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8 out of 8 — The rise and rise of GM Gukesh at Chess Olympiad 2022

Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh has been in red hot form at the ongoing 2022 Chess Olympiad.

D Gukesh Chess

D Gukesh (Source: FIDE)


Abhijit Nair

Published: 7 Aug 2022 6:11 AM GMT

The Indian teen Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh has been in red hot form at the ongoing 2022 Chess Olympiad. The 16-year-old is on a eight match winning streak and even defeated World Number 5 GM Fabiano Caruana with the black pieces on Saturday.

With his win over Caruana, the Tamil Nadu lad even moved up to number 20 in the world rankings and number 2 in India, only behind Viswanathan Anand with a live rating of 2729.

"I am just enjoying my play. I think I have been in good form and I have just got lucky," a humble Gukesh said during a post-match conference after beating Caruana.

While he might have been lucky, luck is certainly not the only thing helping Gukesh register wins after wins. Not especially when you come from a inferior position against someone like Caruana.

Even before beating "one of his favourite players" in Caurana, Gukesh had won seven matches in a row. These included wins over the likes of GM Alexi Shirov, GM Gabriel Sargissian and others.

Such has been Gukesh's dominance that he has almost singlehandedly pulled the India B team to the second place in the standings after Round 8. The India B team has an average age of just 19.

His 8-match winning streak is being compared to the the former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik who won 8 in a row in the 1992 Chess Olympiad after a controversy had erupted over his inclusion in the Russian team despite just being a Fide Master (FM).

However, despite all the attention he has been getting for his splendid performance on his Olympic debut, Gukesh remains as focused as ever.

"I don't know. This is who I am. Probably I would have been happier if it was the final round," he quipped when asked about his calm demeanour after his eighth win.

With just three more rounds left in the Chess Olympiad and things expected to get tougher, India B needs Gukesh to keep striking now more than ever.

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