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Gukesh crosses 2600 at the age of 15 years 2 months and 27 days

by Sagar Shah - 26/08/2021

He narrowly missed the mark of becoming the youngest GM in the world when he achieved the title at the age of 12 years, 7 months and 17 days. Gukesh's chess career was on the rise and he was gaining rating points quickly inching towards the 2600 mark. That's when the Covid-19 pandemic struck and the young boy was prevented from playing in tournaments for the next year and a half. However, the moment things opened up, Gukesh participated in a series of events, gaining 25 Elo points and pumping his Elo from 2578 to 2603! The Chennai lad has managed to cross 2600 at the tender age of 15 years, 2 months and 27 days - third youngest in India after Pragg and Nihal. 

It's like the tigers have been unleashed and they are hunting as vigorously as they can after months of starvation! That's how Indian youngsters are performing at the world chess stage right now. After Nihal Sarin's wonderful performance in Serbia that propelled him to India no.5, Praggnanandhaa's excellent run at the World Cup and Arjun Erigaisi's 58 Elo point increase in 55 days, it was now time for Gukesh to shine as the youngster crossed the magical barrier of 2600 Elo at the age of 15 years, 2 months and 27 days! Gukesh born on 29th of May 2006, achieved this feat in the second round of the Guimaraes Open in Portugal after he won his game against Gimenez Menchon Cesar (Elo 2246). 

 

Gukesh is the third youngest Indian to achieve this feat after Praggnanandhaa and Nihal Sarin. Pragg achieved it at the age of 14 years, 3 months and 24 days, while Nihal did it at 14 years and 10 months. For Gukesh, this achievement is even more special because he lost nearly one and a half years in the pandemic without being able to play hardly any rated event. To put things into perspective - Wesley So crossed 2600 in October 2008 when he was 14 years and 11 months old, Magnus Carlsen achieved 2600 in January 2006 when he was 15 years and 2 months old, Caruana did it in April 2008, when he was 15 years and 8 months old, Anish Giri crossed 2600 in March 2010 when he was 15 years and 9 months old.

Totally focused! D. Gukesh has crossed 2600 Elo | Photo: Anna Shtourman

Gukesh left home in July to play at the World Cup 2021. He had received a wildcard from the FIDE President. After beating the strong Polish IM Pawel Teclaf in the first round, Gukesh gave a huge fight to world class GM Daniil Dubov. He forced the tiebreaks and eventually lost in the rapid segment. But it was clear to everyone that Gukesh was in good form. Taking advantage of the momentum and also things opening up slightly in the world of chess, Gukesh played at the Biel Masters, Riga Open and then two tournaments in Portugal - Braganca Open and Guimaraes. The last one is still in progress. In the last 47 days Gukesh has gained 25.6 Elo points and has pumped up his rating from 2578 to 2603.

Gukesh's performance in the last five events that he has played

Gukesh's best performance came at the Braganca Open where he gained 17.7 Elo points and performed at an astonishing Elo of 2747

A very strong support to Gukesh has been his father Rajinikanth, who is not just travelling with him to tournaments but also playing in some events! Just to give you an example of how hungry they are to play chess - they finished the Braganca Open at 3.30 p.m, then travelled two hours to Guimaraes, to reach just in time for the first round that began at 8 p.m! That's some dedication!

Video analysis:

IM Sagar Shah analyzes Gukesh's win over Max Warmerdam

A huge congratulations to Gukesh for achieving this tremendous feat and we wish him the best in his journey towards the 2700 mark now!


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