Dommaraju Gukesh und Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa beim Schach-Kandidatenturnier

Dommaraju Gukesh und Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa beim Schach-Kandidatenturnier

Cultivated a classic, positional playing style: Dommaraju Gukesh Image: Maria Emeljanowa / FIDE

Even the great chess icon Magnus Carlsen predicts a brilliant future: Why Dommaraju Gukesh and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa are performing so well in the candidate tournament for the World Cup final.

Dommaraju Gukesh and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa live just a kilometer apart. But they have never met each other by chance in their southern Indian hometown of Chennai. 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 are tied for second place. They are the only ones who have been able to cause serious embarrassment to Jan Nepomnyashchi so far, but the Russian, who has held the lead so far, has managed to escape both of them to a draw.

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

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