Young Superstars:  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Young Superstars: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

| 18 | Chess Players

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was born October 21, 1990 in Nogent-sur-Marne, just outside Paris. He plays 1.e4 and when playing Black, the Sicilian Najdorf or Dragon against it.  Maxime prefers the Grunfeld against 1.d4 and 1...c5 or 1...Nf6 against 1.c4.

Maxime completed his final grandmaster (GM) norm at age 14 years, 4 months, in 2005 and became the second youngest GM in the world behind Magnus Carlsen.  His norms were obtained in the following tournaments:  Paris Championship 2004 where Maxime ended 3rd with 6½ points from 9 rounds and a performance of 2703.  NAO GM Tournament 2004:  Maxime won the tournament with 6/9 and got a performance of 2605.  GM Tournament of Evry, February 2005: Maxime finished second with 7½ and a performance of 2712.

Maxime studies chess about 2 hours a day, focusing much of his time on the opening.  He has two trainers for tournaments:  GM Arnaud Hauchard and GM Pavel Tregubov.  He'd like to study chess longer but goes to the university, where he studies mathematics and IT.

In recent tournaments:  Maxime played the "Aeroflot" tournament, Moscow 2006 in section A1, reserved for players having a rating superior to 2550.  He gained 6 points out of 9 and finished 6th with a TPR of 2775.  Maxime was invited to Lausanne Young Masters, where he was the youngest player. He won the tournament with a TPR of 2630.  At Wijk aan Zee in 2007, while leading the tournament with 5 wins in a row, Maxime stumbled somewhat.  Nevertheless, he still finished 5th of the tournament (sharing 2nd place) with 8 points out of 13.  He won the 2007 Paris Championship with 7 points out of 9.  He won the 2007 French Championship after beating GM Vladislav Tkachiev in tiebreak match. In the main tournament he collected 7.5 out of 11.

In the latest FIDE ratings list, Vachier-Lagrave gained 35 points to jump from place 39 in the world to 24.  He has now overtaken Etienne Bacrot to become his country's top ranked player.

Here are some critical positions from his games.






























More Vachier-Lagrave puzzles are at

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