Maxime is a chess prodigy who won his first French Championship (Under 8) as a 6-year-old. He went on to become a grandmaster at 14, won the adult French Championship at 16, crossed the 2700-rating barrier at 17 and won the World Junior Championship at 19. Unusually for a player at the very top of the chess world he gained a university degree, in mathematics, which he completed in 2010.
In Biel 2009, MVL finished ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich, Boris Gelfand and Fabiano Caruana before going on to win the tournament again in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Other supertournament successes include first place in Dortmund 2016, where he scored four wins and three draws to finish ahead of Fabiano Caruana and Vladimir Kramnik, cross 2800 and rise to world no. 2. In the 2017 Sinquefield Cup he finished top ahead of Magnus Carlsen, who he beat in their individual encounters. The French no. 1 is also regularly top or near the top of the blitz and rapid rating lists.
When it comes to the World Championship title Maxime has suffered frequent heartbreak in his attempts to qualify for Candidates Tournaments. In 2017 he lost an Armageddon game to Levon Aronian in the World Cup semifinal when a win would have qualified him for the Candidates, while also just missing out in the Grand Prix and by rating. 2019 was déjà vu until he was handed a lifeline when Teimour Radjabov withdrew from the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg, Russia at the last moment. MVL takes up the place as the next highest on the average rating list for 2019.
Photo: Georgios Souleidis
We respect your privacy and data protection guidelines. Some components of our site require cookies or local storage that handles personal information.