2010 French championship - Husband and wife win

by ChessBase
8/22/2010 – Bacrot was out for a record 7th title, and Fressinet was out for his first, but it was Romain Edouard and Fressinet who raced neck and neck throughout. Don't miss Romain's exquisite miniature against Tkachiev in the penultimate round. In the end, Fressinet showed his will to win, and took the tiebreak, while his wife, Skripchenko, took the Women's title. Report with pictures and videos.

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85th French Championship

Photos and videos provided by Europe Echecs

From the 9th of August to the 21st, the French chess championships took place, with several opens reaching out to all levels and categories, attracting over 700 players to the city of Belfort, located near the Swiss border.

Official poster of the 2010 French championship

The main event was very strong with twelve players, eleven of whom are grandmasters, averaging 2596 Elo. The top seeds were obviously Bacrot (2720) and Fressinet (2697), after which there was a significant gap to third-seed Tkachiev (2639), who came as the titleholder, having won it in 2009.

The stage where the games were played.

Bacrot came seeking his record breaking seventh French title, a record he currently shares with Maurice Raizman (1932, 34, 36, 46, 51, 52), and César Boutteville (1945, 50, 54, 55, 59, 67), while Fressinet, despite his huge 2697 rating, had come short four times, with two second-place and two third place finishes since 2004.

Etienne Bacrot (2720), six-time French Champion.

This time there were no doubts as to Laurent Fressinet's motivation or form, as he led from beginning to end, with a 7.0/9 start. In truth, he had just come off some very strong results, and his provisional rating is in fact 2715, breaking the 2700 barrier and overtaking Bacrot even. GM Romain Edouard (2620) had given him a good run for his money though, and was only a half point behind, also with a nigh 2800 performance, while Bacrot seemed to run out of steam, and was a full point behind. Then, in round ten, while Fressinet quickly drew against Dorfman, Romain pulled off an exquisite miniature against Tkachiev.

Edouard,R (2620) - Tkachiev,V (2639) [C70]
85th ch-FRA Belfort FRA (10), 19.08.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Na5 6.0-0 d6 7.Re1 Nf6 8.d4 Nd7?N 9.dxe5 Nxb3

10.Bg5! f6 11.exf6 gxf6 11...Nxa1? 12.f7+ Kxf7 13.Bxd8

12.e5!! Inspired and absolutely fantastic. 12...dxe5. 12...fxg5 13.exd6+ Kf7 14.dxc7 Qf6 (14...Qxc7? 15.Nxg5+! Kf6 16.Ne6 Qc6 17.Nd8! And Black must give up the queen or be mated.) 15.axb3 Kg7 16.Nc3 Qd6 17.Nxg5 Qxd1 18.Ne6+ Kf7 19.Nd8+ Kg7 20.Raxd1+-; 12...Nxe5 13.Nxe5 dxe5 (13...fxg5 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.Qf7#) 14.Rxe5+ etc. As in the game. 13.Nxe5 Nxe5

14.Rxe5+! Be7 15.Qh5+ Kd7 16.Bxf6! Nxa1 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.Rxe7+ Kxe7 19.Qc5+ Kf7 20.Qxc7+ 1-0 [Click to replay]

This win brought him level to Fressinet, and in the last round, both players drew again, leaving the title to be decided by tiebreak rapid games.

The first game in their rapid tiebreak

In the first game, Romain succeeded in surprising his opponent by playing 1.c4, leaving Fressinet cautious as to what Edouard might have prepared. They drew, and in the second game, Laurent did not leave his fate up to Caissa, who had been fickle with him in the past, and played energetically for the win.

Fressinet,L (2697) - Edouard,R (2620) [D81]
85th ch-FRA Playoff Belfort FRA (2), 21.08.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Qb3 dxc4 5.Qxc4 Bg7 6.e4 0-0 7.Be2 a6 8.Bf4 b5 9.Qxc7 Qxc7 10.Bxc7 Bb7 11.f3 Nc6 12.d5 Nd4 13.Rd1 Nd7 14.Bd3 Nc5 15.Nge2 Nxe2 16.Bxe2 b4 17.Nb1 Rfc8 18.Ba5 Na4 19.0-0 Nxb2 20.Rc1 Bd4+ 21.Kh1 Be3 22.Rxc8+ Rxc8 23.Bxb4 Rc2

24.Re1! Bf2 25.Na3! Rc7 26.Rb1 Bd4 27.Ba5 Rc8 28.Bd2 f5 29.h4 e6 30.d6 Kf7 31.Bc1 and if the knight moves to a4, White takes the bishop on b7 with check. 1-0 [Click to replay]

With this win, Laurent Fressinet became the 2010 French champion, however, the celebration was two-fold: IM Almira Skripchenko, his wife, also took the women's title, having run over the event from beginning to end, making it double victory.

The happy couple, Laurent Fressinet, 2010 French Champion,
with his wife, Almira Skripchenko, the 2010 Women's French

Laurent Fressinet, Almira Skripchenko, and their daughter, Ludivine (Dresden 2008)

Final men's standings

Final women's standings

Here are a couple of short videos of the event:

The moment of victory by Fressinet.

Scenes from the 6th round.


To read, replay and analyse the PGN games we adivse you to download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light. This program also gives you immediate access to the chess server Playchess.com.

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