Latest news

Reports May 19, 2017 | 12:48 PMby Colin McGourty

French Top 12 gets off to fighting start

David Navara, Arkadij Naiditsch and Grzegorz Gajewski were among the well-known players to taste defeat as the Top 12 French Team Championship got off to a fighting start in Chartres on Thursday. The 11-round event is one of the world’s strongest national team tournaments and may get stronger if the likes of Maxime Vachier-Lagarave, Paco Vallejo and Teimour Radjabov show up to represent their teams in the latter stages.

Tremblay's Malakhov and Jobava were both held to draws in Round 1 | photo: official website

Chartres, a city to the southwest of Paris, is best known for its huge Gothic cathedral, but from 18-28 May its Exhibition Centre is hosting 80 grandmasters from 30 countries for the Top 12 of the French Team Championship.

  • Chartrexpo

You can get a glimpse of the atmosphere in this first round video by the French Chess Federation:

The event is a round-robin featuring six matches held across eight boards each day, with all the games live here on chess24. Although there were no match upsets on Day 1, the top seeds Clichy, hunting a 15th title, and Bischwiller, last year's runners up and Champions in 2015, both had to fight their way to victory. Click on a game below to replay it with computer analysis:

Although 2nd seeds Bischwiller beat Mulhouse 5.5:1.5 (or 4:1 using the system for the event that discounts draws), it was a very tricky match. On top board Maxim Rodshtein, who dropped almost 20 rating points in a disastrous showing at the Russian Team Championship recently, was facing the formidable David Navara.

The top-rated player in action in the first round was beaten | photo: official website

At some point the Czech Champion was doing very well, but then he overpressed and found himself in dire straits:


33.Rxf3! exf3 34.Qd3! and the black king was in a mating net it could escape only at the cost of heavy material losses.

Markus Ragger increased Bischwiller’s advantage by winning an epic game with the black pieces against Vishy Anand’s second Grzegorz Gajewski, though the most memorable moment may have been a trick he missed:


Gajewski is threatening Be5+, which Ragger stopped with 24…Rh5, but the best way to stop it was 24…Bd4!! If White tried 25.exd4?? then 25...Nxe4! is winning instantly with the threat of mate on f2. After 25.Bxd4 Nxe4! the same mate threat exists, though this time White can reach a worse ending after 26.Qe5+.

Benjamin Gledura picked up the scalp of Arkadij Naiditsch | photo: official website

While that game featured swings it was nothing compared to Naiditsch-Gledura, where Arkadij Naiditsch had a winning edge:


37.e7!! was the move now, since the seemingly lethal 37…Rf2 can be met by underpromoting with check to a knight: 38.exf8=N+! and after 38…Nxf8 39.Qxf2! Qxf2 White is up material and has various ways to win. Naiditsch instead stopped the threat with 37.Re2, which in itself should by no means have lost the game, but after 37…Nf6 38.e7 Rg8 39.Nd6? Ng4! 17-year-old Gledura’s counterattack was unstoppable.

Loek van Wely found himself in the unusual position of being 20 years younger than his opponent | photo: official website

In the other key match for the title the first four boards were drawn before Loek van Wely triumphed on Board 5 for title favourites Clichy. He grabbed a pawn on b7 against veteran Iossif Dorfman, a decision that looked risky after 11…f6:


Black is threatening to pick up the queen with Rf7 next move, but Loek had prepared 12.d5!, when 12…Rf7 would now be met by 13.Bxb6!, hitting the black queen. In the game there followed 12…cxd5 and eventually Loek went on to show fine technique to win an endgame.

The Clichy match was decided on the bottom boards | photo: official website

Clichy added two more wins on the bottom two boards, with Jorden van Foreest winning a rook ending a pawn down against Anthony Wirig, while Pauline Guichard exploited Camille De Seroux rushing in a razor-sharp position:


Camille went for the immediate 30.h5??, but after 30…Rb2! it was too late to defend with 31.Rc1 due to Black upping the pressure still further with 31…Rc8. 32.hxg6 threatened mate-in-1, but it was mate-in-6 for her opponent. Instead of all those woes Camille could have displaced the black king with 30.Ra1 and the game would have gone on.

Although there were no real shocks elsewhere, Vandoeuvre ran Tremblay much closer than anyone could have imagined. The fearsome top three of Malakhov, Jobava and Piorun were held to draws by players 100-200 points lower rated, and in fact only the bottom three boards saw decisive results, with two wins for Tremblay to one for Vandoeuvre. The name that stands out there is Vandoeuvre’s Fiona Steil-Antoni, who is probably the most active player in the event on social media:

No-one said it was going to be easy... | photo: official website

Alas, things didn’t go entirely to plan against her 320-point higher-rated opponent, so instead of the game let’s take a look at how she prepared for the event in an idyllic Corsican setting:

The games start each day at 14:30 CEST, and can all be followed live here on chess24. You can also watch the games in our free apps:

         

See also:


Sort by Date Descending Date Descending Date Ascending Most Liked Receive updates

Comments 2

Guest
Guest 4678187334
 
Join chess24
  • Free, Quick & Easy

  • Be the first to comment!

Register
or

Create your free account now to get started!

I am aged 16 or older.

By clicking ‘Register’ you agree to our terms and conditions and confirm you have read our privacy policy, including the section on the use of cookies.

Lost your password? We'll send you a link to reset it!

After submitting this form you'll receive an email with the reset password link. If you still can't access your account please contact our customer service.

Data Consent Details

We respect your privacy and data protection guidelines.

Using chess24 requires the storage of some personal data, as set out below. You can find additional information in our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Terms of Website Use. Please note that your data settings can be changed at any time by clicking on the Data Settings link in the footer at the bottom of our website.

data details

Necessary Data

Some data is technically necessary to be able to visit the page at all. A so-called cookie stores identifiers that make it possible to respond to your individual requests. It contains a session ID - a unique, anonymous user ID combined with an authentication identifier (user_data). A security identifier (csrf) is also stored to prevent a particular type of online attack. All of these fields are alpha-numeric, with almost no relation to your real identity. The only exception is that we monitor some requests with the IP address that you are currently using, so that we are able to detect malicious use or system defects. Additionally, a technical field is stored (singletab) to ensure that some interactions are only processed in the browser tab that is currently active. For example, a new chess game will not be opened in all your current tabs. We use your local storage to save the difference between your local clock and our server time (serverUserTimeOffset), so that we are able to display the date and time of events correctly for you. You can also enable more data fields, as described in the other sections. Your personal decision on which data storage to enable is also stored as necessary information (consent).

Settings Data

We offer a range of personal settings for your convenience. Options include which opponents you prefer to be paired against, your preferred chessboard and pieces, the board size, the volume setting of the video player, your preferred language, whether to show chat or chess notation, and more. You can use our web page without storing this data, but if you would like to have your individual settings remembered we recommend enabling this feature. For logged-in registered users this setting is mandatory to store information about your privacy settings, users you have blocked and your friendship settings. As a registered user we also store your data consent in these settings.

Social Media Data

We embed a Twitter feed showing activity for the hashtag #c24live and also make it possible to share content in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. If you enable this option social networks are able to store data in your cookies or local storage for the purpose of these features.

Statistics Data

We would like to measure how our page is used with Google Analytics, so that we can decide which features to implement next and how to optimize our user experience. If you enable this feature Google will store your device identifiers and we will send tracking events (such as page requests) to Google Analytics. These have no direct relationship to your person except for the IP address currently being used.

Marketing Data

To help cover the cost of free services we would like to show you advertisements from our partner networks. Members of these networks store data on the banners shown to you and try to deliver ads that are relevant. If you choose not to allow this kind of data we have to show more anonymous advertisements and will be more limited in the free services we can offer.

Other Data

For registered users we store additional information such as profile data, chess games played, your chess analysis sessions, forum posts, chat and messages, your friends and blocked users, and items and subscriptions you have purchased. You can find this information in your personal profile. A free registration is not required to use this application. If you decide to contact the support team a ticket is created with information that includes your name and email address so that we can respond to your concern. This data is processed in the external service Zendesk. If you subscribe to a newsletter or are registered we would like to send you occasional updates via email. You can unsubscribe from newsletters and as a registered user you can apply several mail settings to control how your email address is used. For newsletters we transfer your email address and username to the external service MailChimp. If you buy content or subscriptions on chess24 we work with the payment service provider Adyen, which collects your payment data and processes information about the payment such as fraud protection data.