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Chess Freestyle Challenge: D Gukesh defeats Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren

Indian GM D Gukesh started Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T Challenge by winning against Magnus Carlsen and Ding Liren.

Chess Freestyle Challenge: D Gukesh defeats Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren

Indian grandmaster D Gukesh playing against reigning world champion Ding Liren in Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T Challenge. (Photo Credits: Chessbase India)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 10 Feb 2024 12:51 PM GMT

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.

He also defeated two-time World Cup winner Levon Aronian of the USA. Gukesh is sitting in the second position at the moment behind German grandmaster Vincent Keymer.

This is Gukesh's first outing in an elite Freestyle Chess event that is more famously known as Fischer Random Chess or Chess 960.

The tournament has a total of eight players including Magnus Carlsen who has hand-picked his opponents. The other players in the tournament are World no.2 - Fabiano Caruana (USA), reigning World Champion - Ding Liren (CHN), World no.6 - Alireza Firouzja (FRA), former World Rapid champion - Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB), World no.17 - Vincent Keymer (GER) and only two-time World Cup winner in history - Levon Aronian (USA).

Gukesh came very close to winning the Tata Steel chess tournament recently but here the playing format will be completely different and it will be a challenge for him to adapt to the new format.

What is Chess Freestyle 960 Format?

Chess 960 format also known as the Fischer Random Chess format is a variation of chess where the initial position of the pieces is randomly selected.

There are 960 different formats to keep these pieces hence the name.

Former world champion Bobby Fischer is known as a great supporter of the format and so it is also named after him.

There will be no deep opening theory as the format is new and the players have to show their playing skills more than their preparation.

The format is also an interesting mix with a rapid round-robin to decide the eight places and then a Classical time control know-out event starting with the Quarterfinals.

In rapid format, the players will get 25 minutes each with a 10-second increment while in the classical segment, they will have 90 minutes for 40 moves and then 30 minutes for the entire game with a 30-second increment from move one.

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