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Candidates champion D Gukesh comes home to rousing welcome in Chennai

Hundreds of enthusiastic fans and students of Velammal School, where Gukesh studies, gathered at Chennai Airport in the wee hours to welcome the grandmaster.
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 01:00 IST
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 01:00 IST

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Chennai: Indian Chess grandmaster D Gukesh returned home to a hero’s welcome on Thursday after his historic win at the prestigious Candidates Chess Tournament in Canada.

Hundreds of enthusiastic Chess fans and students of Velammal School, where Gukesh studies, gathered at the Chennai Airport in the wee hours of Thursday to welcome the grandmaster. 

Gukesh earlier this week clinched the title at the prestigious Candidates Chess Tournament in Toronto, Canada. Flanked by his father Rajinikanth, an ENT surgeon who gave up his practice to support his son, Gukesh hugged his mother Padma and waved at his relatives who were waiting to see him at the arrival area. 

Officials from the Sports Authority of Tamil Nadu felicitated Gukesh, who has been categorised as Elite Sportsman by the state government. After grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, Gukesh is only the second Indian to have achieved the honour. 

 “I am very happy that I won the Candidates Chess Tournament. I played well and luck was on my side as well. I am happy to come back to India and Chennai after the win, which according to me, is a special achievement. I was in a good space since the beginning of the tournament,” Gukesh told reporters here. 

The Chess grandmaster also said he was happy to see many people enjoy watching and playing chess. “I thank the Tamil Nadu government for the support they rendered. I also thank my family for trusting me,” he added. 

Gukesh also said he was confident of taking on current world champion Ding Liren in the World Chess Championship title. Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin said the state government is proud to be extending its full support to Gukesh.

“The 17-year-old Chennai’s pride has made an incredible achievement for Indian Chess. After Viswanathan Anand, Gukesh is only the second Indian player to win the Candidates Tournament. Wishing him all the best as he prepares to challenge Ding Liren for the World Chess Championship title,” he said.

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Published 25 April 2024, 01:00 IST

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