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Everyone Bashes Firouzja For Playing Online Chess

As tensions in the Candidates Tournament continue to evaporate because Nepo is dominating the event, everyone in the chess world seems to bash Alireza Firouzja, the rating favorite, for staying up all night amid the most important tournament of his life (they say) and playing hundreds of bullet games online. Firouzja lost to Nepo the day after.

Photo: FIDE

Garry Kasparov, the unrivaled authority on the sport, commented on the situation during his appearance in St. Louis chess broadcast (as reported by ChessBase): Playing bullet chess is not a good idea, period, if you’re preparing for the Candidates. During the tournament, it’s even much worse. And playing it after a loss [against Nakamura, in round 10] trying to recover your pride, your honour, to massage your ego, it’s triple bad.[...] I thought [Firouzja] could do much better, but I think he overestimated his chances. Somehow it reminds me of Bobby Fischer in 1962, in Curaçao.

Nigel Short went further in his Twitter post:

So why did Firouzja stay up all night playing bullet? Apparently, he simply wanted to take his mind off the Candidates, and that is how he r_e_l_a_x_e_s.

Both Kasparov and Short as well as most of the participants of the Candidates hail from a culture where chess is the official sport and should be treated as such. Winning a tournament requires substantial expenses, training camps, physical therapy, and a masseuse (Nepo had one in Dubai). For Firouzja, who is 19 years old, and who played chess online for most of his life, chess is more or a hobby and a profession mashed into one. He will certainly deploy all the tactical preparation techniques for his next Candidates, and will likely win it.

For now, it’s simply clear that he loves chess and appears to have a good time in Madrid.

Lifesaving draws, and a Huge Loss for Ding Liren in Round 12

Round 12 of the 2022 Candidates Tournament ended with a 7-minute draw in the Nepomniachtchi — Nakamura game, Teimour Radjabov won his game against Ding Liren, Alireza Firouzja escaped defeat by Jan-Krzysztof Duda, their fight as well as Rapport-Caruana game, ended in a draw!

Now Nepo only needs to draw in any of the next two games to guarantee himself another World Championship Match!

Photos: Stev Bonhage/FIDE

Geert Van der Velde, CEO of a FIDE partner company, made the ceremonial first move today in the game between Nepomniachtchi and Nakamura. 7 minutes later this game ended with a threefold repetition of the position in a well-known variant of the Spanish game.

Ding Liren needed a win today to fight for the first place but, Teimour Radjabov crushed him with Black in a very nervous game. Teimour found the winning move 21...Rxe3 and Ding had to resign after 26 moves.

Duda-Firouzja game was thrilling and ended in a draw although it could be a loss for the French grandmaster. Duda had an advantage that he seems to lose after 27...Rf2.

Fabiano Caruana — Richard Rapport was a drawish game despite the American grandmaster was desperately looking for a spicy variation.

Join our broadcast with GM Daniil Yuffa and GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko, on July 3rd at 13:00 UTC.

Round 13 Pairings:

Ian Nepomniachtchi — Richard Rapport
Hikaru Nakamura — Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Alireza Firouzja — Ding Liren
Teimour Radjabov — Fabiano Caruana

Watch it with us

Magnus Carlsen is turning to Poker

Tarjei J. Svensen revealed on chess24 that the World Champion Magnus Carlsen will participate in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas next week.

Magnus Carlsen just bluffed with 0% chance to win! Photo: Magnus Carlsen Youtube Channel

With the chess community wondering if Carlsen defends his World Chess Championship title, the World Champion travels to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. “It will be interesting as a once-in-a-life-time-experience. To play the World [Poker] Championship,” Carlsen tells VG.

As Tarjei writes “In April, Carlsen impressed both the chess and the poker world with his skills in the Norwegian Poker Championship. He ended up finishing 29th among 1050 players, after briefly being ranked 2nd.”

But what if his statement to leave the World Championship cycle unless Firouzja becomes the Challenger is another bluff?!

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