Firouzja chess: Firouzja delights, but does not manage time well | sports

Following the games of Alireza Firouzja is almost a guarantee of strong emotions. The Iranian youth today has had positions gained and lost before drawing with the Norwegian Aryán Tari, whose compatriot Magnus Carlsen, world champion, could not beat the Dutch Jordan Van Foreest either. All the fights of the 4th round of the Tata tournament in Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) ended in a draw, including another marathon run by the Spanish David Antón, against the French Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Wednesday is not played.

It has always been thought that if a player raises the Caro-Kann Defense, they don’t really want to get into trouble. But that deduction is wrong with Firouzja, who almost always, in all kinds of positions and against any opponent, looks for the sharpest lines, as if having fun was as important to him as winning.

Today was no exception. The Asian, residing in France, gave first a pawn and then the exchange (difference in value between a rook and a bishop) in exchange for initiative and harmony, all in full swing. It didn’t take long for the board to become a tremendous mess, more appropriate for silicon players than flesh and blood. Since the talent of Tari – the son of Iranian emigrants – is not as great as that of Firouzja, he soon reached an advantage that, according to the machines, was decisive.

But the mess was still great, and therefore required a precision and control of his emotions and nerves that Firouzja has not yet reached, as Carlsen pointed out not long ago, who does not hide his great admiration for the prodigious Persian, whom he defeated. in a great game of the first round.

So Firouzja not only did not execute Tari but gave him the opportunity to completely overturn the result, but the Norwegian was also under the pressure of the clock, and did not see how to do it (it was very difficult). When the fight could have continued quite a bit longer, Tari offered a draw and Firouzja accepted, because rejecting them with less than a minute for ten moves was tantamount to playing Russian roulette.

The world champion signed his third consecutive draw (Antón, Tari and Jordan Van Foreest) after his brilliant victory over Firouzja. But he’s not very upset about it: “In the final part of those three games I could have been more precise to torture my rivals, who in any case defended themselves very well. And I want to make it clear that I did not have any winning position in those games.

If there were a special prize for the hardest-working of the participants, Antón would be an outstanding favorite to take home: he accumulates about 25 hours of fighting in four games. Vachier-Lagrave tortured him bravely today (pawn up in a four-rook endgame), but the Spaniard stood his ground. Nobody deserves more than him on Wednesday’s rest day.

Results (4th round): Vachier Lagrave – Anton, tables; Tari – Firouzja, tables; J. Van Foreest-Carlsen, tables; Donchenko – Wojtaszek, tables; Doubt – Giri, boards; Harikrishna – Caruana, tables; Yesipenko – Grandelius, tables.

Pairings (5th round, Thursday): Grandelius – Vachier Lagrave; Caruana – Yesipenko; Giri – Harikrishna; Wojtaszek – Duda; Carlsen – Donchenko; Firouzja – Van Foreest; Anton – Tari.

Classification: 1º-5º Caruana, Carlsen, Giri, Harikrishna and Grandelius 2.5; 6th-10th Firouzja, Vachier-Lagrave, Wojtaszek, J. Van Foreest and Yesipenko 2; 11th-13th Duda, Antón and Tari 1,5; 14th Donchenko 1.

Official portal (with live broadcast):

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports at Facebook, Twitter or subscribe here to the Newsletter.