18-year-old Alireza Firouzja has won the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss, qualified for his 1st Candidates Tournament and taken home the top prize of $70,000 after drawing his last round game against Grigoriy Oparin. There were draws on the top 13 boards, as Fabiano Caruana claimed the 2nd spot in the Candidates, while Oparin, Yu, Keymer, MVL, Predke and Shirov qualified for the Grand Prix. In the women’s event Elisabeth Paehtz took 2nd place behind Lei Tingjie on a day she also earned the grandmaster title.
Alireza Firouzja is still on course to become the youngest undisputed World Chess Champion in history after qualifying for the 2022 Candidates Tournament. If he wins the Candidates he has the potential to challenge Magnus Carlsen or Ian Nepomniachtchi to a match in 2023 and, at the age of 19 or 20, smash the record of 22 years old set by Garry Kasparov and matched by Magnus — Ruslan Ponomariov won the FIDE title at the age of 18 in 2002, but in a knockout format at a time when Vladimir Kramnik held the title that mattered.
lireza did it in style, taking sole first place in the Grand Swiss and the $70,000 top prize with a 2855 rating performance that saw him gain 11.5 rating points to move up to world no. 5. In fact his 2781.5 rating would be rounded up to Ian Nepomniachtchi’s 2782 and he’d take 4th place if the official rating list was published today. That’s academic, however, since he’ll now play for France in the European Team Championship that starts on Friday in Slovenia, so his rating is set to shift again.
- Official website
- Watch all the Grand Swiss games: Open | Women
- Nakamura, Vidit withdraw as Grand Swiss goes ahead despite lockdown
- Grand Swiss Round 1: Caruana and Firouzja strike
- Grand Swiss Round 2: Firouzja world no. 6 as Caruana misses win
- Grand Swiss Round 3: Firouzja’s rampage continues
- Grand Swiss Round 4: Firouzja and Lei Tingjie sole leaders
- Grand Swiss Round 5: Shirov and Najer catch Firouzja
- Grand Swiss Round 6: MVL and Sasikiran catch the leaders
- Grand Swiss Round 7: Firouzja powers towards Candidates
- Grand Swiss Round 8: Firouzja climbs to world no. 4
- Grand Swiss Round 9: Caruana takes down Firouzja
- Grand Swiss Round 10: Firouzja a draw away from the Candidates