Chess Grandmaster Alireza Firouzja forays into fashion industry, says it could be taking away time from his chess

Chess Grandmaster Alireza Firouzja, the Iranian who has shifted allegiance to France, played just three classical events in 2022. Ranked No.4 in the world in classical chess, Firouzja has, however, played Titled Tuesday tournaments, a blitz chess series.

Fans have wondered why Firouzja has not played enough Classical tournaments recently and during a recent chat with Woman FIDE Master and chess streamer Alessia Santeramo, the Grandmaster revealed he does have other interests which take up his time.

“I am in the fashion industry for two years now. It is a kind of serious thing and I think it is improving. Maybe it is taking time(away) from my chess, but I like to do both things,” Firouzja had said.

The Iranian, a prodigy who is tipped to become World Champion one day, is highly rated by World Champion Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian had said that he would only defend his World Champion title if his opponent was Firouzja. However, at the Candidates tournament – the winner of which gets the right to play the World Champion – Firouzja finished only in sixth place with a total of six points from a possible 14. Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi, who lost to Carlsen the last time, will now play China’s Ding Liren, the second placed finisher.

The 19-year-old left Iran because of the country’s policy of not allowing its athletes to compete against Isarelis. Firouzja won the Iranian championship at 12 and became a Grandmaster at 14.

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