Van Wely wins 3rd Grand Prix FFE
Loek van Wely won the third 'Grand Prix FFE' in Aix-les-Bains on Sunday. In doing so the Dutchman, who defeated Laurent Fressinet in the final, also qualified for the annual rapid event in Bastia, Corsica later this year.
Loek van Wely beats Laurent Fressinet in the final | Image courtsy of the French Chess Federation
On July 21st and 22nd the third Grand Prix of the Fédération Française des Échecs was held in Aix-les-Bains, France. Earlier this year we reported on the second event, which was won by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The 'Frenchman with two names' also participated in Aix-les-Bains, shortly before he travelled 225 km in northeast direction to play in the open tournament in Biel.
The third Grand Prix had 136 participants in total, with 18 GMs and 6 IMs. As always the event started with a strong Swiss open – a 9-round Swiss with 15 minutes and 3 seconds increment on the clock.
Tigran Gharamian won this event with 7.5 points, and he qualified for the knockout phase together with Evgeny Postny, Laurent Fressinet, Loek van Wely, Alojzije Jankovic, Andrei Shchekachev and Marin Bosiocic. Every Grand Prix has one local player who qualifies directly and in Aix-les-Bains it was Romain Edouard.
Final standings 9-round Swiss (top 30)
|4||g||VAN WELY Loek||2730||NED||7||2737||47||40||2722|
|13||g||LE ROUX Jean-Pierre||2430||FRA||6,5||2544||41||32,5||2665|
|15||g||FEDORCHUK Sergey A.||2590||UKR||6||2552||43||36||2537|
|16||f||DI NICOLANTONIO Lucas||2470||FRA||6||2468||43||34||2456|
|22||PAVON CARDENAS Jesus M.||2130||ESP||6||2309||37,5||31||2431|
|26||f||LE CORRE Benjamin||2380||FRA||6||2230||37,5||28||2077|
On Sunday the system was a knockout with mini-matches of two games of 15 minutes plus 3 seconds increment, another mini-match of two blitz games (3 minutes plus 2 seconds) in case of a tie and then an Armageddon game.
Loek van Wely got through the quarter-finals by the skin of his teeth. Against Marin Bosiocic it went 1-0, 1-1, then 1-2, 2-2 and eventually he won the Armageddon with Black. The semi-final and final went quite smooth for the Dutchman. He won his first game and then drew in a winning position against Alojzije Jaknovic, and then he beat Fressinet 2-0 to clinch the 4000 EUR first prize.
Here are some video impressions:
It seems Van Wely is making the most out of his time in Europe, while he had planned to be in the United States right now. Earlier this month we reported that the Dutch grandmaster was denied to enter the United States because he lacked a work visa. By detaining, handcuffing and deported Van Wely, the authorities were overreacting a bit but apparently KingLoek's chess hasn't suffered from this episode!
All games by Van Wely
The tournament was the third leg of the Grand Prix FFE. You can download games from the event here in PGN. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the first two legs. The next Grand Prix events will be in Villandry (6-7 October) and the Final will be held in Bastia (dates not known yet).
L-R Evgeny Postny, Loek Van Wely, Laurent Fressinet, Christiane Mollar (Deputy Mayor of Aix-les-Bains), Henri Carvallo, (President of the French Chess Federation), Olivier Regis (Deputy Chairman of the Forum for the Management of Cities and Local Authorities), Georges Bellet and Jean-Claude Moingt | Photo courtsy of the French Chess Federation
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