After 7 months and 131 matches, the series of three-minute games involving 128 contestants ended in a final between the world champion since 2013 and the rising superstar.
Before the clash, the world no.1 player didn’t underestimate Firouzja, calling him “by far my biggest challenge.”
Firouzja initially rose to fame when he came in second to Carlsen in the Moscow World Blitz in December.
And after losing the 90-minute contest, Carlsen paid his respects to the teenager, calling him “amazingly strong.”
“I’ve just got to be better, but yeah, he’s amazingly strong! Full credit.”
Firouzja was gracious in victory.
“I think the match was 50:50,” said the teen, who is ranked the world’s no.21 player. “I don’t think I was favorite or he was favorite … you should be a little lucky.”
Chess fans won’t have to wait long to see a rematch between the pair, as they face off once again on April 20 in the $250,000 Magnus Carlsen Invitational.
The competition, hosted by Carlsen, will pit eight of the world’s best players against each other for the record prize.
Playing under a different flag
The teenage grandmaster moved to France at the end of 2019 with his father so he could compete against Israeli opponents.
Like chess, the sport of judo has seen fighters go against Iranian authorities’ orders to avoid Israeli competition.
The 27-year-old ignored those warnings and after losing in the semifinals of the competition — a result he says that emerged from the emotional stress caused by the Iran officials’ request — he traveled to Germany to begin the process of applying for asylum.
The Iran Judo Federation was suspended from international competition as a result.