The rest day after I lost to Firouzja, that was when I started believing I could win this event: Gukesh

The rest day after I lost to Firouzja, that was when I started believing I could win this event: Gukesh

CHENNAI: The smile was plastered on D Gukesh's face in the 13 minute press conference following the last round of the Candidates. The teen, who became the youngest to win the prestigious eight-player event, addressed a variety of issues. His main second, Grzegorz Gajewski, was by his side.

So relieved and happy. I was following this crazy game (between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Fabiano Caruana). I was completely emotional. After the game, now, I'm feeling quite good.

Very happy. Not just in terms of his results but also in the quality of the games. The quality of his moves were so high that he didn't make too many mistakes. He had one accident in his first game against Alireza (Firouzja). Apart from that, there were hardly any mistakes.

The journey is only halfway done. They know how grateful I'm to them. I would not like to take their names but each of them played a huge role and I'm so grateful for everything.

Grandmaster D. Gukesh of India and Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura of USA during their Round 14 match at the FIDE Candidates 2024 chess tournament, in Toronto, Canada.

17-year-old Gukesh seals Candidates victory; will face China's Ding Liren for shot at immortality

I'm mostly just happy about winning the tournament. Don't really care about the youngest and all these records. It's a nice thing to say (smiles).

It was really nice to see all the people here supporting me. I usually don't try or interact with the outside world a lot during the tournament but whenever they cheered for me after my games, it was nice to see. Their support means a lot to me.

I haven't really thought about it a lot. I just got to know the result. I haven't had any time (to think about it) but the main strategy will be to play good moves and be in the right mindset. Very excited to play in the World Championship match.

I wasn't 100% sure even after the last game to be honest (the tournament would have gone to a two-way tie-breaker if the game between Nepomniachtchi and Caruana had a winner). If I had to pinpoint a moment where I really felt this could be my moment, it was probably after the seventh game. After I lost to Firouzja, I was quite upset. But I felt so good, during the rest day (after that loss). Even though it was painful, I was at my absolute best. I don't know, maybe the loss gave me so much motivation.

I think a lot of factors go into it. The main thing was I was in the right mindset throughout the event from the start to the end. I was in good spirits. I really wanted to win the event. It was helpful that I was sharp enough, chess wise. I managed to play some good chess, but mainly the mental attitude in this tournament was good..

On leaving the Hall (venue) and going back to the hotel and coming back during the Nepomniachtchi-Caruana match

Those 15 minutes were probably the most stressful of this entire tournament. I tried to take my mind off their game. I was watching the commentary for a while but I couldn't (smiles). Gakewski and me went for a walk and once the result was done, my father came running and said 'it's over'. Probably the walk was the turning point.