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At Just 16, Gukesh D. Is Now The Youngest-Ever To Beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen

At Just 16, Gukesh D. Is Now The Youngest-Ever To Beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen

Since Magnus Carlsen became the world champion over ten years ago, Indian teenager Dommaraju Gukesh has become the youngest player to ever defeat him in the Aimchess Rapid online chess tournament. 

Gukesh smashed the previous record set by his fellow countryman Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, who beat the world champion in February at the age of 16 years, 6 months, and 10 days.

“Obviously, beating Magnus is always special but I was not really very proud of that game,” The Indian Express quoted Gukesh in a press release after beating Carlsen at the Aimchess Rapid on Sunday. Gukesh was also honored with the title of the best player at the Chennai tournament for his record-breaking streak of 8 wins in 8 games. He had unfortunately lost against the Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattoroy, just as India seemed on brink of defeating the eventual champions, Uzbekistan.

The 16-year-old’s win was Carlsen’s second loss in two days against one of India’s new crop of talented teenagers at the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Gukesh’s 29-move dismantling of the world champion came a day after his 19-year-old compatriot Arjun Erigaisi had posted a maiden win over the world champion.

The upcoming generation of premier Indian chess players seems to be unstoppable. With their extraordinary accomplishments, Gukesh Dommaraju, Arjun Erigaisi, Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu and Nihal Sarin have dominated the news cycle. 

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The Indian Express quoted Carlsen as he spoke on his losses against Indian young grandmasters, “Pragg is the only one I’ve lost multiple times to. As for Arjun and Gukesh: Arjun I’ve generally beaten; Gukesh very similar. I think Gukesh has been extremely impressive in classical chess recently. Perhaps this rapid win wasn’t his proudest effort, even though getting a win is always nice.”

The Aimchess Rapid tournament is part of the Meltwater Champions tour and features 16 players, including five from India. After the 15-round preliminaries, the top eight qualify for the knockouts. The Aimchess Rapid is the last ‘regular’ tournament of the 2022 season with a prize pot of $150,000 before the end-of-season final event starts on November 14.

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