Reports | June 08, 2011 2:09

Marseille Echecs wins French Team Championship

Marseille Echecs wins French Team ChampionshipThe team of Marseille Echecs won the French Team Championship in Mulhouse on Sunday. It was the first title in five attempts for the team with Arkadij Naiditsch, Etienne Bacrot, Andrei Istratescu, Aleksander Delchev, Kamil Miton, Yannick Gozzoli, Didier Collas, Laurie Delorme, Vincent Chauvet and Romain Lambert.

Marseille Echecs, the winning team in Mulhouse | Photo French Chess Federation

General info

The Top 12 of the French Team Championship took place May 26th - June 5th, 2011 in Mulhouse, a city and commune in eastern France, close to the Swiss and German borders. In a round-robin, the strongest 12 teams fought for the French club title, with Chalons en Champagne defending their title. GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Laurent Fressinet, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Alexei Dreev, David Navara, Pavel Eljanov, Le Quang Liem, Michael Adams, Dmitry Jakovenko, Fabiano Caruana. Arkadij Naiditsch, Etienne Bacrot, Anish Giri, Loek van Wely and Mikhail Krasenkow were the strongest players. More info in our first and second report.

Rounds 8-11

We left this event after seven rounds, when the teams of Clichy, Mulhouse Philidor and Marseille Echecs had still won all of their matches. These teams met each other in the final four rounds.

On Thursday, June 2nd the teams from Clichy and Marseille won their 8th consective match, against reigning champions Chalons en Champagne and host club Mulhouse Philidor respectively. Clichy then also beat Mulhouse and Metz on Friday and Saturday, and seemed very close to win the title as Marseille had played 1-1 on both days. However, it ended differently, in the decisive and thrilling mutual encounter on Sunday.

It started with a 7-move draw on first board between French top GMs Laurent Fressinet and Etienne Bacrot - reaching the move 7.c5 (needless to say, in a QGD) meant already the end of the game. For both teams this wasn't so bad; Clichy had eliminated the threat of Bacrot and Marseille had scored a draw with Black.

Marseille struck first with a good win for Andrei Istratescu against Yannick Pelletier. Not a big problem for Clichy, who needed to tie the match, but things became more serious when Kamil Miton defeated Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu.

Almira Skripchenko

Almira Skripchenko: 10/11

On the obligatory women's board it was Almira Skripchenko who did something back for Clichy - she finished her excellent championship with another win. The wife of Fressinet, who is also a successful poker player, scored 10/11 in Mulhouse.

With a winning position for Hichem Hamdouchi, Clichy was still the favourite for the title, but everything changed when Morroco's number one player blew it and even lost, against Didier Collas. In the remaining three games Pavel Tregubov, Dmitry Jakovenko and Sebastien Maze couldn't score full points against Arkadij Naiditsch, Aleksander Delchev and Yannick Gozzoli. Marseille won 3-1 and finished first, to clinch their first title in their fifth attempt.

Rk Team Gms + - Pts TB1
1 Marseille Echecs 11 35 10 31 25
2 Clichy 11 40 7 31 33
3 Evry Grand Roque 11 36 8 30 28
4 Mulhouse Philidor 11 31 17 27 14
5 Metz Fischer 11 27 19 22 8
6 Chalons en Champagne 11 26 19 21 7
7 Noyon 11 20 34 20 -14
8 Vandoeuvre 11 19 27 20 -8
9 Lutèce Echecs 11 23 27 18 -4
10 Guingamp 11 14 42 17 -28
11 Strasbourg 11 14 41 14 -27
12 Rueil Malmaison 11 15 49 13 -34

Selection of games rounds 8-11

Game viewer by ChessTempo


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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.


christos (greece)'s picture

The Sokolov -- Le Roux game does not feel right somehow

Joe's picture

Seems completely correct to me but then again I'm just a patzer :P

Chesser's picture

There is a great chance that you can be right^^

Andres's picture

Well 25 Ra1+ wins on the spot. if thats what you mean.
26.N or B d1 26... Rxd1 wins a piece due to the hanging rook on f7.

Septimus's picture

Looks like 26...e5 in game 8 was a horrific blunder.

Thomas's picture

What do you propose for black at this stage? Best, but still rather hopeless might have been 25.-Bb6: giving up an exchange. 25.-e5 was hoping for 26.Ld4:? Red8 regaining the piece.
Things had gone wrong before, I can't tell where exactly (or I am too lazy to check).

Marseille's picture

"With a winning position for Hichem Hamdouchi, Clichy was still the favourite for the title, but everything changed when Morroco’s number one player blew it and even lost, against Didier Collas."

It seems it's not exactly correct:

Peter Doggers's picture

I know, he switched federations recently and this meant bad luck for Dutch IM Robin van Kampen, whose score in a recent tournament in Corsica couldn't count as a GM norm since he didn't play against enough different federations. However, I think the Morocco chess fans still see Hamdouchi as their number one, just like we still call Shirov a Latvian GM despite the fact that he's been playing for Spain for a long time now.

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