2016 Iranian Championship: Two kids and the no. 1

by Albert Silver
1/24/2016 – The Iranian Men’s championship, held in Tehran, Iran, has reached its midway point with a few surprises. At the top of the pecking order is Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, currently second, who has even held the world simul record, but leading is Alireza Firouzja, 12 years old, and in third is Aryan Gholami, 14 years old. At stake are spots on the Olympic team.

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Running from 30 January to 7 February, and hosted by the Tehran Chess Association, the
event is conducted by organizer Henry K. M. Daneshfar who also serves as the chief arbiter.

Opening the tournament is Garshasbi HR, Advisor to the Minister of Youth and Sports and
the General Director of Youth and Sports in Tehran

14-year-old Aryan Gholami is hardly an unknown, having won the Bronze in the World Youth
championship held a few months ago. At stake here is more than honor but a spot on the
Olympic team in Baku. The top five finishers will represent their nation. Currently ranked third
with 4.0/6, he beat...

... Masoud Mosadeghpour, who won the World Youth Under-18 championship last year as
well with a huge score. Masooud is currently on 50% with 3.0/6.

Aryan Gholami - Omid Noroozi

[Event "IRI-ch Men Final 2015"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.01.20"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Gholami, Aryan"] [Black "Noroozi, Omid"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B50"] [WhiteElo "2398"] [BlackElo "2399"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. e4 {0} c5 {8} 2. Nf3 {60} d6 {9} 3. c3 {0} Nf6 {12} 4. Be2 {0} g6 {27} 5. O-O {0} Bg7 {7} 6. Bb5+ {77} Bd7 {599} 7. Bxd7+ {19} Qxd7 {137} 8. Re1 {18} Nc6 {348} 9. d4 {37} cxd4 {531} 10. cxd4 {8} d5 {5} 11. e5 {136} Ne4 {38} 12. Nc3 { 62} Nxc3 {257} 13. bxc3 {7} O-O {90} 14. h4 {144} Rfc8 {1477} 15. h5 {559} Nd8 {113} 16. Bd2 {157} Rc6 {286} 17. g3 {500} Qg4 {269} 18. hxg6 {178} fxg6 {507} 19. Kg2 {107} Nf7 {375} 20. Qb3 {113} Qd7 {24 [#]} 21. e6 $1 {80} Rxe6 {7} 22. Rxe6 {6} Qxe6 {2} 23. Qxb7 {10} Rf8 {23 Already in depseration mode, Black plays for counterplay on the f-file. Unfortunately he will never have the time to make use of it.} 24. Re1 {507} Qf5 {177} 25. Rxe7 {94} Kh8 {574} 26. Qd7 { 102} Qf6 {1} 27. Bf4 {456} g5 {261} 28. Nxg5 {141} Nxg5 {2 [#]} 29. Rxg7 $1 {10 } Ne6 {3} ({If} 29... Qxg7 $2 30. Be5 Rf6 {is mate after} 31. Qc8+ Qg8 32. Bxf6#) 30. Rg4 1-0

In first place, is 12 year-old Alireza Firouzja, who not only shone in the World Youth, but came
within a hair of a GM norm at the recent Qatar Masters. He showed this was no fluke when he
stormed to an incredible 3.5/4 start and is now at 4.5/6, edging out...

...top seed GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, the outright favorite, and who has held the world
record for a simul
, when he took on a grand total of 604 boards!

Elvis Presley eat your heart out

Current standings after six rounds


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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