Is Firouzja the Next Bobby Fischer? This is a Persian Meteor!

SeniorPatzer

King Magnus is awesome.  He's killer in Classical (look at his winning streak and rating), and has held both Rapid and Blitz World Titles.  

So I'm just a lowly patzer who keeps up on chess news and happenings.  And I'm just curious at who might dethrone King Magnus.  Could happen at the next WCC.  Just never know.

But I'm looking further down the road, and I've been reading and hearing about the Indian super-prodigies.  Pragga, Nihal Sarin, Gukesh who all earned their GM titles at 12 or 13.  Moreover, there's a chess boom in India and these precocious talents have GM training schools and even have Kramnik and Gelfand doing chess camps with them.  

So I'm thinking that India is the very soon-to-be Chess Powerhouse and a World Champion will come from one of these brilliant young minds.

BUT then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, like within the last year (2019), came this gigantic NOVA burst of a meteor from Persia, now known as Iran, by the name of Alireza Firouzja.  He's now 16 and this kid is like a Rapid/Blitz monster.    And he's eclipsed the 2700 barrier in Classical Chess.  And today, he won the strong Prague Chess Festival in a playoff over Vidit Gujrathi!!   Are you kidding me?

The only reason I bring up the comparison to Fischer is that Fischer basically took on the Soviet Chess Machine by himself.  The United States chess culture of the 1950's and 1960's was primarily in New York city, and Fischer was a lone wolf genius in that mecca.

Now I have no idea what the chess culture is like in Iran.  But that's where Firouzja grew up.  But in all probability it's nothing like New York City, Russia, Armenia, China, or India!!

And yet, Firouzja is storming the castle at 16 years of age!  Magnus had his dad to go globe trotting all over the world to obtain norms and play in the best competition.  Magnus had Norwegian GM's coaching him, and Garry Kasparov coaching him for a year or so.

Firouzja has internet and plays bullet, blitz, and rapid online.  Does he have a coach?  I know that he has Parham as a teammate who won the World Junior title, but now I read that he's moved out of Iran to France. 

For him to do what he's doing while he's getting adjusted to new country is nothing short of amazing.  

I don't know how this wunderkind does it.  Any ideas?

IMBacon

I think Caruana has a legitimate chance of beating Carlsen.  But as long as speed chess decides  the outcome he is in trouble. 

But yea, that Firouzja kid is amazing.  I would not be shocked if he ends up being the WC in the next cycle after this one,

knighttour2

The number of young GMs in a country doesn't really matter.  It takes 1 super prodigy/talent to become WC.  Look at Magnus in Norway for example.  

I don't really see the young Indian GMs as a huge deal.  Chess is becoming more about knowledge and knowledge is easier to acquire than it's ever been.  I expect there to be more and more young GMs.  The question is if they can jump to 2600 and 2700 and 2800.  Many young prodigies have a ceiling.

Firouza is a great player and definitely a WC contender but he needs more experience in supertournaments IMO.  Wei Yi was sort of at that level but nobody really thinks of him as a WC contender even though he's super strong.  

My understanding is that Firouza lives in France at the moment, not Iran, so I'm not sure if the chess culture in Iran is relevant.  He's also using the international flag due to a federation dispute.

SeniorPatzer
IMBacon wrote:

I think Caruana has a legitimate chance of beating Carlsen.  But as long as speed chess decides  the outcome he is in trouble. 

But yea, that Firouzja kid is amazing.  I would not be shocked if he ends up being the WC in the next cycle after this one,

 

I think Ding Liren also has a chance of dethroning King Magnus, especially since he beat Magnus twice in a Rapid playoff in St. Louis last year which was a HUGE shock and surprise in the chess world.

 

It was like when Ronda Rousey got beat for the first time.  It just shocked the sports world.  Ding Liren beating Magnus over two Rapid games was the same kind of shock.  Magnus's reputation was that he simply destroys people in Rapid.  Karjakin, Caruana, the World Rapid Championships are all proof of that.

 

And then Ding Liren just calmly took Magnus down last year.  Not just on time, but in position too.  It was something to behold.  So I also give Ding a chance too if he wins the Candidates 2020.

knighttour2

IMO Caruana has the best chance at the moment and I don't see a young prodigy jumping above him and Ding anytime soon.

simaginfan

Firouzja is stunningly talented. These days it is nowhere near as difficult as it was in the past for young talents to get very strong very quickly. However the coaching, knowledge and practice normally only takes them up to a certain point. Very few get to be a real threat at the highest level. I think Firouzja has already shown that he has that bit extra talent wise. 

SeniorPatzer
knighttour2 wrote:

The number of young GMs in a country doesn't really matter.  It takes 1 super prodigy/talent to become WC.  Look at Magnus in Norway for example.  

I don't really see the young Indian GMs as a huge deal.  Chess is becoming more about knowledge and knowledge is easier to acquire than it's ever been.  I expect there to be more and more young GMs.  The question is if they can jump to 2600 and 2700 and 2800.  Many young prodigies have a ceiling.

Firouza is a great player and definitely a WC contender but he needs more experience in supertournaments IMO.  Wei Yi was sort of at that level but nobody really thinks of him as a WC contender even though he's super strong.  

My understanding is that Firouza lives in France at the moment, not Iran, so I'm not sure if the chess culture in Iran is relevant.  He's also using the international flag due to a federation dispute.

 

I think a nation's chess culture has a significant impact.  In the former Soviet Union chess was popularized by the State and young talents were nurtured and cultivated.  Botvinnik, Bronstein, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Karpov, Kasparov, etc... benefitted tremendously from Soviet Chess Culture.

 

In contrast, Fischer was the Mega-Brilliant Individual who took on the Soviet Collective and was rightly celebrated for his enormous achievement.

 

Russia still has chess schools.  India is truly a chess factory.  I don't know what's going on in China, but their women are world class.  Even America has some foundations or sponsors for the young uber-talents.

 

But I suppose with the rise of the internet and engines like AlphaZero or Leela, these technological tools can somewhat offset a nation's chess culture.

IMBacon

If Caruana wins the title, you can sure bet that their will be a new wave of chess players in the US.  But will that translate into more world class/world championship caliber US players? 

Fischer stirred a serious chess revival in the US.  How many WC's did that produce?  How many top 10 players did it produce?

Does culture have something to do with it?  To a certain extent yes.

SeniorPatzer
IMBacon wrote:

If Caruana wins the title, you can sure bet that their will be a new wave of chess players in the US.  But will that translate into more world class/world championship caliber US players? 

Fischer stirred a serious chess revival in the US.  How many WC's did that produce?  How many top 10 players did it produce?

Does culture have something to do with it?  To a certain extent yes.

 

Not many.  This is all I can remember off the top of my head.  Yasser Seirawan played in the Candidates for one cycle.  And Gata Kamsky (who defected from the Soviet Union) was a top 10 player if I recall.  But maybe Gata doesn't count.  

 

And Hikaru Nakamura.  He was a top 10 player.  Watching him on youtube still amazes me.  He just machine gun rattles off moves and variations like Usain Bolt on steroids.

IMBacon
SeniorPatzer wrote:
IMBacon wrote:

If Caruana wins the title, you can sure bet that their will be a new wave of chess players in the US.  But will that translate into more world class/world championship caliber US players? 

Fischer stirred a serious chess revival in the US.  How many WC's did that produce?  How many top 10 players did it produce?

Does culture have something to do with it?  To a certain extent yes.

 

Not many.  This is all I can remember off the top of my head.  Yasser Seirawan played in the Candidates for one cycle.  And Gata Kamsky (who defected from the Soviet Union) was a top 10 player if I recall.  But maybe Gata doesn't count.  

 

And Hikaru Nakamura.  He was a top 10 player.  Watching him on youtube still amazes me.  He just machine gun rattles off moves and variations like Usain Bolt on steroids.

I also think that all that bullet has hurt Naka's classical game.  Hes not even in the top 10 anymore.  I remember reading something once where he said being the world champion wasn't something he was desirous of.  So in that case i guess it wouldnt matter if bullet has hurt his long game.

SeniorPatzer

Here's the chess.com writeup of Firouzja's victory today:

 

https://www.chess.com/news/view/prague-international-chess-festival-2020-firouzja-wins

JamesAgadir

Iran have got a hugely successful era of young chess players. Last time I checked one of the top 2 in every age category was Iranian. Firouzja is the most exceptional but I think we're seeing the birth of a huge chess playing country if they can keep the players.

JESUS_LIVES7

Firouzja is an amazing young talent and I believe he will be a serious WC in a few years (or less!), but he needs some more experience first.  Respect for the King, Magnus is arguably the greatest player of all time and there is a good reason why he is the current WC.  When is the last time he even lost a classical game? Not in a very long time & thats against the best players in the world.  Don't expect Carlson to be losing his title anytime soon.  

pfren
SeniorPatzer έγραψε:

It was like when Ronda Rousey got beat for the first time.  

 

Huge amounts of naivety are required to think any WWE event or match as really fought.

SeniorPatzer
pfren wrote:
SeniorPatzer έγραψε:

It was like when Ronda Rousey got beat for the first time.  

 

Huge amounts of naivety are required to think any WWE event or match as really fought.

 

I was referring to the time when Ronda Rousey lost her fight to Holly Holm in the sport of MMA.

SeniorPatzer

https://www.chess.com/news/view/6-takeaways-from-the-prague-chess-festival

 

The above has a nice writeup about Firouzja and has some annotated games of his.

 

And if you look in the comment section, Firouzja was very lucky to win the tournament.  Something like 7 or 8 things had to ALL have happened for him to even make it to the tie-break playoffs.

Malishious

Maybe when he hits his peak mental/physical condition, Alizera might have a chance at WC

IvorFoulmouth

Yes, he has an excellent chance against Ju Wenhun

dannyhume
I am even a lowlier patzer, but I wonder if we are simply seeing more and more folks at the highest level at younger and younger ages.

Soon, having any facial hair will be proof that one’s game is in decline ... not objectively, but relatively compared to the swath of new 11 year-old GM talent that keeps breaking through.

The hope that Anand versus Gelfand provided to me is mostly gone.
santiagomagno15

with time we will know