Maxime Vachier-Lagrave | December 29, 2011 19:16

Recap of some up and downs

Sorry guys for not having blogged so much lately - understating it -, but I intend to correct that and blog about my past tournaments as soon as I'm finished with the current one in San Sebastian - more about it in another blog post -. Summarizing it, I had a rather interesting Hoogeveen, where it could all have been better had I managed to win at least one game, then a horrendous European Team Championship which I left with three losses in a row, a bitter taste and a need, not for revenge, but to heal wounds.

This is actually something I very rarely experienced, one loss - has to happen one day -, two losses - quite painful already, and must not happen more than once in a year - three losses - had not happened to me for five years... - and actually, at some point, I was starting to wonder if I simply couldn't play chess anymore, especially as it was connected with a series of too many games in a row without a win!

I was apprehending very much the Spanish League, in which I managed to remain undefeated and even if there were a few pretty unconvincing games, it was welcomed before the World Mind Games, which definitely went extremely well as I won the Blitz tournament and shared first in the Blindfold, and realised that I actually could still play good chess, and ironically enough, I would say that my play in the Blindfold event had been much more consistent than during the past few months. Obviously, my opponents didn't set up the same kind of problems than during classical games, but the way I was forced to be focused 100% on the game to be sure not to forget any detail of the position, probably played its part and I actually found a couple of nice tactics with geometrical patterns - those can already be rather tricky when seeing the board, but without a view of it, it can really be a nightmare.

As for the blitz tournament, it was pretty much my main hope for a good result prior to the tournament, and it went even better than I was expecting, with of course a bunch of games where I was pretty lucky, but very typical of my blitz play overall, always setting up tricks and finding some tactical resources, no matter they actually work or not :-)

So, this is pretty much a nice finish to an exhausting year, where I did lose some rating points overall, had a lot of losses (9) compared to the other years - true, I was playing against a tougher opposition, but still - and a couple of events that should only take place in science fiction/action movies.

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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave's picture

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is a French chess grandmaster and the 2009 World Junior Chess Champion.



choufleur's picture

What the hell is this couple of events ?

Thomas Richter's picture

It might refer to something that dates back to 2010 but was first mentioned in public in January 2011 (while he was successfully playing in Wijk aan Zee)? That's speculation as he remains vague about it ... .

Anyway, thanks for a frank blog post that may not have been 100% pleasure to write. Dare I violate Chessvibes terms and conditions (comments should be only in English):

Merci Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, bon courage et a bientot j'espere!

k.j.h.'s picture

Max's last sentence made me laugh to start the new year! Thank you, Max. I will continue to follow your progress and look forward to all your games in 2012. May you continue to find clever continuations.

And a Happy New Year to you and to Thomas Richter and all the good people at Chess Vibes.

Thomas Richter's picture

Hi Ken,

It might interest you (if you don't know yet) that Vachier-Lagrave won a fairly strong rapid tournament in Port-Marly (near Paris) last weekend - 4000 Euros prize money wasn't too bad for two days of chess.

Such other news is currently suffering a bit at Chessvibes - I think I know why but won't discuss it in public ... .

Daniel 's picture

Nice insights!

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