Reports | May 04, 2009 22:54

Top GMs in French top league (UPDATE)

French LeagueLast weekend the French Team Championship (top 16) concluded its preliminary phase, in which two groups of eight teams fought for places in the play-offs which will be held at the end of this month. Several 2700+ players came to France, some of them travelling directly from Nalchik: Bacrot and Svidler. We've put together a selection of interesting game fragments for replay. Update: the spectacular Bacrot - Vachier-Lagrave added.

April 30th - May 3rd was another big weekend of the Interclubs Adultes Top 16, the French Team Championship, taking place in Mulhouse (group A) and Chalons-en-Champagne (group B). May 28-31 the play-offs will decide on the title, for which the following teams have qualified:

Group A
Evry Grand Roque (Svidler, Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave...)
Clichy (Jakovenko, Naiditsch, Fressinet...)
Mulhouse Philidor (Bologan, Dreev, Navara...)
Noyon (Gofshtein, Magem Badals...)

Group B
Montpellier (Van Wely, Stellwagen, Hamdouchi...)
Cannes (Sasikiran, V.Tkachiev, Kazhgaleyev...)
Vandoeuvre (Meier, Landa, Bauer...)
Chalons en Champagne (Nyback, Smirin, Krasenkow...)

All of these players were active in France in the last few days, with a total of seven team matches on the program. Bacrot played during the last three matches while Svidler represented his team in the last two rounds. A nice win over Jakovenko is one example of what you can find in the selection below:

Game fragments


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.


Simon's picture


Thanks for this great column
However you absolutely need to add the Bacrot / VAchier Lagrave game from Sunday May 3rd, Vachier Lagrave won in great style, in a Najdorf, with a queen sac...GReat Stuff

HJVFan's picture

Cool games! Interesting to see how Naiditsch is fighting the Najdorf.
Shows there's still plenty of room for creativity in this over-analysed opening.

Vincent's picture

Very nice game Bacrot-Vachier indeed, thx for covering the French top league sometimes.

@Simon: it's not clear if Bacrot will take part in French Championship I think. I wonder if he can still be motivated with already so many titles and just everything to lose.
He must be close (or above) his best rating ever and is playing this year in top events (GPs and Dortmund) so French Championship is probably not his main motivation this year.

Peter Doggers's picture

Bacrot - Vachier-Lagrave now added!

Simon's picture

I think there must have been some preparation...It is certainly a nice revenge for the younger French GM
Last summer M Vachier Lagrave lost a rapid game against Bacrot at the end of the French championship, it was a Najdorf. Bacrot acknowledged that his victory was based on a preparation by Naiditsch.

This WE, Vachier Lagrave beat both Naiditsch and Bacrot with black in a Najdorf!

Rendez vous now is set for August 2009, and the French Championship...

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