Today & tomorrow: France vs Armenia

PeterDoggers
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France vs Armenia rapidToday and tomorrow France plays Armenia in a rapid match in Paris. The home team consists of Vachier-Lagrave, Fressinet, Lautier and Bauer, who will meet the twice Olympic gold winning Armenian team: Aronian, Akopian, Sargissan and Petrosian.

The match will consist of 8 rounds played on on 4 boards at a rate of 15 minutes per game with an increment of 10 seconds for each move. The games start at 14:30 CET today and 14:00 CET tomorrow to and will be broadcast live at the website of the French Chess Federation.

The rapid match, held under the patronage of Bernard Laporte, Secretary of State for Sports, will be held on June 24 and 25 at the Hotel Castille in Paris.




The teams involved:

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If we're not mistaken the Armenian team is the line-up with which they played most matches at the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden, where they retained their gold medal. It's not the strongest possible team at the moment, since Arman Pashikian has surpassed Petrosian and is currently Armenia's number four, with a rating of 2655.

Unfortunately the French have to do without their best and only 2700 player, Etienne Bacrot, who is probably busy preparing for Dortmund which starts in about a week from now. Interestingly, they do have a former world class player in their team: Joel Lautier, famous for being one of only three players (trivia question: can you name the other two players - don't cheat by surfing to Wikipedia!) to have beaten every world champion dating back to 1975 (Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Khalifman, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Veselin Topalov).

Lautier retired from chess a few years ago (at the moment he runs a consulting firm and lives in Moscow), although he has been involved in chess politics. He's one of the founders of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) and between 2007 and 2009 he was one of the two vice-presidents of the French Chess Federation.
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