The young world no. 4, Alireza Firouzja, reveals his passion for fashion design and his commitment to the career path.

It is quite bizarre to see the combination of chess and fashion as a profession. But the current world number 4 in chess, Alireza Firouzja, has just revealed his serious pursuit in the fashion industry.

The 20-year-old Iranian prodigy, Alireza Firouzja, who is representing France, is a prominent force in the chess scene. He holds a staggering 2785 ELO, ranking high on the world leaderboard. He's just a couple of steps behind rank #1 Magnus Carlsen, #2 Ian Nepomniachtchi, and #3 Ding Liren who are all a decade older than Firouzja.

The world's top 10 on the FIDE leaderboard (February 2023)
The world's top 10 on the FIDE leaderboard (February 2023)

However, despite being a person of his reputation, Firouzja wasn't as active in competitive chess as the other young players last year. We often see teen Grandmasters like Praggnanandhaa R., Gukesh D, and Vincent Keymer actively participating in tournaments throughout 2022. But Firouzja was rarely present as he only joined three classical events throughout the year.

Firouzja reveals his commitment to fashion

Due to his sparse activity, many fans wondered about his motivations or his direction in the game. Is this his strategy to play better chess? Is he sick or tired of the game? Or is he perhaps occupied with other things in life? The biggest rumor was his pursuit in fashion design which happened to sprout from an old interview with Alireza Firouzja, but there isn't any solid proof or clips to refer from.

Fortunately, the day finally arrives when fans can get a direct answer from the chess prodigy himself. Alessia Santeramo, who is a WFM chess streamer, hosted a friendly match between Firouzja and Praggnanandhaa on her livestream. And prior to the matchup, she cured the curiosity of fans when she asked Firouzja about his interest in fashion design and if it has progressed.

To this, Firouzja smiled and revealed that he has been doing the fashion business for two years. He emphasized that it is a serious thing and he is improving in this career path. The young GM also admits that it is taking some time from his chess sessions which explains his absence in many tournaments. But he clarified that he enjoys doing both and that he'll divide his time between both professions. This also means that fans can calm down as he won’t be quitting chess to pursue fashion - like what a lot of people in the community have been assuming.

 “I am in the fashion industry for two years now. It is a kind of serious thing and I think it is improving. Maybe it is taking time(away) from my chess, but I like to do both things,” Alireza Firouzja confirms his commitment to fashion design. 

More Firouzja in the 2nd half of 2023 for chess fans!

He also delivered great news for his fans in the interview. The world no. 4 promises more presence in 2023. He stated that he'll be in more tournaments, especially in the second half of 2023. The tournaments that he mentioned include the Grand Chess Tour and Norway Chess.

Most recently, Firouzja had taken part in the Airthings Masters of the 2023 Champion Chess Tour. However, he struggled in his matches and was eliminated by a convincing GM Arjun Erigaisi.

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