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April 23, 2024

Chess: Gukesh Dommaraju and Tan Zhongyi are the World Championship Challengers

Fide Toronto Chess

Fide Toronto Chessf

Fide Gukesh

Photo: Gukesh D of India is the World Chess Championship Challenger. He will face World Champion Ding Liren at the end of this year. Image provided by & copyright © International Chess Federation (FIDE).

Chess, Fide,Toronto

Photo: Lei Tingjie is in action in Round 14 at the Toronto FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament. Image provided by & copyright © International Chess Federation (FIDE).

Toronto, April 22, 2024 — The 2024 FIDE Candidates tournament has concluded, revealing the Challengers for the World Championship. Gukesh Dommaraju, an Indian prodigy, has made history as the youngest World Chess Championship Challenger. His remarkable journey will lead him to face the reigning World Champion, Ding Liren, at the end of this year. Meanwhile, Tan Zhongyi, a formidable player, will face her compatriot Ju Wenjun in the Women’s Championship matchup.

Gukesh D played against Hikaru Nakamura and needed to draw at least to secure first place. He was playing with the black pieces and rose to the challenge admirably. Gukesh surprised Nakamura with a clever move early in the game and achieved an equal position. Magnus Carlsen, the world’s top-rated chess player, provided live commentary on one of the streams and praised Gukesh’s 11…b4 move, saying, “I love what Gukesh has done. It’s something I haven’t seen before.” By the 20th move, Gukesh had gained a pawn, but the position was still drawish. Nakamura never really risked losing in this game, and both players logically drew the game.

The tournament’s fate hung in the balance during the match between Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi. Both players were in a must-win situation, setting the stage for a nail-biting showdown. This intense game had every chess fan on a rollercoaster of emotions as Caruana and Nepomniachtchi quickly navigated into a complex position where victory, defeat, or a draw were all possible outcomes.

Playing with White, Caruana got an ultimately winning position, and it looked like a playoff would decide the tournament outcome. However, the player blundered on the 41st move (41. Ka1 instead of 41. Ka2), allowing Nepomniachtchi a path to a draw.

After 109 long moves in the FIDE Candidates Tournament, the players finally agreed to a draw, making Gukesh the winner. At the post-game press conference, Caruana criticized himself, saying, “I feel like an idiot.”

At the end of the tournament, Gukesh couldn’t contain his joy, expressing, “I am so relieved and happy. After that intense game between Caruana and Nepomniachtchi, I was extremely emotional. But now I am feeling quite good.”

From the players tied for second place, the Sonneborn-Berger tiebreak puts Hikaru Nakamura in second place and Ian Nepomniachtchi in third, with Caruana finishing fourth.

FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament

Tan Zhongyi, leading the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament, only needed a draw to win the tournament. In her game against Anna Muzychuk, Tan played a sharp line of the Sicilian Defense, showing she was well-prepared. By move 15, she had a 5-minute lead on her clock. However, on move 16, Anna Muzychuk made a questionable move 16. Qd3 and Tan had to think for the first time in the game. Despite this, Tan found the best continuation and obtained a solid advantage. Unfortunately, she could not convert it into a win, and the game ended in a draw. Nevertheless, this result was enough for Tan Zhongyi to claim the overall victory and become the next Women’s World Championship title challenger.

Results of Round 14:



Final Standings after Round 14:



Source: International Chess Federation (FIDE)

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:05 AM | Link to this Post

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