Bischwiller Convincing Winner Of French Team Championship

Bischwiller Convincing Winner Of French Team Championship

| 6 | Chess Event Coverage

Clichy won the last three seasons, but this year it was Bischwiller who finished first at the “Top 12” section of the French Team Championship. The team from the Alsace region won all of its 11 matches.

Bischwiller, which was two match points ahead of Clichy with two rounds to go, in fact already secured victory in the penultimate round. Strasbourg was beaten 2-1 (as a reminder, draws are not counted in France) and so at least shared first was secured, with the tiebreaks favoring Bischwiller.

GM Anish Giri showed the way for the rest of the his team with a smooth victory on board one. Despite an early queen trade, he outplayed GM Igor-Alexandre Nataf tactically:


GM Anish Giri. | Photo courtesy of the French Chess Federation.

GM Romain Edouard scored the other win for Bischwiller as he beat GM Anatoly Vaisser in a topsy-turvy game. In a strong phase in the early middlegame he got a clear advantage, then Vaisser got some chances to get back into the game but eventually the 66-year-old GM, originally from Kazakhstan, made the final mistake. 


GM Romain Edouard. | Photo courtesy of the French Chess Federation.

It was a narrow victory as Bischwiller's weak spot, GM Arkadij Naiditsch, continued his bad form. The German numberone lost to GM Marie Sebag in a 6.g3-Najdorf as his rook drifted away on the queenside: 


Arkadij Naiditsch. | Photo courtesy of the French Chess Federation.

Clichy beat Evry Grand Roque 4-1 despite GM Wesley So's first and only loss of the event. He was doing very well out of the opening against GM Sergey Fedorchuk, but then somehow completely lost the thread and then missed a mating combination: 


Wesley So. | Photo courtesy of the French Chess Federation.


WGM Almira Skripchenko scored a nice win: 


Every now and then something goes wrong for GM Loek van Wely in the  Sicilian — it's been like that throughout his career. After refuting a pawn sacrifice, he lost the thread and missed some tactics: 


Let's finish this report with a puzzle. Can you see how GM Glenn Flear reached a winning advantage from what looks like a very normal middlegame position?


Giri, who didn't play in the last round, passed So in the live rankings. The Dutch GM was the best performer on board one, with a 2828 TPR, and seems ready for Norway Chess next week.

There were big rating losses for GMs David Navara (-18.3) and Radek Wojtaszek (-16.3), who both dropped out of the top 20.

IM Paul Velten of Châlons-en-Champagne) scored his first GM norm in a remarkable and possibly unique way: he played Black in all nine games!


2015 French League (Top 12) | Final Standings

# Club Pts j. d. p. c.
1 Bischwiller 33 11 31 41 10
2 Clichy 31 11 33 44 11
3 Bois-Colombes 28 11 22 36 14
4 Strasbourg 25 11 5 20 15
5 Evry Grand Roque 24 11 -2 24 26
6 Mulhouse Philidor 23 11 11 31 20
7 Montpellier 21 11 -7 23 30
8 Chalons-En-Champagne 20 11 -2 23 25
9 Vandoeuvre 17 11 -12 19 31
10 Grasse 16 11 -16 13 29
11 Metz Fischer 15 11 -15 17 32
12 Poitiers-Migne 11 11 -48 7 55


The Top 12 is the highest national division in France. It is a round robin event that runs for 11 days, and the winning club is crowned club champion of France. The teams consist of eight players, although it is allowed to bring more. One of the eight boards needs to be occupied by a female player. The 2015 edition was held at the yacht club Port Camargue Grau du Roi, from Saturday, May 30 till Tuesday, June 9.


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