Tanked his reputation in a lot of people’s eyes

In the unfolding drama in the chess world, the French-Iranian grandmaster Alireza Firouzja found himself in a new predicament. Taking part in a mini-tournament in his home country France, he chose to challenge players with significantly lower ratings to quickly boost his ELO scores, but encountered an unexpected hindrance.

His strategy seemed to have failed when he ended up in a draw with GM Sergey Fedorchuk, causing him to lose points (2.6 to be accurate). As it stands, Alireza has once again slipped below Wesley So in the rankings.

In response to the whole situation, a fan expressed criticism:

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“Very hilarious that Alireza tanked his reputation in a lot of people’s eyes to not make the candidates lmao.”

Fans react to Alireza’s latest setback (Image via X/@GothamChess)

Where do current live ratings stand? Alireza Firouzja slips below Wesley So again

In case you didn’t know, Alireza Firouzja and Wesley So were locked in tight competition for the final vacant slot in the forthcoming Candidates tournament. As per the rules, the player with the highest rating in January 2023, who hasn’t qualified yet, would clinch one of the two remaining places.

Wesley So had a slight edge over Alireza Firouzja in terms of rating points. To change this, Firouzja decided to participate in a tournament in France against lower-rated opponents at the eleventh hour.

Arguably, Firouzja’s plan seemed to have backfired as he didn’t fair well in the tournament’s final round, failing to beat an opponent rated nearly 200 points less than him. Here are the live standings:

Live FIDE ratings of the top 12 players in the world (Image via 2700chess.com)

As it stands now, Wesley So has once again surpassed Firouzja. Should this continue to hold true, it indicates that Wesley So, not Firouzja, could secure one of the last spots for the upcoming tournament.

Below is a brief overview of the game that resulted in Firouzja losing points:

The drama sparks reactions from fans

Ever since Alireza Firouzja announced his participation in the mini-tournament, he hasn’t been well received by the public. Fans had the following to say in response to his latest outcome:

Fans critical of Alireza Firouzja (Image via X/@GothamChess)

Intriguingly, the grandmaster has now withdrawn from the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships that are set for the final week of December. Reports suggest that he cited personal reasons for his withdrawal.

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Edited by Anirudh Padmanabhan

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