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Chess Olympiad a huge chance, says Gukesh

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh won his third consecutive tournament in Spain as he scored an unbeaten 8/10 to claim first place at the Chessable Sunway Formentera Open. After missing several tournament triumphs on tiebreaks, Gukesh registered an outright victory in Formentera by finishing a half point ahead of the field.

Thus, Gukesh won three tournaments in a row in Spain without conceding a single game. His unbeaten streak, which started on April 12, is now at 26 games. He first won the La Roda Open (8/9), followed by the Menorca Open (6/7) and the Chessable Sunway Formentera Open (8/10). Gukesh gained a lot of points to jump to world No 66 in the live ratings. He is the fifth highest-ranked Indian player with a live rating of 2674.6.

Gukesh — who is in the best form of his career and a part of the Indian team for the chess Olympiad — is keen to learn and work on every input from the legendary Vishy Anand, Boris Gelfand and all the coaches at the Indian team Olympiad camp .

Excerpts:
Q: How do you feel after posting a hat-trick of title triumphs?
Happy and satisfied with my play. Trusted my intuition more and played freely without much self doubt.

Q: You have increased your rating consistently in the past year. How much work has gone into it?
I worked extensively during the pandemic, especially on my openings and naturally all those preparations came in handy once the events started for the last one year or so.

Q: How is it to be the youngest Indian at 15 years to break into the top 100?
Feels good though I did not realize it. I got to know only after my events were over.

Q: Can you describe your training stint with Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand?
It (training) was amazing, especially my early experience with such legends and their words of appreciation and encouragement meant a lot and gave a lot of boost to my confidence. GM Vishnu Prasanna is my current coach and he has always been there to support and encourage and I’m grateful to him. With WACA recruitment last year, it’s a dream working regularly with Anand sir, Yusupow, Gajewski and Sandipan Chanda. I get constant updates about my game and suggestions from all of them regularly which is of huge help in overall improvement and I am thankful to all of them.

Q: Which part of your game needs improvement?
Need to improve a lot in many aspects, especially my time management during critical moments and hope to work on it.

Q: How excited are you to be in the Indian team for the Chess Olympiad in Chennai?
Huge opportunity to play for India in such a prestigious event and I am thankful to AICF for their efforts in bringing it to our country, helping us field two teams and creating more opportunities for players like me. Yes, I am currently training and working earnestly in the training camp for the Olympiad organized by AICF. I wish to absorb everything the legends share and implement them and improve my game.

Q: How did you feel when Vishy Anand recommended your name for the Biel GM tournament?
Happy to get the opportunity thanks to Anand sir and I am very grateful to him.

Q: What are your goals for 2022?
Just keep improving and hope to utilize the opportunities available.

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