Indian chess player Vidit Gujrathi pulled off a stunning win over world No 3 Hikaru Nakamura of the United States in their second round match of the 2024 Candidates in Toronto, Canada on Friday.

He was not the only Indian to pick up a win on the day however, as Gukesh Dommaraju beat compatriot Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu.

The trio are the first three Indian men after five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand to have qualified for the prestigious tournament, in which the winner is awarded a World Championship match in their respective open and women’s category.

Competing along with them, in the women’s section, is veteran Koneru Humpy and Vaishali Rameshbabu.

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Humpy drew against Russian player Kateryna Lagno in the second round, a day after she played out a draw against Vaishali. On Friday, Vaishali lost to China’s Tan Zhongyi.

Gujrathi’s win however was the highlight of the day.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to play such a game,” said Gujrathi, who won the match despite starting with black, at the post-match press conference. “It’s rare to get such an attack where you get everything right. It’s very rare that it happens especially against such a strong player.”

This was Nakamura’s first loss in 47 classical format matches.

The 29-year-old Grandmaster from Nashik had plateaued in the past few years, but has found a second wind. He won the Grand Swiss event last year to qualify for the Candidates. And with his win on Friday – one that he said even had his opponent commend his performance – he has had a good, quick start to his campaign.

Asked whether this was the best win of his career, Gujrathi said “probably from the importance of the tournament and opposition. I don’t know if it is the absolute best, but definitely I’m proud of it.”

On Saturday, he will play Praggnanandhaa.