Gukesh: “Fischer, Kasparov and Carlsen for sure are the top three”

by ChessBase
6/21/2023 – Dommaraju Gukesh continues his incredible ascent at the elite chess circuit. In an interview given to World Chess, the 17-year-old talks about his development as a chess player, his strengths and (many) weaknesses and his opinions on the best players of all time. Referring to Bobby Fischer, Gukesh states: “It feels like he’s just the purest genius of our game”. | Photo: World Chess

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Soft-spoken, articulate

The interview was published on World Chess’ YouTube channel. Find below transcripts of three fragments, followed by the embedded video.

On the challenges he had to face:

The main struggles I think I, or more my parents, were going through were financial. We were finding it difficult to travel abroad and play tournaments on a regular basis. Also, we didn’t have any sponsors or funding, so we went through a lot of financial difficulties. But family and friends helped us a lot to get through that period.

I think that is the main thing Indians mostly face: financial troubles. But now there are some sponsors — the interest in chess has increased, so I guess it will be easier from now on for all the youngsters.

On the three best chess players of all time:

Fischer, Kasparov and Carlsen for sure are the top three, but in which order is very tricky. In my opinion, I would say maybe Fischer is the greatest of all time. I mean, he didn’t have like a long career, but from the games I have seen, from how dominant he was when he was at his peak, it feels like he’s just the purest genius of our game.

And maybe second is Kasparov and third is Carlsen, but this is just my opinion.

On whether chess is 99% tactics:

Tactics do play a huge role in chess, but 99% is a bit too much. I mean, there are a lot of other very important things, so I wouldn’t rate tactics very highly. Maybe fifty-plus.

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