Indian chess prodigy D. Gukesh defeated world number one Magnus Carlsen and reigning world champion Ding Liren in the playoff round of the Weissenhaus Freestyle Chess GOAT Challenge on Friday.
After losing to France’s Alireza Firouza in the first round, Indian giant Gukesh bounced back quickly to defeat Carlsen in the second round. Gukesh then defeated the American Levon Aronian in the third round and the leading Chinese world champion Ding Liren in the fourth, and together with Uzbekistan’s Nodirbek Abdusattorov took second place with 3.0/4.
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Local Vincent Keymar is the sole leader with 3.5 points through four rounds, while Carlsen is fifth among the eight players.
Gukesh’s remarkable feat also includes a victory over two-time World Cup winner Aronian of the USA, showing his immense talent and strategic prowess on the board. Despite being a newcomer to the elite free chess events known as Fischer Random Chess or Chess 960, Gukesh has already left a lasting impression with his stellar performances.
Currently ranked second in the tournament, Gukesh has proved to be a formidable competitor, trailing German grandmaster Vincent Keymer. The tournament, selected by Magnus Carlsen himself, includes top players such as Fabiano Caruana, Liren, Firouzja, Abdusattorov, Keymer and Aronian.
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Gukesh’s success in the Weissenhaus Freestyle Chess GOAT Challenge marks a significant milestone in his chess career, especially after his recent impressive performance at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. While the format of play in a Freestyle Chess event is fundamentally different from traditional chess, Gukesh’s ability to adapt and thrive in different environments highlights his extraordinary talent and potential.