Gukesh D: A Rising Chess Star’s Journey

The 2017 Selangor Open: A Pivotal Moment

Meet Gukesh D, the young chess prodigy from India. In 2017, he graced the Selangor Open in Malaysia, leaving an indelible mark on the chess world. But let’s set aside the technicalities for a moment. Yes, he fell short of Sergei Karjakin’s record as the youngest Grandmaster (GM) by a mere 12 days. But you know what? That detail is irrelevant. Why? Because Gukesh’s achievement is nothing short of amazing!

A Familiar Face in Malaysia

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Gukesh had been in Malaysia before—in 2015, to be precise. Back then, he was just an 8-year-old dynamo, winning prizes in the Junior events of the Malaysian Chess Festival. The chessboard was his playground, and he played with the fire of a thousand suns.

Tears and Triumphs

I wish I’d interviewed him during his 2017 visit. Alas, life doesn’t always unfold as planned. But I did get to chat with his father, and that conversation left an impression. You see, I observed Gukesh cry after losing to a Grandmaster. And you know what? It only showed how deeply invested he was in the game. Fast forward two years, and he’s now a GM himself. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I’ve seen this pattern before.

The Curious Case of Tears and Norms

Yeoh Li Tian, another rising star, shed tears after a loss when he was just 9 or 10. And guess what? He now boasts not one but two GM norms. So, parents, take note: If your kid cries after a tough game, don’t fret. It might just be a sign of passion and determination.

Selfies with a Superstar

I’m glad I snagged two selfies with Gukesh during his visit.

Incidentally…

Gukesh achieved his first International Master (IM) norm right here in Malaysia, at the ICE First Friday tournament organised by FM Peter Long.

FM Peter Long


So, here’s to Gukesh D, tears, norms, and all. Keep playing, keep dreaming, and remember: Even in the darkest moments, there’s always a move waiting to be discovered. ♟️🌟