Gukesh dethrones Vishy Anand's 37-year-long reign as India no.1 officially, also becomes World no.8
GM D Gukesh is a phenomenal talent. He became India no.1 by winning against GM Misratdin Iskandarov (AZE) in Round 2.2 of FIDE World Cup 2023. The 17-year-old delivered a stellar performance at the important knockout event. The soft-spoken powerhouse got eliminated in the Quarterfinals by the eventual winner, Magnus Carlsen. The world no.1 mentioned that he is extremely strong, he was unlucky to face him on the day when he showed his best. FIDE World Cup 2023 Silver medalist, GM R Praggnanandhaa's rating is now, 2727. It made him India no.3 and World no.19 (active players). India currently has five players in the World Top 30. Pentala Harikrishna is World no.31. The number of Indians in the World's best will only increase over time. Sarayu Velpula makes a spectacular entry into the India top 10 women. All photos are by Shahid Ahmed unless stated otherwise.
Gukesh answers the perennial question, Five Indians in World Top 30
Vishy Anand's reign as India no.1 began in July 1986 when he surpassed GM Pravin Thipsay in the FIDE ratings. During that period, FIDE ratings only used to be published twice every year - once at the start and another at the half year mark. Anand was just 16-years-old when he assumed the India no.1 spot. At that point, GM Pravin Thipsay was India no.1 with a solid margin of 50-60 Elo points ahead of others. But starting from January 1986, FIDE changed the time control from 2 hours 30 minutes for 40 moves to 2 hours. This led to GM Thipsay losing a lot of his rating points and slipping down to the second spot on the rankings list.
Indian Women: Sarayu Velpula's meteoric rise
33rd National Under-17 Girls 2023 runner-up, 16-year-old Sarayu Velpula gained a total of 541.52 (205.92 in August and 335.6 September FIDE Rating list) Elo rating points to become India no.6 among the female chess players. We reported her earning IM, WGM and WIM-norm at a single event where she started as the last seed and finished as the runner-up of the 11th Pontevedra Masters Open 2023.