India’s D Gukesh will be chasing history in the V Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival from Friday as the 12-year-old has the opportunity to become the youngest Grandmaster if he could earn his third and final GM norm in Barcelona.
Born on May 29, 2006, Chennai boy Gukesh has time till December 29 to break Sergey Karjakin’s record and become the youngest GM at 12 years and seven months and the event in Barcelona would be his last chance to create history.
Gukesh’s city-mate R Praggnanandhaa holds the record of being India’s youngest GM at 12 years, 10 months and 13 days. Even he had a chance of breaking Karjakin’s record but failed in his bid to become the youngest GM by a few months.
While Praggnanandhaa played a couple of tournaments to achieve the third and final norm, Gukesh would just have one tournament to reach that target after he earned his second GM norm in Orbis-2 closed GM tournament in Serbia on Sunday.
In fact, Gukesh was hardly in contention at the start of the year and earned his first GM norm only in April at the Bangkok Open and still has a live ELO rating of 2487.
Gukesh is ranked 36th in the Sunway Sitges tournament and would have to earn seven points and a live performance of at least 2600 in the tournament to win his third and final norm.
“It (the record) is at the back of my mind, but I don’t want to talk much about it. I will prefer to concentrate more on doing well in the tournament,” Gukesh was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Last month, Gukesh bagged the u-12 World Cadet Championship in Spain registering 10 wins in 11 rounds and all eyes of the chess world would be on Barcelona to see whether the Indian could break Karjakin’s 16-year-old record.
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