The chess world has been turned on its head following the shock dethroning of world champion Magnus Carlsen by a 16-year-old phenom.

Iranian refugee Alireza Firouzja earlier this week shocked the world when he upset Carlsen in the final of the $78,000 Banter Blitz Cup in a battle that went right to the death.

Carlsen, the reigning world champion and chess grand master may have got a taste of his next world title defence when teenage talent Firouzja knocked him off 8.5 to 7.5 in a marathon series of bullet matches.

The Chess24 online tournament saw Firouzja best 132 players in a knockout style tournament that included 109 grand masters going head to head.


His latest achievement shows why the prodigy is considered the likely heir to Carlsen's throne when the world champion is next challenged.

Firouzja became a grand master at the age of 14 — and was crowned Iran's chess champion at the age of 12.

Alireza Firouzja is the biggest rising star in chess. Photo / Getty
Alireza Firouzja is the biggest rising star in chess. Photo / Getty

However, Firouzja last year announced he would no longer be playing under Iran's flag after the country's ban on Iranian athletes competing against Israeli competitors.

Despite living in France since he was eight years old when his family fled from Iran, Firouzja has elected to compete as a stateless competitor that doesn't represent any country.

Now the rest of the world is beginning to see what he is capable of.

He sealed victory over Carlsen in the final match of the final to take the $22,000 championship prize money, sending Norway's Carlsen home with $14,000.

Firouzja's lightning speed during the tournament is quickly making him one of the most popular players on the planet, with his notoriety far exceeding his current FIDE world ranking of No 20 in the world.

"I think we can expect to see a lot more from Firouzja," Carlsen said in defeat. It's a massive understatement.


Carlsen will go head to head with Firouzja this weekend after the teenager accepted an invite to the world champion's personal tournament.

Carlsen is holding an elite-level eight-player tournament, beginning Saturday where $110,000 in prize money will be up for grabs.

The tournament will run from April 18 to May 3.