Chess Prodigy Gukesh Receives Hero’s Welcome Upon Historic Tournament Win

D Gukesh
Preeti Bali / 2:11 pm / April 26, 2024

Indian chess grandmaster D Gukesh touched down in Chennai to a rousing reception after his momentous victory at the prestigious Candidates Chess Tournament held recently in Toronto, Canada. Hundreds of passionate chess fans and students from Gukesh’s alma mater, Velammal School, thronged the Chennai Airport in the early hours of Thursday to celebrate the champion’s return.

Family Reunion and Official Recognition

Gukesh, who recently secured the title at the highly acclaimed Candidates Chess Tournament, was accompanied by his father, Rajinikanth, an ENT surgeon who had dedicated himself to supporting his son’s chess aspirations. The emotional reunion witnessed Gukesh embracing his mother, Padma, and waving to his family members eagerly awaiting his arrival. The Tamil Nadu Sports Authority officials congratulated Gukesh on receiving the prestigious title of Elite Sportsman from the state government. This prestigious recognition places Gukesh alongside chess legend Viswanathan Anand as the only two Indians to have received this honor.

Expressing Gratitude and Confidence

“Winning the Candidates Chess Tournament fills me with immense joy,” Gukesh shared with reporters upon his arrival. “My performance was solid, and I was lucky to have best of luck on my side also.Returning to India and Chennai after this victory is a particularly special achievement for me. I felt focused and determined throughout the entire tournament.” The young chess grandmaster also expressed his delight at the surge in popularity of chess viewing and participation. Gukesh expressed his gratitude to the Tamil Nadu government for their unwavering support and to his family for their unwavering faith in him. Confidently, he proclaimed his readiness to face the reigning world champion, Ding Liren, in the upcoming World Chess Championship title match.

Government Extends Support

Udhayanidhi Stalin, the Sports Minister, expressed the state government’s immense pride in extending its full support to Gukesh. “This 17-year-old Chennai prodigy has accomplished a remarkable feat for Indian chess,” Stalin remarked. “Following in the footsteps of Viswanathan Anand, Gukesh is only the second Indian player to conquer the Candidates Tournament. We stretch out our all the best to him as he plans to challenge Ding Liren for the World Chess title.”

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