The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Parham Maghsoodloo

Parham Maghsoodloo
Full name
Parham Maghsoodloo
Aug 11, 2000 (age 23)‎
Place of birth
Gonbad-e Kavus, Iran



Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo has achieved an impressive chess career in a short amount of time. He’s a two-time Iranian national champion and the highest-rated player in the country. In 2018, he won the World Junior Chess Championship.

Now no longer a junior, Maghsoodloo seems poised to make the next jump in his career.

Early Chess Career (2011 To 2015)

Maghsoodloo played his first event as an 11-year-old in the under-12 Iranian Chess Championship. He finished with 6/9 points and scored well the following year in the under-12 World Chess Championship, where he placed fifth with 8/11 points (just one point behind the joint leaders).

At the Iranian national championship in 2013, the 13-year-older scored 4/11 points and added a nice boost to his rating. The next year, he finished in joint first place at the 2014 Mazandaran (province of Iran) Chess Championship. He then fared well in his return to the national championship in 2014, scoring 7/11 points and placing equal fourth.

Maghsoodloo won his first FIDE-rated open in March 2014, when he won the Qazvin Nowruz Open with 9/11 points. After finishing sixth at the Asian Continental Championship in 2015, he qualified for the World Cup 2015—unfortunately, his first-round opponent was super-GM Wesley So, and Maghsoodloo lost the match.

Thanks to a multitude of top-five performances in youth and standard tournaments, Maghsoodloo experienced a dramatic increase in strength. He started with an initial rating of 1898 as an 11-year-old, and, just a few months after turning 14, he broke the 2400-mark.

GM Title And Emerging Junior Player (2016 To 2021)

Maghsoodloo earned four GM norms by September 2016, qualifying him for the top FIDE title. A month prior, he advanced to the top-20 top juniors in the world list.

In 2017, Maghsoodloo took his first national championship and with it a major accomplishment in his young career. That win denied a repeat championship for now-GM Alireza Firouzja, who had won the 2016 event as a 12-year-old. Nevertheless, Maghsoodloo won the title in 2017 as a 15-year old GM and then followed through on his quest for back-to-back national titles, taking the 2018 Iranian Chess Championship.

He achieved even more in 2018. Maghsoodloo won the 2018 World Junior Chess Championship with a stunning performance, going 9.5/10 points and clinching the event with one round (before an insignificant, final-round loss) to go. The same month, in September 2018, he re-entered the top-five junior players in the world (after a one-off showing in May 2018) and clung to that upper echelon of players until his absence from the juniors list altogether at the end of 2020.

Maghsoodloo was the second-ranked player in the 2019 Junior Speed Chess Championship. He narrowly lost to GM Jeffery Xiong (14.5-10.5) in the semifinals.

Present And Future

There’s no question that Maghsoodloo is a talented player. He has two national championships, a world junior championship, and 27 consecutive months as a top-five junior player in the world.

Parham Maghsoodloo
Maghsoodloo inspires many young players in Iran and around the world. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In late 2019, he entered the world’s top 50 players, but he has fallen out of that category momentarily (and COVID-19 has suspended most tournaments). Still young and extremely talented, watch for Maghsoodloo to reach that status yet again and possibly challenge the elite players for a spot much closer to the top of the world rankings.

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