Reports | June 12, 2012 11:58

11th French title for Clichy, Krasenkow scores 9/10

The Clichy team

On Sunday Clichy won the French Team Championship in Belfort, France. The team, led by Vassily Ivanchuk, clinched its 11th title ahead of Chalons en Champagne which saw Polish GM Michal Krasenkow scoring 9/10. 

Clichy L-R: Wesley So, Pavel Tregubov, Yannick Pelletier, Hichem Hamdouchi, Jean-Baptiste Mullon, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Axel Delorme, Almira Skripchenko, Laurent Fressinet and Loek van Wely

Event French league Top 12 | PGN via TWIC
Dates May 31 - June 10, 2012
Location Belfort, France
System Round robin, 11 teams
Players The strongest players were Vassily Ivanchuk, Laurent Fressinet, Alexander Riazantsev, David Navara, Le Quang Liem, Arkadij Naiditsch, Etienne Bacrot, Alexey Dreev, Anis
Rate of play 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, plus 30 seconds increment from move 1

This year's "Top 12" of the French League was held between May 31 and June 10 in Belfort. Marseille Echecs was defending its title.

This year the competition seemed stronger than ever, but a number of players that were listed eventually didn't play, like Magnus Carlsen and Dmitry Jakovenko (Clichy) or Peter Leko (Marseille). The strongest player present in Belfort was Vassily Ivanchuk, who led the team of Clichy to their 11th title. Other strong GMs included Laurent Fressinet, Alexander Riazantsev, David Navara, Le Quang Liem, Arkadij Naiditsch, Etienne Bacrot, Alexey Dreev, Anish Giri and Loek van Wely.

Behind Clichy, who won all ten matches, Chalons en Champagne came second. One of their players, former world number 10 Michal Krasenkow, was very successful in Belfort. The 48-year-old Polish grandmaster scored 9/10 with eight wins and two draws! (This also reminded us of his performance in Vlissingen a few years ago.) We asked Krasenkow how he explained this great success, and he answered:

A great, friendly atmosphere in the team, wise leadership of our captain (Romain Edouard). At the beginning he put me on board 5, which enabled me to warm up, which was necessary as I don't play often nowadays.

Krasenkow also pointed out that Clichy's female player WIM Natacha Benmesbah (2208) achieved the same score, beating Almira Skripchenko (see game selection below) and other strong players.

The current world number 10, Vassily Ivanchuk, played five games for the winning team Clichy. He beat Aleksander Delchev, then drew with Evgeny Postny, Romain Edouard and Alexey Dreev and finished with another win against Sergey Fedorchuk.

We mentioned the French League in our update article last week, when four round had been played. Here's another selection of games (rounds 5-10) from Belfort.


PGN file

In the final standings table you'll find not 12 but 11 teams. Shortly before the event, the Lutèce Échecs club withdrew. At the France-Echecs forum, the team captain gave two reasons. In France it's obligatory to have a female player in the team and Lutèce Échecs's GM Marie Sebag was not able to play more than half of the games in Belfort. The club wasn't able to find a good substitute for her. Besides, they also got into trouble when the venue was change after they had already booked hotels.

French League Top 12 | Final standings

Pl. Team Pts j. d. p. c.
1 Clichy 30 10 36 39 3
2 Chalons en Champagne 26 10 19 33 14
3 Evry Grand Roque 25 10 9 23 14
4 Marseille Echecs 25 10 17 31 14
5 Mulhouse Philidor 21 10 -6 18 24
6 Bischwiller 20 10 -1 20 21
7 Metz Fischer 17 10 -11 17 28
8 Vandoeuvre 16 10 -9 16 25
9 Grasse 15 10 -11 12 23
10 Deauville 14 10 -19 13 32
11 Guingamp 11 10 -24 14 38


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Patrick's picture

Krasenkow is a fantastic player who should immediately be invited for next year's Tata Steel B Group!

Joan's picture


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