Eighteen-year-old Iranian-born Grandmaster Alireza Firouzja is now in the highest plane of chess players, with a live rating of 2804.
He is only the fourteenth person in history to pass the 2800 mark, and he is the youngest player to do so.
To say that Alireza has been on fire lately would be a serious understatement. He recently won the FIDE Grand Swiss with 8/11 points, and in so doing earned a place in next year’s Candidates’ Tournament along with Fabiano Caruana, who placed second.
108 players competed in the Open Section of the 11-round Swiss tournament held in Riga, Latvia. The field included some of the strongest players in the world from Fabiano Caruana, one of the world’s top players, to Boris Gelfand, the oldest player in the tournament.
This year, for the first time, there was a Women’s Section of the FIDE Grand Swiss. This was won by Chinese GM Lei Tingjie with a score of 9/11. Second place went to Elizabeth Paehtz, who earned her final GM norm on the strength of her performance, and was one of a number of women who earned norms in this event.
While we are all salivating over the upcoming battle between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi for the top spot in the chess world, the World Chess Championship, all eyes have been on Alireza of late as he has been steadily rising through the ranks.
After his extraordinary performance in the FIDE Grand Swiss, Firouzja immediately went on to represent his new country, France, on board one in the European Team Chess Championship. His performance here has been extremely solid, winning game after game.
In round eight he faced one of his toughest opponents, Alexander Grischuk, and drew his game. Had he won that game, he would have broken 2800 for the first time, and entered the realm of the truly elite.
But, just a few days ago, he achieved this goal, having gone an incredible eight for nine points on board one of Team France. After defeating Azeri GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in round nine, Firouzja became the youngest-ever player to pass 2800, and is now ranked #2 in the world, displacing Ding Liren.
Despite Firouzja’s amazing performance at the Team Chess Championship, France did not manage to take the top spot. In the Open Section, Ukraine won gold, with France taking silver on tiebreaks and Poland taking bronze.
In the Women’s Section, Russia took gold, followed by Georgia with silver and Azerbaijan with bronze.
Normally we show slow games to showcase a player’s skill. No matter the result of this year’s World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi, we know that Alireza will be hunting for the championship next time. And so today we’re going to show an online bullet (1+0) game between Magnus and Alireza from earlier this year, in which the current world champion was thoroughly dispatched in a mere eighteen moves!
Watch out, Magnus. Alireza is coming!