Fressinet Wins French Championship
After such a great start of 5.5/6 it could hardly go wrong: GM Laurent Fressinet won the French Championship in Nimes on Thursday, finishing on 8.5/11. Second came GM Etienne Bacrot, a point behind, followed by GM Romain Edouard who scored half-a-point less.
Nino Maisuradze won the women's section with 9.0/11.
Starting with 5.5/6 gave Fressinet the comfortable option to consolidate, and cruise to his second French title. And that's basically what he did, if you look at the results: draws in rounds 7, 8 and 9, another win and another draw.
Fressinet clearly went into safe mode in the second half. An example is his round 9 game, which saw an interesting opening:
In the penultimate round, Fressinet was helped somewhat as his opponent blundered in an equal position:
With one round to go, Fressinet was a point ahead of Etienne Bacrot, the top seed with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave playing in St. Louis. A tie for first was still possible, but what to do as Black against that mega-solid 5.Re1 line?
French Championship 2014 | Final Standings
The top group was just one of a total of eight tournaments played at the same time. There was also the women's championship, the veterans' championship for players older than sixty, an open tournament that served as a qualifier for 2015, and four more open groups.
The festival, which included about 750 chess players in total, took place in Nimes, a city in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.