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Candidates Chess Tournament 2024: Indian Grandmasters Dommaraju Gukesh, Koneru Humpy Complete Respective Fields

Dommaraju Gukesh and Koneru Humpy punched their tickets for the Candidates Chess Tournament 2024, joining the likes of Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi, and Vaishali Rameshbabu

(L-R) Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Adhiban Baskaran, Dommaraju Gukesh and Nihal Sarin in Chennai.
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As many as five Indians -- Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi, Dommaraju Gukesh in the men's event, while Vaishali Rameshbabu and Koneru Humpy in the women's event -- will compete at the 2024 edition of their respective Candidates Tournament. (More Sports News)

Organized by FIDE (chess' international governing body), these events serve as the final tournaments to determine the challengers for the world titles. Meaning, winners of these eight-player events will earn the right to challenge the reigning world champions. Chinese Ding Liren and Ju Wenjun are the reigning world champions. 

Indian Grandmaster Gukesh completed the men's field, known officially as FIDE Candidates, after the conclusion of the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Saturday. The 17-year-old earned the spot as the second player on the 2023 FIDE Circuit, behind an already-qualified Italian-American Fabiano Caruana.

Gukesh will join Indian compatriots Praggnanandhaa (18) and Gujrathi (29) in the Toronto showpiece. This is the first time that three Indians will be at the Candidates. Before the trio, Viswanathan Anand was the only Indian to have competed in the men's tournament.

Another piece of history will also be made when Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali (22) start their respective campaigns in Toronto. They will be the first brother-sister duo to enter this elite competition. And the debutants will start as one of the serious contenders. For the record, both men's and women's events will be held at the same venue -- Toronto, Canada, from April 3 to 25 -- for the first time. 

For Humpy, it's another chance to earn the top billing and go the world title. The 36-year-old qualified as the highest-rated player in the January 2024 FIDE ratings.

List of competitors and how they qualified:
Men: Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) as 2023 World Championship runner-up); Praggnanandhaa (India), Fabiano Caruana (USA), Nijat Abasov (Azerbaijan) from the 2023 World Cup; Vidit (India), Hikaru Nakamura (USA) from Grand Swiss; Gukesh (India) from 2023 FIDE Circuit; and Alireza Firouzja (France) as the highest rated non-qualifier as on January 1, 2024.

Women: Lei Tingjie (China) as the 2023 World Championship runner-up; Kateryna Lagno (Russia), Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia) from Women’s Grand Prix 2022-23; Nurgyyul Salimova (Bulgaria), Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) from Women’s 2023 World Cup; Vaishali (India), Tan Zhongyi (China) from Women Grand Swiss 2023; and Humpy (India) as the highest rated non-qualifier on January 1, 2024.

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