Chess: at 18, Alireza Firouzja, future world number one?

Her favorite French word? ” Tremendous. » Perhaps because it is also the one he has been addressed to most often since his arrival three years ago. Kylian Mbappé in football or Carlos Alcaraz in tennis, these are the heights to climb to if we want to place Alireza Firouzja at the first non-lover of chess.

From the age of 12, he won the Iranian championship, where he was born and raised. Then he becomes the youngest player to reach the Everest of 2,800 points in the world rankings, propelling him to second place at 18 years old. He could toast an additional stage by joining the world championship, for which the so-called “Candidates” qualifying tournament begins Friday June 17 in Madrid (Spain) and runs until July 5.

“He’s the future world number one”, boasts Jean-Pierre Gorges, mayor (DVD) of Chartres and occasional wood pusher, who hosted the ” phenomenon “ in Eure-et-Loir on the recommendation of the former president of the French Chess Federation, Bachar Kouatly. Because if Iran is one of these countries of chess culture – where the thousand-year-old game has left traces of its transit from its Asian cradle to the West – its government restricts the young Firouzja, preventing him in particular from meeting players Israelis at official parties. His parents and his brother, against whom he moved his first pieces at 8 years old, will accompany his departure.

“A fiery player”

France and the quiet streets of Chartres finally receive their endorsement. Yet the city club “didn’t have the right structure” and did not appear “not even in the elite”, recognizes François Gilles, its president. Approaching the prefecture for naturalization, convincing the city’s partners to invest in the most expensive training equipment, enrolling them in tournaments: a hard core then set about integrating the Firouzja.

“Le Jeu de la Dame”, the series that encourages diversity in chess clubs

The opportunity for Emmanuel Platon, licensed at “C’Chartres Échecs”, to closely observe the young hopeful by refereeing an online competition at home. “It was phenomenal,” repeats the fifty-year-old. We attempt a parallel with the spirit of play that animates the biggest names in sport. He nods: “I was struck by his mastery of time and his ability to pull off shots that no one expected. »

“Alireza is creative in the sense that he thinks outside the box to force opponents into playing difficult shots. He’s a fiery player, who complicates all matches.” also notes Kevin Bordi, who regularly comments on his games on the “Blitzstream” YouTube channel.

“The only trainer who can coach him is a computer”

Last November, the nugget gave him material for analysis, between his victory in the Grand Swiss tournament, qualifying for the Candidates, and a silver medal in the European team championship with the French team. The first of the Blues in almost ten years, won ” by himself “, laughs Maxime Lagarde, reigning French champion and teammate during the competition.

The member of the Chartres club, 28, also saw the confirmation of a gap between his generation, still trained in chess through books, and the new one, with brains modeled by computer databases. “The only trainer who has the computing power to coach him is a computer. He is the youngest player, but certainly the one who has accumulated the most online rapid games in the world. So he has seen a multitude of scenarios, and knows how to react very quickly to a very wide range of situations”, explains Jean-Pierre Gorges.

This series of seven victories in nine attempts did not go unnoticed in a discipline where a draw is the most common at a high level. To achieve this, the neo-Tricolore – he received his French papers last summer and chose not to opt for dual Franco-Iranian nationality – has built a bubble within which he borders on Stakhanovism , far from the solicitations of the press, which had already packed with Étienne Bacrot in the early 2000s, without this one succeeding in the promised career.

“Their work for his parents, and studies for his brother: Alireza’s family left everything for him, the club and the city mobilized like never before, so all of this is an immense burden for him”, understands François Gilles, who nevertheless wonders “if this lack of openness will not penalize him in the long term”.


The youngest crowned?

If he qualified against his seven competitors and then won the world long game championship next year, the queen discipline in chess, Alireza Firouzja would be the youngest winner (at 19) – after Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen (at 22) -, and the first Frenchman since Alexandre Alekhine in 1937. He would face in February 2023 the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, who judged ” unlikely “ to defend his crown “if someone other than Firouzja won (the) ‘Candidates'”. A sign that the defending champion for ten years now has no other priority than to symbolically beat the new generation.


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26 Vietnamese sailors on the tanker were captured by Iran

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the MV Sothys, controlled by Iran in the Sea of ​​Oman, has 26 Vietnamese crew members and is verifying the identity of the crew.

“The captain of MV Sothys on October 27 discussed with the Vietnamese embassy in Iran and said that all 26 Vietnamese crew members are treated well, with normal health conditions,” Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Pham Thu Hang said at a regular press conference today, when asked about information that Iran seized an oil tanker flying the Vietnamese flag.

Hang said that the Vietnamese embassy in Iran worked with local authorities to verify information, resolve the matter soon, ensure safety and treat Vietnamese citizens humanely. Vietnamese authorities are verifying the identities of the crew members, as well as requesting the MV Sothys owner to ensure the rights of Vietnamese workers abroad.

Oil tanker MV Sothys off the coast of Singapore in May. Photo: Fleetmon.

Iranian state media reported on November 3 that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had “prevented the US from stealing Iranian oil in the Sea of ​​Oman”, but did not say when the incident happened. US media later quoted unnamed officials as saying that Washington did not try to seize any tankers and that Tehran seized the MV Sothys tanker, which was flying the Vietnamese flag.

Iran’s Fars News news agency released a video today showing IRGC soldiers landing on the Sothys tanker in Bell 412 helicopters, while speedboats and two-hull patrol boat Shahid Nazeri moved around.

Not long after, the US destroyers USS The Sullivans and USS Michael P. Murphy were on the scene, along with a US Coast Guard Sentinel-class fast patrol boat.

Iran's Guard Ships play with US warships

The encounter of the IRGC and US forces in the Gulf of Oman was announced on November 4. Video: Fars News.

USS The Sullivans approached the tanker and the group of IRGC armed boats, while Iranian soldiers pointed their machine guns at the top of the US warship. However, there is no sign of any clash between the two sides. It is not clear why Iran seized the Sothys oil tanker.

“We will continue to closely monitor and regularly work with Iranian authorities to quickly resolve the matter in accordance with the law, and take necessary measures to protect the rights and interests of the Iranian government,” he said. legitimacy of Vietnamese citizens,” Ms. Hang said.

Vu Anh


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Iran threatens to hit Israel with ‘stunner’

Iran announced that if Israel attacked its nuclear facility, Tehran would respond with a “stunner” that would cost Tel Aviv many trillions of dollars.

“Instead of spending $1.5 billion on weapons programs targeting Iran, the Israeli government should focus on preparing tens of trillions of dollars to repair the damage from Tehran’s stunning response,” the letter said. Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani wrote on Twitter yesterday.

The tweet, written by Shamkhani in Persian, Hebrew, English and Arabic, appears to be intended to ensure this warning message reaches the right audience.

Iranian missiles fired during a drill in early 2021. Photo: Sepah News.

The remarks came days after Israel approved a $1.5 billion budget to procure the necessary equipment to be ready for an air strike against Iran’s nuclear program. The money will be used to equip fighters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and weapons specializing in destroying underground bunkers.

Iran abandoned efforts to negotiate indirectly with the US over its nuclear program since June. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is a hard-line and has voiced opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal. nuclear power between Iran and the world powers.

The Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Aviv Kohavi, said in September that the country was “accelerating very quickly” in its preparations to counter Iran’s nuclear program. “This is a very complex job, requiring more intelligence, more combat capabilities and weapons. We are dealing with all of this,” said General Kohavi.

General Kohavi once announced that the Israeli army was preparing a new plan for a strong military operation.

“Iran’s nuclear program reached a turning point and our tolerance changed accordingly. Words don’t stop centrifuges from working. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.” , Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September.

The administration of President Joe Biden still expects the US and Iran to return to JCPOA compliance, but insists it will not wait indefinitely. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said all options would be on the table if Iran could not be persuaded.

Vu Anh (Follow Sputnik)


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Teenager sacrificed his life to save mother and daughter in a fire

IranAli Landi, 15, died of severe burns after rushing into a burning apartment in the city of Izeh, saving mother and daughter from dying.

Landi took her last breath on September 24 at Emam Kazem hospital in Isfahan, after two weeks of treatment. Images of him smiling today flooded the Iranian newspapers, as Landi was hailed as a true hero.

This teenager on September 9 saved an 80-year-old woman and her daughter from a burning apartment in the city of Izeh, then tried to throw a gas cylinder outside to prevent the fire from spreading. wide.

The mother and daughter were not seriously injured, while Landi suffered burns to 90% of her body and was transported from her hometown of Izeh to Emam Kazem hospital for treatment.

Ali Landi. Photo: Twitter/GEsfandiari.

The Iranian media and people praised Landi’s courage, calling on the Iranian Ministry of Education to include his story in textbooks.

The Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sent condolences to Landi’s family. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi urged the country’s artists to “tell the story of their act of sacrifice as national heroes to inspire generations to come”.

Video on social media showed a squad of soldiers carrying Landi’s coffin out of Emam Kazem hospital, before being transferred to his hometown of Izeh for burial. Other Iranian soldiers in military uniforms and military uniforms stood on both sides of the road, raising their hands as he passed his coffin.

Iranian teen sacrifices himself to save people trapped in burning house

Iran’s honor guard carries Ali Landi’s coffin from Emam Kazem hospital in Isfahan on September 24. Video: Twitter/mohammademali.

Nguyen Tien (Follow AFP)


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Boxer won Olympic gold despite being kicked unconscious – VnExpress

JapanIranian boxer Sajad Ganjzadeh was awarded the victory, won the kumite gold medal in the 75kg upper class in Karate, after being knocked unconscious by his Saudi opponent on August 7.

Ganjzadeh was soon leading 1-4, after opponent Tareg Hamedi scored three points with an ippon. The match then ended abruptly. Hamedi kicked Ganjzadeh hard in the neck, knocking the Iranian boxer unconscious. Hamedi is initially delighted, but turns nervous when the opponent falls into a coma. Ganjzadeh was then given oxygen and taken off the field on a stretcher.

After a few minutes of discussion, the referees decided to lose Hamedi because of a dangerous kick. The Saudi boxer lost the gold medal to Ganjzadeh – who was knocked unconscious by him.

Ganjzadeh won gold while unconscious.  Photo: Reuters

Ganjzadeh won gold while unconscious. Photo: Reuters

Ganjzadeh won the kumite gold medal in the upper 75kg Asiad 2018, after defeating Vietnamese boxer Nguyen Minh Phung. The match between Ganjzadeh and Hamedi was also the last match of Karate at the Tokyo Olympics.

Traditional Japanese martial arts were first put into competition at this year’s Olympics, but caused controversy because of many high-damage blows. Karate was removed by France from the list of competitions at the 2024 Paris Olympics, to be replaced by artistic dances. The US also considers not choosing Karate at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

The eight karate gold medals in the Olympics are divided equally among eight countries, namely Japan, Spain, Egypt, Italy, Bulgaria, France, Iran and Serbia.

Nhan Dat


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Sailors break engine to prevent oil tanker from being robbed

The crew quickly disabled the engine of the Asphalt Princess to prevent the armed group from Iran from hijacking the vehicle.

Six heavily armed men landed on the Asphalt Princess oil tanker, flying the Panamanian flag, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 3. British officials described it as likely “a train robbery”.

In the recording of maritime radio communications, a sailor on the Asphalt Princess informed the UAE Coast Guard that an armed group had landed on the ship. “A group of Iranians carrying weapons have boarded the ship,” the sailor said.

“We’re drifting now. We can’t tell the exact time of arrival in Sohar.” This is the ship’s intended destination in Oman. The armed group then tried to steer the ship towards Iran, but left the ship on August 4.

The British Maritime Trade Operation (UKMTO), the British navy’s anti-piracy task force, then announced that the armed group that landed on the Asphalt Princess had left, the ship was safe and the incident ended. .

The Asphalt Princess oil tanker moves through the waters near Quebec City, Canada in June 2012. Photo: AP.

Sheet Times of London Citing a source, the group of armed Iranians boarded the ship and tried to bring it back to Iran, but the crew destroyed the engine to prevent the hijackers from achieving their goal.

“That’s why the ship drifted at sea,” the source said. “After the American and Omani warships appeared, the Iranian armed group got into several boats and left.”

No party has yet claimed responsibility for the failed robbery near the Strait of Hormuz, but the incident increased tensions in the Persian Gulf region after the Mercer Street tanker was attacked by drones (UAVs). ) resulted in the deaths of two sailors.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said US officials “believe the armed group is Iran, but we cannot confirm at this time”.

Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, denied that Iranian soldiers had hijacked ships, calling it a “new form of psychological warfare”.

Nguyen Tien (Follow Fox News)


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Iran said ‘there is a clue’ Israel assassinated nuclear expert

Iran’s senior official said Israeli intelligence and an opposition group were behind the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

“It’s a very complicated assassination, using remote controlled electronics. We have some clues but certainly the Monafeghin team was involved, the real criminals behind the assassination. is the government of Israel and the Mossad, “General Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said today.

“Monafeghin” is a phrase often used by the Iranian authorities to describe the National Council of the Resistance Iran (NCRI), which brings together Iranian opposition groups in exile based in Paris, France. Mossad is Israel’s national intelligence agency, famous for its series of kidnapping and assassination campaigns, which have scared many Arab countries for nearly 70 years.

The dynamite pickup truck location was activated in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. Image: Fars News.

Iran’s state news agency PressTV earlier, citing an anonymous source, said that the weapons used in the assassination of nuclear expert Mohsen Fakhrizadeh originated from Israel. “The weapons collected at the scene of the terrorist attack have the logo and mark of the Israeli defense industry,” the source said. Iranian officials did not comment on this information.

Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s leading nuclear expert, died of his injuries after his vehicle was ambushed on the outskirts of the capital Tehran on November 27. The New York Times quoted a US official and two other intelligence officials as saying Israel was behind the attack, but did not give details.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, while

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on television accusing Israel of “mercenary” assassination of Fakhrizadeh by the US in order to cause “chaos”.

Fakhrizadeh has long been suspected by US intelligence, Israel, some Western countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to lead Iran’s “secret atomic bomb development program”, allegedly postponed. 2003. However, Iran repeatedly denied developing nuclear weapons.

Vu Anh (According to the Reuters)