Gukesh won the Under-9 section of the Asian School Chess Championships in 2015 and the World Youth Chess Championships in 2018 in the Under 12 category. He also won five gold medals at the 2018 Asian Youth Chess Championships, in the U-12 individual rapid and blitz, U-12 team rapid and blitz, and the U-12 individual classical formats. He completed the requirements for the title of International Master in March 2018 at the 34th Cappelle-la-Grande Open.
Gukesh almost surpassed Sergey Karjakin as the youngest grandmaster ever, but missed the record by 17 days. He became the second-youngest grandmaster in history on 15 January 2019, at the age of 12 years, 7 months, and 17 days. As of 2021 he is the youngest grandmaster in the world, second-youngest grandmaster ever and India’s youngest. He won the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour, Gelfand Challenge in June 2021 scoring 14 out of 19 points.