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Firouzja Is Acting Like a Star and It’s Good For Us All!

Firouzja, the world’s number two in the recent FIDE rating list, has declined his invitation to the prestigious Wijk aan Zee Tata Steel Tournament. The alleged reason: he demanded financial compensation for a 2021 Incident, when the arbiter made him change tables during his game with Wojtaszek.

Firouzja at the Riga Grand Swiss earlier this year. Photo: FIDE

The incident, detailed by, is an unfortunate but typical situation for chess tournaments where players are often forced to comply with various disturbing moments while being nice to the organizers. After all, they want to continue getting the invitations and are also mindful of the issues of organizing a chess tournament. Firouzja appears to be a different story, and it’s, you know, very good for the sport.

“Based on his performance and even attitude towards this incident, Firouzja appears not to tolerate mediocrity, and it’s a huge asset for the sport,”— says Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess. “I of course sympathize with the Wijk aan Zee organizers. It’s incredibly tough to put together a well-organized tournament, and dealing with the players adds to this, but I am sure in the back of their minds they respect Firouzja’s position and share my view that we need more players to act like stars — god knows chess needs more stars!,” — adds Merenzon.

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 2685   5 mo   Alireza Firouzja   Main feature   Tata Steel
1 comment
Pabitra Saha 5 mo

If the organisers acted foolishly last year then they should compensate the player, as he demands. The amount should be paid by the erring official and not organiser or sponsoring company.