Koneru Humpy becomes fifth Indian to qualify for Candidates 2024
Humpy, ranked second as of January 1 on world rating list, made it to the Candidates with the top-ranked Chinese Hou Yifan pulled out of the event.
Koneru Humpy became the fifth Indian chess player to qualify for the Candidates 2024, scheduled in Toronto from April 2 to 25, on Monday. The 36-year-old qualified as the highest-rated player in the January 2024 FIDE ratings.
Earlier Grandmaster D Gukesh completed the men's field after the end of the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Saturday. The 17-year-old earned the spot as the second player on the 2023 FIDE Circuit, behind an already-qualified Italian-American Fabiano Caruana.
Gukesh will join Indian compatriots R Praggnanandhaa (18) and Vidit Gujrathi (29) in the Toronto showpiece. This is the first time that three Indians will be competing at the Candidates.
Humpy, meanwhile, will join R Vaishali at the Women's Candiates, which will be held on the sidelines of the Men's Candidates.
Humpy, ranked second as of January 1 on world rating list, made it to the Candidates since the top-ranked Chinese Hou Yifan, pulled out of the event.
This will be the first time since 1991 India will have more than one member contesting at the Candidates. For more than three decades, Viswanathan Anand remained the only Indian to play in the Candidates.
But that anomaly will change in Totronto with five Indian chess players – Praggnanandhaa, Gujrathi and Gukesh in the Candidates while Vaishali and Humpy in the Women’s Candidates – making it to the the exclusive event in a great advertisement for Indian chess.
Earlier this year, Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali became the first sibling duo ever to qualify for the elite event, which will determine the challengers for the 2024 World Chess Championship clashes.
This will be the first time in the history of Candidates that both the eight-member men's and women's events will be held at the same venue.