Chalons en Champagne wins French League

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Chalons en Champagne wins French LeagueChalons en Champagne, led by Loek van Wely and Anish Giri, Sunday won the French league. The team finished just ahead of Evry Grand Roque, who played with Eljanov, Gashimov, Svidler and Vachier-Lagrave.

The winners | Photo French Chess Federation

The last four playing days (rounds 8-11) of the French League Top 16 were held in the stadium of the French soccer club En Anan in Guingamp, a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Brittany in north-western France. The time control was 90 minutes for 40 moves, then 30 minutes for the rest of the games with 30 seconds per move from move one.

The last round saw the clash between the two leading teams, Chalons en Champagne and favourite Evry Grand Roque, which had four players rated above 2700. Peter Svidler did his job and defeated Anish Giri with Black in a sharp Grünfeld. Giri had scored 2/3 in rounds 8-10 against Bauer, Bacrot and Housiaux. The game showed remarkable resemblance with the recent computer game Stockfish-Rybka, which we included for comparison. (All details will be explained in this week's ChessVibes Openings by guest commentator GM Sipke Ernst!)

Loek van Wely, the other Dutchman in the Chalons en Champagne team (mainly for 'playing Giri's chauffeur', as he joked last week) did well by beating Vugar Gashimov with the black pieces. Marie Sebag then managed to hold Pavel Eljanov to a draw, and Sebastien Cossin did the same against Arnaud Hauchard. This way Chalons ended first on tiebreak and became French Team Champions for the first time.

French Team Championship Top 16 2010 | Final Standings
French Team Championship Top 16 2010 | Final Standings


Selection of games rounds 8-11



Game viewer by ChessTempo


French League

Outside the stadium there were activities for children...



French League

...including simuls



French League

Inside many top GMs played - on the right we see Bacrot-Giri



French League

Different generations in France: Vachier-Lagrave vs Andrei Sokolov



French League

Pavel Eljanov, who scored a mediocre 1.5/3 this weekend



French League

GMs Khazgaleyev (right) and Tkachiev, who seems to be going for more healthy drinks these days ;-)



French League

Laurent Fressinet



French League

Etienne Bacrot



Photos © Échiquier Guingampais Chess Club



French League

Anish Giri, part of the winning team...



French League

...with compatriot Loek van Wely, who scored an important victory in the last match, with Black against Vugar Gashimov



Photos © Dominique Primel



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