Toronto Candidates Tournament: Indian Chess Miracle

NDommaraju Gukesh and Rameshbabu Pragnanandha live just a kilometer away from each other. But they never met by chance in their hometown of Chennai in southern India. This is happening more and more often in tournament halls around the world. Both are currently fighting for the right to challenge world champion Ding Liren. After the first half of the Candidates Tournament in Toronto, they share second place. They are the only ones who have been able to seriously embarrass Ian Nepomniachtchi so far, but the Russian, who until now held the lead, managed to escape from both of them to a draw.

With a full beard, a gentle voice and a calm demeanor, Gukesh looks more mature than his 17-year-old self. When Pragnanandha, a year older than him, started playing chess at age seven, he was already a local celebrity: the world under-eighteen champion and the younger brother of two-time children’s world champion Vaishali. While Pragnanandha, who came from a humble background, had his first sponsors, Gukesh’s parents, both doctors, went into debt so that his father could travel from tournament to tournament with his son.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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