19-year-old Alireza Firouzja is an Iranian-French grandmaster who holds the No3 position in the FIDE world chess rankings since May this year. With a peak rating of 2804, Firouzja was the youngest chess player ever to cross 2800, beating the previous record set by Magnus Carlsen.
Read more: FIDE’s top dominated by youth
Alireza Firouzja became a grandmaster at the age of 14 and only 14 months later, at the age of 16, overpassed the 2700 rating border. The rise of a star was obvious in 2019 when Alireza managed to make a rating leap from 2618 (January 2019 FIDE rating list) to 2723 (December 2019 FIDE rating list).
In December 2019, Firouzja decided to no longer play under the Iran flag, as Iran withdrew its players from the 2019 World Rapid and Blitz Championship to uphold their ban against Iranians playing against Israelis. He played under the FIDE flag until May 2021 when he switched to French Chess Federation.
Firouzja’s most remarkable achievements:
- Iranian Chess Champion 2019
- The Winner of Fajr Cup 2019
- Tied first place in 3rd Sharjah Masters 2019
- 6th place in Asian Chess Championship 2019
- Runner-up of FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
- The Winner of Prague International Chess Festival 2020
- The Winner of Chess24 Banter Blitz Cup, April 2020 (defeating Magnus Carlsen with 8.5-7.5 result)
- Runner-up of Norway Chess 2020
- Runner-up of Norway Chess 2021
- The Winner of FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2021 (qualifying for the Candidates Chess 2022)
- The best 1st board of the European Team Chess Championship (scoring 8/9 points for the French team with a performance of over 3000)
- Bronze at the World Blitz Chess Championship 2021
The 19-year-old took serious preparations for the 2022 Candidates Tournament and didn’t compete in any major chess events in 2022, except the Grand Chess Tour Romania 2022. His notable results were often commented by the chess elite. The public’s high expectations reached its peak when Carlsen said after winning the 2021 World Chess Championship match against Ian Nepomniachtchi, that he won’t play the next world championship match unless Firouzja wins the Candidates.
The FIDE Candidates Chess Tournament 2022 kicks off on Friday, June 17th in Madrid with Firouzja meeting Radjabov as black in the first round. FIDE Candidates Chess 2022 pairings and live games