Alireza Firouzja’s father allegedly threatened to call police against Candidates organisers in fresh controversy

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Candidates Chess 2024: The controversy surrounding Iran-born French grandmaster Alireza Firouzja is showing no signs of dying down.

A day after Alireza claimed he was warned by the chief arbiter at the Candidates 2024 chess tournament for his shoes making too much noise during games, FIDE’s Technical delegate for the Candidates chess tournament has alleged that Alireza’s father threatened to call the police if he was not allowed to watch games of his son from the balcony of the playing hall whenever he wanted to.

Reports from Toronto, where the 2024 Candidates is being held, suggested that Alireza’s father Hamidreza was escorted out of the playing arena at the Great Hall during Round 10. Alireza lost to Fabiano Caruana in Round 10, which left him seventh in the eight-player standings.

Alireza Firouzja reacts after his defeat to Fabiano Caruana in Round 10 of the Candidates chess tournament. (PHOTO: Michal Walusza via FIDE) Alireza Firouzja reacts after his defeat to Fabiano Caruana in Round 10 of the Candidates chess tournament. (PHOTO: Michal Walusza via FIDE)

Grandmaster Pavel Tregubov, FIDE’s Technical delegate, explained to Chess24‘s reporter at the venue what had happened to cause the latest controversy.

Tregubov said that some players’ entourages had expressed concerns at the technical meeting before the event began that the playing arena had a viewing gallery for fans from where anyone could relay information to someone outside in real-time, much quicker than watching on streaming which is running on a delay to prevent cheating.

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“This is why we prohibited access to the venue for players’ entourage for first seven rounds. But in second round, Alireza’s father Hamidreza complained about this. he was the only one to complain. I promised him to reconsider. We decided to allow team members access to the playing hall in the first 15 minutes since everything went well in the first few rounds. We also got positive feedback from the fairplay team. This changed rule went well in round 8 so we extended in rounds 9 and 10. But Hamidreza didn’t use this opportunity for round 8,” Tregubov told Chess24.

“But sometime after the beginning of the 10th round, my team told me that Hamidreza had contacted one of our staff members and threatened to call the police if he’s not allowed to enter the balcony whenever he wants. Obviously, we could not satisfy this request,” he said. “When I crossed Hamidreza, he was being a bit aggressive.”

When asked if Alireza’s father would be allowed in the playing hall for the remaining four games, Tregubov said: “We’ll be flexible. If he behaves accordingly. Today he announced he’s leaving.”

What happened in Alireza Firouzja vs Ian Nepomniachtchi game?

Nepo was in trouble during the game against Alireza in Round 9 at the Candidates, but escaped with a draw. The result kept him in the joint lead along with Gukesh after nine rounds.

After the game had ended, Alireza posted a series of tweets, slamming the chief arbiter.

“Shameful action by the chief arbiter Marghetis towards me during the game. Middle of the game in the most intense moment when I was walking during Ian’s move, chief aribiter came to me and told me to not walk anymore because my shoe is making noise on the wooden floor. He told me to not walk and bring new shoes for tomorrow but I have the formal shoe that is approved and am wearing it for more than 1 year. This was a big distraction for me during the game and I completely lost my focus. I told one of the organiser this arbiter needs to be punished,” Alireza had tweeted.



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