record. Incidentally, Kasparov tweeted soon after the win: “Congratulations! The Indian earthquake in Toronto is the culmination of the shifting tectonic plates in the chess world as the 17 year old Gukesh D will face the Chinese champion Ding Liren for the highest title. The “children” of Vishy Anand are on the loose!”

It was indeed apt that Kasparov invoked Vishwanathan Anand. This editorial in the Indian Express goes:

“It took longer than what was ideal for Indian chess to move on from Viswanathan Anand, now pushing 55. But when the replacements to India’s No 1 and a global legend for more than 30 years arrived, they weren’t just pretenders. They came in droves. Dommaraju Gukesh, 17, secured the right to challenge Chinese Ding Liren for the World Championship later this year, as the Candidates tournament was taken by storm owing to the presence of five Indians out of 16, including three in the open category. The high tide had been surging for a couple of years, with the emergence of teen sensations who were restless to leave the prodigy tags behind and fight the big boys. Ultimately, it was Gukesh, India’s youngest GM when 12, who breezed through the field which boasted the three big names, Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomnichtchi and Hikaru Nakamura.”

This should go down as amongst the greatest moments in Indian sporting history. Gukesh could go one step further by becoming the youngest to win the world championship if he beats Liren.

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