Photos by Reza Mahdipour
The 2016 Iranian Championship was held in Tehran, Iran, ran from January 21-28. At stake was more than the title of Iranian Champion, but also five spots on the national team in the forthcoming Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan. In a field filled with young talents, were also veteran players such as top-seed Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (2594) who has already won it twelve times, or Darini Pouria who was the runner-up in 2015.
It was a fascinating and well conducted event
The games were all broadcast online via DGT boards
After ten rounds, the leader was twelve-year-old Alireza Firouzja, who faced one of the lowest rated
players in the field. The gold was not at all certain so a win was the only way to ensure the
top prize. He showed great character and won his game to take sole first a point ahead of the rest.
In second, going into the final round, was 15-year-old Parham Mahhsoodloo who had held
the lead for a couple of rounds, but now trailed by half a point. Parham may not ring any
bells, but he was the youngest participant of all in the last World Cup competition.
14-year-old Aryan Gholami, a former World Youth champion, managed to take silver in a
crowded fight for the top spots
GM Morteza Mahjoob and Mohammad Zarei, a veteran Iranian chess journalist. GM Majboob
is not only a former national champion, but is also one of Firouzja's current coaches. Another
of his current coaches is GM Arman Pashikian from Armenia, who prepared Alireza for every round.
Obviously, his most important supporter is his father, seated next to Alireza here
Shahin Lorparizangeneh, who came in fifth, and thus will be on the team, has already won
five Asian Youth chess titles!
GM Pouria Darini, who failed to make the team, might also have caused
the downfall of...
... GM Ehsan Maghami (left) had he won his final game. Instead, he only drew and Ehsan
made the squad.
Standing on the left is IA Kaveh Honari, a former vice-champion, who was the chief arbiter
It wasn't his most memorable tournament, but Maziar Bagheri did leave with a win of his own
On the left is Omid Noroozi, playing Shahin Lorparizangeneh. If Omid seems distracted, he
has good reason: in three weeks he will be getting married!
World Under-18 champion Masoud Mosadeghpour also missed out on
the team after coming in eighth
The three champions: 14-year-old Aryan Gholami (silver), 12-year-old Alireza Firouzja (gold),
and 15-year-old Parham Mahhsoodloo (bronze). All three scored IM norms, being Alireza's second.
A group shot of all the players, arbiters, and organizers (click for high-res)
A very special thanks to Reza Mahdipour for the photos and invaluable information.
The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.