Friday , 12 August 2022

The strongest chess boom in Iran, ever

chessbase.com– Prior to 2018, there were few world-class chess tournaments dominated by Iranian players — just the odd youth championship. Now Iran is climbing the list of the top countries in the world — currently at number 25, with the average rating of the top ten players rising by the month. The country’s 15 GMs, 23 IMs, and 125 total titled players obscures the fact that among the top ten, only two were born before 1995. SHAHROKH MOJTABAEI takes a look at the recent history. | Pictured: Coach Ivan Sokolov with Masoud Mosadeghpour, Alireza Firouzja, Parham Maghsoodloo, Pouya Idani, Seyed Mohammad Amin Tabatabaei | Photo: Iranian Chess Federation

ChessBase 15 – Mega packageChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2019 with 7.6 million games and more than 70,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!

More…

Maghsoodloo is not the only one…

The first chess boom in Iran occurred when Seyed Javad Alavi won the 1997 World Cadet Chess Championship under-10 in Cannes, France — the first world title in the history of chess in Iran. Ever since then, new players have been entering the scene constantly. Ehsan Ghaem Maghami achieved the first GM title in 2000 and to date Iran has produced 15 grandmasters, most of whom are playing actively. In recent years, we are witnessing a second chess boom in the country. Not only have the numbers of GMs been increased, but also the new generation of players are demonstrating higher chess skills. Both open and women’s national teams, consisting of the young talented players, have achieved admirable results in the last two Chess Olympiads [e.g. 17th and 14th in Batumi 2018 -Ed.].

From the start of 2018, the new golden generation of chess players has begun to blossom. The country currently has three players among the top 20 Juniors, equal with the USA. In January, 18-year-old Parham Maghsoodloo produced a spectacular display by lifting the IIFLIM Mumbai International title and receiving the trophy from the Indian legend Viswanathan Anand.

Maghsoodloo in Mumbai

Maghsoodloo wins IIFLIM Mumbai International 2018 trophy presented by Anand | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Later he took first place at the 8th A. Margaryan Memorial. His brilliant victory at Sharjah Masters with 8 out of 9 was arguably the most historic moment ever in the history of Iranian chess community.

Here’s a look at Maghsoodloo’s win against Gawain Jones. He dared to play Sicilian Defence against the man who has written the book, “How to beat the Sicilian Defence’’.

  • Use the four cursor keys and Enter to replay the game.
  • Try maximizing the board:
  • Make moves to analyse yourself.
  • Press Ctrl-B to rotate the board.
  • Press F11 to load the next game of a database.
  • Games viewed here will automatically be stored in your cloud clipboard (if you are logged in).
  • Create an account to access the games cloud.
Gawain Jones2675 0–1 Parham Maghsoodloo2615
Sharjah Masters
Sharjah UAE[Tactical Analysis 2.10 (5s)]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.Re1 Nd4 6.Nxd4 cxd4 7.d3B30: Sicilian: 2…Nc6 3 Bb5, lines without …g6 a6 8.Ba4 Nc68…b5= 9.Bb3 Nc6 9.Nd2White should play 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Nd2 9…b5= 10.Bb3 Bb7 11.f4 Qc7 12.Nf3 Rc8NPredecessor: 12…Bd6 13.f5 Na5 14.Qe2 Rc8 15.Kh1 Nxb3 16.cxb3e5 17.f6 gxf6 18.Bd2 1/2-1/2 (18) Stalmach,K (2565)-Stoyanov,Z (2449) ICCF email 2013 13.Kh1 Bd6 14.Rf114.f5= 14…Bxf4 15.Bxf4 Qxf4 16.Nxd4! Qe5 17.Nxc6 dxc6 18.d4White should try 18.Qf3= 0-0 19.c3 18…Qxe4 19.Qh5 0-0 Threatens to win with …c5. 20.Qc5 Qh4 21.Rf321.Rae1= 21…Rce8 22.Rg3 Qe722…e5 23.Qb6 Bc8 23.Qh5

23…c5!       24.dxc5 f5 25.a425.Rd1= 25…f4 26.Rh3 g6 27.Qg4But not 27.Bxe6+? Kh8-+ 27.Qh4 27…Qxc5-+ 28.axb5Don’t go for 28.Bxe6+? Kg7-+ 28…axb5 And now …f3! would win. 29.Bxe6+ Kg7 30.Qh4 h5 31.Rc3 Qb6      Black has strong attack. 32.Bh3 f3 33.gxf3 Bxf3+ 34.Rxf3 Rxf3 35.Bg2Qf2 36.Qb4?

36.Qxf2 Rxf2 37.Bf1 36…Re2!        37.Rg1

37…Rfe3?37…h4!       ( -> …h3!) 38.Qg4 Qxg1+       Remove Defender 39.Kxg1 Re1+40.Bf1 Rfxf1+ 41.Kg2 Rg1+       Skewer 42.Kh3 Rxg4 43.Kxg4 b4 38.Qxb5?38.Qd4+ Qf6 39.Qxf6+ Kxf6 40.Bf1 Rxc2 41.Bxb5 38…Re1  39.Bf1 Qf3+ 40.Bg2 Rxg1+ 41.Kxg1 Re1+ 42.Bf1 Rd1Hoping for …Qe3+. 43.h4 Qg3+ Black mates. 44.Kh1 Rd2  45.Be2 Qe1+      Double Attack. Accuracy: White = 41%, Black = 68%.0–1

Move N Result Elo Players
1.e4 853,376 54% 2422
1.d4 700,430 55% 2437
1.Nf3 205,738 56% 2439
1.c4 135,486 56% 2441
1.g3 16,250 56% 2426
1.b3 7,769 52% 2413
1.f4 4,461 46% 2370
1.Nc3 2,567 49% 2383
1.b4 1,139 44% 2359
1.e3 521 44% 2368
1.d3 495 47% 2358
1.a3 438 48% 2378
1.c3 192 48% 2380
1.g4 128 39% 2372
1.h3 79 35% 2352
1.h4 42 44% 2339
1.Nh3 17 53% 2406
1.a4 14 46% 2432
1.f3 11 18% 2361
1.Na3 10 50% 2435

But his performance in the World Junior Championship was even more unbelievable: He became champion with one round to spare finishing on 9½ out of 10. He also won three other tournaments decisively in Iran during the year.

Maghsoodloo

Parham Maghsoodloo becomes World Junior Champion | Photo: Amruta Mokal

After the Batumi Olympiad, Pouya Idani, the second board player for the national team, clinched the Goa GM International title. He continued his fine run in the Chigorin Memorial in presence of many strong players and finished clear first. He is the student of Pharmacology at Shahid Beheshti University, one of the best medical sciences universities in Iran.

Pouya Idani

Pouya Idani took first at the 1st Goa GM International 2018 | Photo: Niklesh Jane

In November, 18-years-old Mobina Alinasab made history by defeating two far higher rated players (Elisabeth Paehtz and Monika Socko) in the Women’s World Championship. It was the first time that an Iranian reached the upper rounds in the World Cup. In the third round, Alinasab missed an easy win at the very last moment of the first game against Mariya Muzychuk. She lost the next game and the overall match but her performance in the knockout tournament was really excellent.

Alinasab

Mobina Alinasab in Khanty-Mansiysk 2018 | Photo: Official website

In the Asian Individual Championship, 17-years-old Mohammad Amin Tabatabaei was a sterling representative for Iran and grabbed the silver medal both in the classic and the blitz sections. 15-years-old Alireza Firouzja, who is really active in online tournaments as well, became the gold medal winner of the Asian Blitz Championship.

Tabatabaei and Firoujza

Mohammad Amin Tabatabaei and Alireza Firouzja at the 2018 Asian Individual Championship | Photos: Iranian chess federation

On the last days of the year, the World Rapid and Blitz Championship held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, who missed the last year’s competition in Saudi Arabia because of visa problems, played magically and bagged two silver medals in both the rapid and the blitz sections and the gold medal for the combined results. It was the first time in history that an Iranian achieved an adult world chess title. She followed it up in January with a fine performance at the Gibraltar Masters.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh

After getting married in October, Sara Khademalsharieh has played well | Photo: John Saunders / Gibraltar Chess Festival

Alireza Firouzja was on fire in the World Rapid and Blitz Championship and came the 6th in the rapid section. His start in the blitz section was really nice as well (6½/7), but his defeat against Magnus Carlsen destroyed his concentration and prevented him from repeating another amazing performance.

Firouzja, who was profiled in December, has just won the Iranian Championship with a round to spare:

Rk. Name Rtg. Nt. Pts. n
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
TB Perf.
1
2618
9.0
11
5.50
2729
2
2611
6.5
10
4.00
2593
3
2455
6.5
11
3.50
2547
4
2488
6.5
11
3.50
2544
5
2475
6.0
11
2.50
2516
6
2468
5.5
11
4.00
2481
7
2528
5.5
11
3.00
2475
8
2517
5.5
11
2.00
2476
9
2533
5.0
11
3.50
2439
10
2366
3.5
11
2.50
2357
11
2377
3.5
11
1.50
2356
12
2321
2.0
10
0.50
2243
TBs: Koya, Wins with black, Wins

All these results have been achieved just during the last 12 months and a bright future is waiting for this newly emerged generation of chess prodigies.

Iranian Championship – Round 11 LIVE

Result:
0–1
Gholami Orimi-Firouzja
Result:
½–½
Gholami-Daghli
Result:
½–½
Pourramezanali-Idani
Result:
0–1
Moradi-Mosadeghpour
Result:
½–½
Khodashenas-Darini
Result:
½–½
Ghaem Maghami-Tahbaz
Stat White EloW Black EloB Res Event Rnd Len
Gholami Orimi,M 2377 Firouzja,A 2618 52nd Iran-ch Men Final 2019 11 37
Gholami,A 2488 Daghli,A 2366 52nd Iran-ch Men Final 2019 11 12
Pourramezanali,A 2528 Idani,P 2611 52nd Iran-ch Men Final 2019 11 33
Moradi,A 2321 Mosadeghpour,M 2517 52nd Iran-ch Men Final 2019 11 23
Khodashenas,M 2455 Darini,P 2475 52nd Iran-ch Men Final 2019 11 23
Ghaem Maghami,E 2533 Tahbaz,A 2468 52nd Iran-ch Men Final 2019 11 17
Gholami Orimi,M2377 0–1 Firouzja,A2618
52nd Iran-ch Men Final 2019
1.d4 40 e6 3:05 2.Nf3 1:59 Nf6 2:19 3.g3 1:37 b52:59 4.Bg2 1:05 Bb7 4:13 5.0-0 17 c5 18 6.dxc58:03 Bxc5 18 7.Nbd2 1:10 0-0 3:09 8.b3 4:49 a58:46 9.c4 4:01 b4 4:51 10.Bb2 1:49 d6 3:29 11.Qc22:39 Nbd7 7:07 12.Ng5 2:04 d5 9:50 13.Rad1 21:01Qc7 6:47 14.Qb1 3:54 h6 1:57 15.Ngf3 51 a4 6:1116.Rc1 7:08 dxc4 59 17.Rxc4 2:05 Ba6 1:3118.Rcc1 52 Bxe2 1:34 19.Rfe1 1:19 Ba6 2:2220.Ne4 12:37 Nxe4 5:06 21.Rxe4 3:3521.Qxe4 Qb6 22.Rc2 21…a3 4:22 22.Bd4 3:38 Qd6 5:1222…Qa7 23.Rg4 Bxd4 24.Rxd4

24…Ne5!       23.Rxc5? 1:3823.Rg4!= e5 24.Nh4 23…Nxc5 2:01 24.Rg4 22

24…f6! 1:06 25.Qc1 6:46 Rac8 2:38 26.Qxh6 13Rc7 1:41 27.h3 1:48 e5 2:35 28.Qg6 5:21 Ne6 4:27Not 28…exd4

29.Ng5!       29.Be3 28 Bd3 1:11 30.Qh5 27 g5 23 31.Bxg5 43fxg5 1:25 32.Nxg5 30 Ng7 48 33.Qh4 26 Rc1+ 4834.Kh2 1 Rxf2 28 35.Rxb4 1:01

35…Rxg2+! 56 36.Kxg2 5 Qc6+ 13 37.Ne4 50Qc2+ 18 Double Attack0–1

Move N Result Elo
Replay and check the LiveBook here

Links


Shahrokh is an authorized dentist in Denmark, graduated from Tehran Medical Sciences University. As a chess enthusiast, he enjoys chess by playing, training, writing articles and reporting chess news. He plays chess in tournaments and has been a team member of K41 Club at the first division of Danish League. He has written a bunch of articles in the only Iranian chess magazine, ‘’Mahname Shatranj’’. He also reports chess news and articles for Unity Chess Club in Arizona, USA.

 

0