Alireza Firouzja's Most Brilliant Moves On

Alireza Firouzja's Most Brilliant Moves On

| 47 | Chess Players

GM Alireza Firouzja is the youngest player ever to reach the Mount Everest rating of 2800 in chess history and is one of the youngest world championship candidates to this day. He previously reached number two in the world, then second to only World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Using's Game Review feature, we have compiled all of the French-Iranian grandmaster's brilliant moves (marked "!!" by the computer) played on, many of them played against chess fans' favorite players and streamers. From those, I have selected the top-10 most aesthetic, shocking, and impressive examples.

Be sure to also check out NM Sam Copeland's video on five brilliant moves by Firouzja, and some are in this collection.

At the age of just 18 at the time of this article's publication, it is too early to tell how far he will go. Speculations have traversed from the prospects of becoming the world champion to being the greatest to ever live.

His chess has dazzled fans for many years, but his achievements in roughly the last year and a half have been nothing less than seismic. His first-place win in the 2021 FIDE Grand Swiss, which earned him a spot at this year's Candidates Tournament, and his 8/9 score and 3015-rating performance at the 2021 European Team Championship, where he eclipsed the 2800-rating, are his two most important performances to date.

Firouzja was the top board for France at the 2021 European Team Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

While readers may disagree with the particulars here and there—such as the order of the examples—perhaps we can all agree that the brilliant moves you are about to see are amazing. Do keep in mind they were played in speed-chess games, either in blitz or bullet. 

In cases where the moves are forced and the sequences are short, to avoid alternative answers, the brilliant moves have been presented as puzzles for our dear readers to solve. (Hit the "?" button if you just want the answer or the lightbulb for a hint.) Of course, please comment and share your favorite ones below.

Without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fireworks!

Firouzja continually searches for surprising tactics. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Firouzja's Top 10:

Number 10:

The first brilliant move in our countdown was played against GM Andrew Tang. Firouzja's keen eye for surprising tactics was on full display in the following example as he found the rather surprising 17.Bh6!!, taking advantage of the pin down the e-file and the unfortunate placement of the black king and rook—unfortunate for Black, that is. While there were a few extra details to work out, Firouzja won material and prompted a quick resignation.

Number 9:

I can't explain too much initially about the following example without giving away the solution, so I discreetly only mention that Black must find a series of only-moves to win the game. The last move of the combination, in particular, is my favorite, but I'm sure most readers will love the first.

Firouzja is always looking for knockout blows. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Number 8:

The following example is not difficult after you see the first move, but having the creativity to look for such knockout blows in his online games is what brings this example into the collection. After his 15th move, Firouzja already knew he would win, despite the game lasting until move 47. 

Number 7:

The next one—also a puzzle because there is only one move that wins—is an elegant and rather rare winning construction. Black must be alert because any other move would allow White to be much better or win.

An artist in his element. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Number 6: 

The following game against GM Aman Hambleton features an uncompromising rook sacrifice to wreck the base of Black's pawn chain, the c7-pawn, and ultimately win three pawns plus more material thereafter. While Hambleton ends up winning this game due to an incorrect follow-up, 24.Bxe7?, the initial rook sacrifice on the 22nd move undoubtedly deserves to be in a best-moves collection.

Number 5:

Firouzja and GM Daniel Naroditsky are no strangers to our readers. To the American grandmaster's credit, he's beaten Firouzja plenty of times and has made brilliant moves of his own, but this article is about the French-Iranian prodigy. In a position where each side seems to have deadly threats against the other king, Firouzja struck first and won—the zinger, by the way, is on the second move of the combination.

The tactical eye. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Number 4:

In the following game, Firouzja had no mercy for his fellow Iranian grandmaster, GM Amin Tabatabaei. White could have taken the rook with 41.bxc3 and won the slow way, but after the game move (find it below), Tabatabaei threw in the towel at once. (Do note that there are alternative solutions on the second move and third moves in this one.)

Number 3:

The following game, played against GM Eric Hansen, is a sweet one. Firouzja finds a beautiful interference sacrifice and, although he does not follow it up correctly all the way, he wins the game after a series of tactics that ultimately lead to the death of Black's queen. While yes, there are mistakes later, the first move, 32.Rd5!!, is no less brilliant and nothing short of winning.

Firouzja observes his opponent, GM Pavel Ponkratov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Number 2:

The following example, played against IM Tuan Minh Le, features not one but two brilliant moves. With the potential energy of his pieces bursting at the seams, he unleashed a torrent on the hapless black king.

Number 1:

The following example is special—of course, it is; it's number one. The somewhat musical mixture of the quiet move 16...Kd7!!, followed by a violent, full-rook sacrifice and then the crescendo of two long-distance queen moves leaves an impression. I hope you enjoy—well, I already know you will.

Smiling after a game with GM David Howell, Firouzja is among the best in the world. The future is bright. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

We hope you enjoyed Firouzja's brilliant moves on We wish the young grandmaster many, many more to come.

Would you like more Firouzja material? Check out this lesson below!

Alireza Firouzja

See also:

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