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17-year-old Gukesh becomes the youngest ever to win FIDE Candidates 2024, creates history

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/04/2024

The 17-year-old prodigy D Gukesh is now a World Championship Challenger. The calm and composed teenager is not worried about becoming the youngest ever to win FIDE Candidates tournament. He became the second Indian after Vishy Anand to win a Candidates. From winning individual Gold at the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, the boy went to play the game which Magnus Carlsen enjoyed the most en route to his victory at FIDE World Cup 2023. The teenager seized his final opportunity to qualify for the Candidates 2024 by winning Chennai Grand Masters 2023 in December, organized by us, ChessBase India. We all witnessed this soft-spoken powerhouse's journey to the top. As he said, he is only halfway through. We hope to see him conquer the very mountaintop this year as the World Champion. Photos: FIDE/Michal Walusza

The Dawn of D Gukesh era

"Right now I am just so relieved and so happy. I was following this crazy game. I was completely emotional, after the game finished, now I am feeling good." - Gukesh after winning FIDE Candidates 2024. "In Toronto I came with my dad and Gajewski, but obviously the support system is huge, you know my family, my friends. Coming to my team, you know the journey is only halfway through. They know how much grateful I am to them but I would not like to take their names but each one of them played a huge role and I am so grateful for everyone." - Gukesh on his team. "Right now I am mostly just happy about winning the tournament. I don't really care about youngest and all these records but you know it's a nice thing to say." - On becoming the youngest ever to win a FIDE Candidates tournament.

D Gukesh is the winner of FIDE Candidates 2024 | Photo: FIDE
The Dream becomes a reality - Interview with D Gukesh | Video: ChessBase India

The Dream Team (L to R): Dr. Rajini Kanth (Father), D Gukesh, Grzegorz Gajewski (Second) and Sandeep Singhal of Westbridge Capital (Sponsor) | Photo: Sagar Shah

"...if I had to pinpoint a moment where I felt this could be my moment was probably after the seventh game. After I lost to Firouzja. I was obviously quite upset after that but during the rest day I already felt so good, even though I just had a painful loss. I was feeling at my absolute best and I don't know, maybe this loss just gave me so much motivation. After the seventh round, I really started to feel at my absolute best." - Gukesh on when he felt like he could win this tournament.

Press Conference with Gukesh, winner of the FIDE Candidates | Video: FIDE

"The main problem is that I am not playing myself. So I have too much time and I have to follow all the games. Obviously today there were too many emotions going on, the (evaluation) bar was going crazy in the game between Fabiano and Ian. It was quite nervous but luckily it ended well for us." - Grzegorz Gajewski, Gukesh's second on his emotions during the game. "Obviously, we are very happy with his performance. Not just the fact that he did so well in terms of the result but also in terms of quality of the games. Already a couple of days earlier, I was convinced that he is going to win the tournament, simply the quality of his moves was so high that he didn't do too many mistakes. He had one accident in his first game against Alireza. Apart from that, there were hardly any mistakes in his games so I think he deserved that." - Gajewski on Gukesh's performance at this event.

Nakamura - Gukesh: 0.5-0.5

D Gukesh (2743) played absolutely solid against Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2789) which is what he needed to do. He needed a draw minimum to at least secure tie-breaks in case Fabiano Caruana or Ian Nepomniachtchi beat the other. The teenager managed to achieve it by playing a 'decent game' in his own words.

Final moments of Gukesh winning the Candidates 2024 | Video: ChessBase India
Post-game Press Conference with Hikaru Nakamura and D Gukesh | Video: FIDE
The crazy love that fans showed for Gukesh after he won the FIDE Candidates 2024 | Video: ChessBase India
FINALE Candidates 2024!!! | Video: GMHikaru

The handshake at the beginning of the game | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

The handshake after the end of the battle | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Gukesh is still World no.6 with a live rating of 2763.4| Source:

Caruana - Nepomniachtchi: 0.5-0.5

Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2803) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (2758) were in a must-win situation to force tie-breaks. Anything less than a win for either player just was not going to cut it. It was Caruana who had a decisive advantage for the better part of the game.

Position after 21...h4?

21...h4? allowed White to gain the upper hand 22.dxc6 Nc5 23.Bf5+ Kb8 24.Kb1 b6 25.Rd7 instead Bd7 is what White needed to play. Later in the queen and rook vs queen and knight endgame, White had plenty of chances, unfortunately for him, he missed them all and the game ended in a draw.

Ian Nepomniachtchi apologizes to Fabiano Caruana after their game | Video: ChessBase India
Post-game Press Conference with Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi | Video: FIDE

Ian Nepomniachtchi taking a peek at his game | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Fabiano Caruana (USA) missed plenty of opportunities against Ian Nepomniachtchi | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

R Praggnanandhaa scored a consolation win over Nijat Abasov (AZE) | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Our CEO and Cofounder IM Sagar Shah congratulates Gukesh

After a light conversation...

...back to work, lots of interviews are lined up for Gukesh
"The World Championship Match will be in November 2024" - FIDE CEO Emil Sutovsky | Video: ChessBase India
The beautiful ChessBase India meetup in a park in Toronto, Canada | Video: ChessBase India

How the world reacted to Gukesh's triumph

Vishy Anand

Vishnu Prasanna

Grzegorz Gajewski

Garry Kasparov

Judit Polgar

Susan Polgar

Koneru Humpy

Arjun Erigaisi

Anish Giri

Harika Dronavalli

B Adhiban

Teimour Radjabov

Anand Mahindra

Time control

The time control for each game is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 41.


The total prize fund is €500000. The top three prizes are €48000, €36000 and €24000. All prize money shall be divided equally among the players with the equal score after 14 rounds regardless tie-break results. In addition, each player gets €3500 euros for every half point scored.

Replay Round 14 live stream

FIDE Candidates 2024 Round 14 Live Commentary by Amruta Mokal, IM Sagar Shah, GM Harshit Raja and GM Srinath Narayanan | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 14 games

Round 14 results

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMNakamura, Hikaru½ - ½GMGukesh, D
GMCaruana, Fabiano½ - ½GMNepomniachtchi, Ian
GMFirouzja, Alireza½ - ½GMVidit, Santosh Gujrathi
GMAbasov, Nijat0 - 1GMPraggnanandhaa, R


Final standings

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMGukesh, DIND2743957,0050
GMNakamura, HikaruUSA27898,556,0050
GMNepomniachtchi, IanFID27588,556,0030
GMCaruana, FabianoUSA28038,554,0040
GMPraggnanandhaa, RIND2747742,5030
GMVidit, Santosh GujrathiIND2727640,2530
GMFirouzja, AlirezaFRA2760532,7520
GMAbasov, NijatAZE26323,525,5000



Official site

Tournament Regulations

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