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Alireza’s father unhappy with Candidates' organisers, threats to call police

After the tenth round, Alireza Firouzja's father threatened to call the police against the organizer if not allow him in the main hall.

Alireza’s father unhappy with Candidates organisers, threats to call police

French chess player, Alireza Firouzja with his father Hamidreza Firouzja (Credits:- ChessBase India)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 16 April 2024 11:50 AM GMT

The final stage of Candidates is up on the horizon but the controversy surrounding French grandmaster Alireza Firouzja keeps on extending to the next level. Alireza is going through a tough phase in the tournament both on and off the table in Toronto, Canada.

FIDE’s Technical delegate for the Candidates 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.

Things started heating up after round nine of the tournament when Alireza Firouzja took on the current joint leader Ian Nepomniachtchi. The match ended in a draw despite an early lead in the game for the Frenchmen.

After the match, a controversy erupted and Alireza posted a series of tweets, against the chief arbiter at the Candidates 2024 chess tournament, who warned him for his shoes which made too much noise during games.

“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, the chief arbiter came to me and told me to not walk anymore because my shoe was making noise on the wooden floor. He told me to not walk and bring new shoes for tomorrow but I have the formal shoes that are approved and have been wearing them 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 expressed his disappointment towards the arbiter through a social media post on X (formerly Twitter).

Grandmaster Pavel Tregubov, FIDE’s Technical delegate, explained to Chess24‘s reporter that actually what had happened to cause this 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.

“This is why we prohibited access to the venue for players’ entourage for the first seven rounds. But in the 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 fair play 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 said about the incident in an interview with 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 was not allowed to enter the balcony whenever he wanted. We could not satisfy this request,” he said.

Tregubov on Alireza’s father's allowance in the playing hall for the remaining four games: “We’ll be flexible. If he behaves accordingly. Today he announced he’s leaving.”

Nepo is still the joint leader of the tournament alongside Indian Grand Master, D Gukesh at the end of the 10th round. Both players are on 6 points and are closely followed by three more players. which also includes another Indian GM, R Praggnanandhaa with 5.5 points.

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