Vachier-Lagrave wins 2nd Grand Prix FFE

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Last weekend Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the second part of the 'Grand Prix FFE'. The French number three, who beat French number one Laurent Fressinet in the final, earned € 4,000 for two days of rapid chess.

Despite losing the first game in the final, Vachier-Lagrave emerged as the winner against Fressinet

EventGrand Prix FFE  | PGN
DatesApril 28th-29th, 2012
LocationNancy, France
System9-round Swiss followed by a knockout
Players

The strongest players were Vachier-Lagrave, Istratescu, Fressinet, Gharamian, Bacrot, Naiditsch, Nikolic, Barsov, Shchekachev and Feller

Prize fund€ 15,000 with a € 4,000 first prize

On April 28th and 29th one of the strongest rapid chess events of the year in France was held: the 'Grand Prix FFE' (where FFE stands for Fédération Française des Échecs). The tournament took place in Nancy, in north-east France and had a very strong field. Among the 19 grandmasters, the 8 best French GMs on the FIDE list were present, as well as Germany's number one Arkadij Naidisch and the legendary Ulf Andersson.

On Saturday, seven players qualified from a very strong open – a 9-round Swiss with 15 minutes and 3 seconds increment on the clock. In this tournament no less than 194 players of 14 nationalities participated and eventually GMs Vachier-Lagrave and Gharamian finished shared first with 7.5/9. Vlad Tkachiev, Laurent Fressinet, Andrei Istratescu, Etienne Bacrot and Sebastien Feller also qualified with 7/9 and joined the invited local player Christian Bauer (French number 4). Surprisingly, not a single foreign GM managed to qualify.

The twelve qualifiers for "Knockout Sunday"

In this tournament a total of 27 category prizes were handed out, for the best women, the best young and veteran players and for the best players in different rating categories.

Final standings 9-round Swiss

PlTitleNameRapidFedPtsTORTB1TB2FFE
1gVACHIER-LAGRAVE Maxime2840FRA7.5282747402753
2gGHARAMIAN Tigran2740FRA7.527894640,52767
3gTKACHIEV Vladislav2570FRA7.027734839,52848
4gFRESSINET Laurent2750FRA7.0276946,5402753
5gISTRATESCU Andrei2820FRA7.027624637,52644
6gBACROT Etienne2740FRA7.027474738,52724
7gFELLER Sebastien2590FRA7.0274147,538,52789
8gSANIKIDZE Tornike2490GEO7.0272546,5392816
9gJANKOVIC Alojzije2540CRO7.0272245382786
10gNIKOLIC Predrag2670BIH7.0270247,5382691
11gANDERSSON Ulf2540SWE7.0254243,5362507
12mMILLIET Sophie2470FRA7.0253841,535 
13gAGREST Evgenij2540SWE7.0252741,5362466
14fDONCHENKO Alexander2500GER7.024234134,5 
15gNAIDITSCH Arkadij2720GER6.5259044,534,5 
16gSHCHEKACHEV Andrei2620FRA6.5258844362545
17gWIRIG Anthony2530FRA6.5251843362478
18fIDER Borya2570FRA6.5250943,534,52480
19fWEBER Tom2290LUX6.5240242332520
20 BUDISIN Stanislav2090SUI6.5227538,530,52367
21 DAUBENFELD Gilles2150LUX6.5221338322318
22gFEDORCHUK Sergey A.2590UKR6.0257246372558
23gFARGERE Francois2580FRA6.0248540,533,52433
24mMONROY Charles2500FRA6.0245943,534,52409
25mSKRIPCHENKO Almira2450FRA6.024104332,5 
26gfBEREND Elvira2320LUX6.0229840,5342271
27mNEZAR Mustapha2290FRA6.0229438,5322291
28fLE CORRE Benjamin2380FRA6.0229241,5312128
29 MAYER Philippe2430FRA6.0225837,530 
30 LUSTIG Mickael2040FRA6.0221340,5312391

On Sunday the system was a knockout with mini-matches of two games of 15 minutes plus 3 seconds increment, and another mini-match of two blitz games (3 minutes plus 2 seconds) in case of a tie.

Vachier-Lagrave won the event by defeating Tkachiev 1.5-0.5 in Quarter-final, Bacrot 2-0 in the Semi-final and Fressinet after losing game 1 in the Final, winning the second and then winning both blitz games.

The Quarter-finals in action

All games by Vachier-Lagrave

PGN file

The tournament was the second leg of the Grand Prix FFE and in fact Vachier-Lagrave had also won the first leg, in January of this year. The 'Frenchman with two names' obviously has a big lead in the current Grand Prix FFE rankings (here in PDF). The next Grand Prix events will be in Aix-les-Bains (21-22 July), Villandry (6-7 October) and the Final will be held in Bastia (dates not known yet).

Thanks to organizer Christophe Philippe

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