Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Freestyle Chess: Gukesh beats Carlsen and Liren to sit joint-second

IANS | February 10, 2024 03:41 PM

HAMBURG: Indian chess prodigy D. Gukesh defeated world number one Magnus Carlsen and reigning world champion Ding Liren in the playoffs round of the Weissenhaus Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T Challenge on Friday.

After losing the first round to Frenchmen Alireza Firouzja, Indian GM Gukesh bounced back quickly to beat Carlsen in the second round. Gukesh then went on to beat USA’s Levon Aronian in the third round and the reining world champion China’s Ding Liren in the fourth to sit joint second alongside Uzbekistan’s Nodirbek Abdusattorov with 3.0/4.

Local lad Vincent Keymar is the sole leader with 3.5 points in four rounds, while Carlsen stands fifth in the eight-player field.

Gukesh's remarkable feat also includes a victory over two-time World Cup winner Aronian of the USA, showcasing his exceptional talent and strategic prowess on the chessboard. Despite being a newcomer to elite Freestyle Chess events, known as Fischer Random Chess or Chess 960, Gukesh has already left a lasting impression with his stellar performances.

Currently occupying the second position in the tournament standings, Gukesh has emerged as a formidable contender, trailing behind German grandmaster Vincent Keymer. The tournament, featuring a hand-picked lineup by Magnus Carlsen himself, includes top players such as Fabiano Caruana, Liren, Firouzja, Abdusattorov, Keymer, and Aronian.

Gukesh's success in the Weissenhaus Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T Challenge marks a significant milestone in his chess career, particularly after his recent impressive performance in the Tata Steel chess tournament. While the playing format in the Freestyle Chess event differs substantially from traditional chess, Gukesh's ability to adapt and thrive in diverse environments underscores his exceptional talent and potential.

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