C'Chartres Echecs wins French Team Championship

by André Schulz
6/11/2024 – This year's French Team Championship was particularly exciting. Five of the eight teams entered the champions' group with 18 points. The team from the host city of Chartres then went on to win four matches and the title. | Photos: French Chess Federation

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The Chartres Chess Club hosted the French team championship "Top 16" for the third time in a row. As the name suggests, 16 teams play in the championship, and these 16 teams are first divided into two groups (A and B) of eight teams. In each group the eight teams play a round-robin against each other, after which the first four teams advance to the upper group, the "Poule Haute", where they fight for the title, while the four last teams of each group fight against relegation in the "Poule Basse". In both "poules" the teams start with the points they have gained in the preliminary round-robin.

Matches are played on eight boards and one of the boards must be occupied by a woman. The scoring system is also slightly different: A match-win is worth three points, a draw is worth two points and a loss is worth one point.

This year's championship was particularly exciting, as no fewer than five of the eight teams that made it to the Poule Haute had 18 team points after the preliminary round. Two teams started the championship group with 17 points.

Both groups, the "poule haute" and the "poule basse", consist of eight teams, but only four games are played, namely against the teams from the other preliminary group. The four teams from group A play against the four teams from group B.

This year, the team from Chartres won all four of their matches and in the "poule haute" and thus became French Team Championship 2024.

Vasyl Ivanchuk played a major role in this success. The 55-year-old senior and former world-class grandmaster scored six points from nine games on the new champion's top board.

Vasyl Ivanchuk

Christian Bauer was also among the top performers.

Christian Bauer, on the right, with White

Bischwiler, who also won the first three rounds, were the hosts' closest rivals, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Asnieres in the eleventh and final round, finishing second by one point.

Bischwiler during the "Apres-Match"

Third place went to defending champions Asnieres.

Asnieres - le Grand Echiquier

Final standings Poule Haute

Pl. Equipe Pts j. d. p. c.
1 C'Chartres Echecs 30 11 12 19 7
2 Bischwiller 29 11 9 15 6
3 Asnieres - le Grand Echiquier 27 11 9 15 6
4 Cannes Echecs 27 11 0 16 16
5 Lyon Olympique Echecs 24 11 -2 12 14
6 Grasse Echecs 24 11 -7 10 17
7 Clichy Echecs 92 22 11 -11 9 20
8 Tremblay-En-France 20 11 -10 12 22

The Chartres Chess Club plays a similar role in France to the St. Louis Chess Club in the USA and has become a kind of centre for top French chess. The driving force behind this development is the club's president, François Gilles, who is supported in his efforts by the city's mayor, Jean-Pierre Gorges. The club has helped Alireza Firouzja to find a new home in France and is also responsible for the rise of the great French talent Marc'Andria Maurizzi. Chartres has hosted the Top 16 four times since 2017 and the French Individual Championship in 2019.

Game - Poule Haute

Results (only wins are counted)

Ronde 8
Asnieres - le Grand Echiquier 0 - 2 C'Chartres Echecs
Lyon Olympique Echecs 4 - 2 Tremblay-En-France
Clichy Echecs 92 1 - 2 Bischwiller
Grasse Echecs 2 - 2 Cannes
Ronde 9
Tremblay-En-France 1 - 4 Asnieres - le Grand Echiquier
C'Chartres Echecs 2 - 1 Lyon Olympique Echecs
Cannes 5 - 1 Clichy Echecs 92
Bischwiller 3 - 1 Grasse Echecs
Ronde 10
Asnieres - le Grand Echiquier 5 - 0 Cannes
Lyon Olympique Echecs 0 - 3 Bischwiller
Clichy Echecs 92 2 - 2 Tremblay-En-France
Grasse Echecs 0 - 5 C'Chartres Echecs
Ronde 11
Bischwiller 1 - 1 Asnieres - le Grand Echiquier
Cannes Echecs 3 - 2 Lyon Olympique Echecs
C'Chartres Echecs 4 - 1 Clichy Echecs 92
Tremblay-En-France 3 - 4 Grasse Echecs

Poule Basse

In the relegation group, the teams from Saint-Quentin, Cergy-Pontoise, Lesparre-Médoc and Club 608 (Paris) took the last four places and will be relegated to the ‘Nationale I’ league.

Final standings Poule Basse

Pl. Equipe Pts j. d. p. c.
1 Mulhouse Philidor 26 11 21 27 6
2 Marseille Echecs 22 11 15 23 8
3 Chalons-En-Champagne 22 11 19 23 4
4 Metz Fischer 21 11 11 25 14
5 T H F - Saint Quentin 18 11 -3 14 17
6 Cergy-Pontoise Echecs 14 11 -15 10 25
7 Lesparre-Medoc 14 11 -18 10 28
8 Club 608 - Paris 12 11 -30 6 36

Game - Poule Basse

The best player of the tournament was Indian Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi, who played a decisive role in ensuring that his club Metz Fischer remained in the top 16 as fourth in the relegation group. With 7.5/9 and an Elo performance of 2862, Erigaisi has gained 10 Elo points and is currently number four in live rankings.

Arjun Erigaisi

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Second best player was Nihal Sarin (Mulhouse) with a performance of 2792 and 7.0/9.

Results at FFE...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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