2009 French National Championship: Vachier-Lagrave leads the pack

8/17/2009 – Entering into a free day, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave enjoyed a half-point cushion in accompaniment with his sole lead. With half his games ending in sixteen move draws, however, one wonders whether it is a matter of time before he is overtaken. Tkachiev has already had his opportunity to provide resistance, and now only Laurent Fressinet truly stands between Maxime and the title.

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84th French National Championship in Nimes, France

This event is taking place from August 10th-22nd 2009. It is a Category 14 tournament, with one player rated over 2700, and two over 2600. The event is the 84th official championship of France, with defending six-time champion, Etienne Bacrot, absenting the field in favour of the FIDE Grand Prix in Jarmuk. This has cleared the way for Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to go for his second national title in three years, as the top seed.

First half

With six rounds completed in the 2009 French Championship, top-seeded Maxime Vachier-Lagrave leads the field by a half-point, and has led the tournament from the outset.


Top seed and leader, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 2703

Disappointingly, some of his closest competitors seem content in allowing him to coast to the title, with each of his third, fifth and sixth round games ending in 16-move draws, against Hicham Hamdouchi, Matthieu Cornette and Vladislav Tkachiev respectively.


Third seed, Vladislav Tkachiev, 2650

Third-seeded Tkachiev currently sits in sole second, a half-point back of Maxime, while second-seeded Laurent Fressinet - who has yet to face the tournament leader - sits in a two-way tie for third, with Romain Edouard, a full point back of the lead.


Second seed, Laurent Fressinet, 2667, who will look to launch
an assault on the leaderboard, following the break.

Play picks up again today, with Vachier-Lagrave holding the white pieces against Andrei Sokolov, where we can only hope for more than a sixteen move draw.

Current standings

Links

To read, replay and analyse the PGN games we adivse you to download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access to the chess server Playchess.com. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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