Chess and Music Festival in the Château de Villandry

by ChessBase
10/13/2009 – A Renaissance château on the banks of the River Loire, with splendid gardens and stately rooms. The owner a great chess enthusiast, as well as a music aficionado. The participants: two young French players and two from China. The event: a friendship match which includes a "mixed double". And on the side: a concert of Chinese and French classical music. We have pictures and videos.

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Chess and Music Festival in the Château de Villandry, France

After the 2007 Festival with the theme “Philidor”, with Viktor Korchnoi and Alexandra Kosteniuk, Henri Carvallo, the owner of the Château de Villandry, this year organised a festival where the keynote was France and Chinese friendship. A friendly match between China and France was arranged, with a playing time of 15 minutes per game with a ten second increment per move. The event took place on October 9th, 10th and 11th, 2009.

Every year the Château de Villandry receives 400,000 visitors (the fourth mostly visited château in France). It was built during the Renaissance and the garden is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.

The Renaissance Château de Villandry

And aerial view of the Château and its gardens

The decorative gardens are among the most beautiful in Europe

The Garden of Love: colorful geometric designs, meticulously maintained

In the background the decorative kitchen and herbal gardens

A profusion of colourful flowers and vegetables, medicinal and culinary

The participants and organisers in front of the Château de Villandry

The Chinese team was composed of:

Hou Yifan, rated 2585, runner up at the 2008 Women's World Championship
Ding Liren, rated 2530, Chinese National Champion 2009

The French team was composed of:

Sophie Milliet, French Women's Champion 2009
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, top French GM and winner of the 2009Biel tournament

The Chinese team (with trainer) in front of the Château

Hou Yifan and Ding Liren in one of the state rooms

Yifan poses with Villandry's trademark autumn pumkins

Sophie Milliet, French Women's Champion 2009

Each player played two games against each player of the other team. The original part of this match was the “mixed double” with each player of each team playing alternately. The idea of this match was to create something similar to the Davis Cup in tennis.

The "mixed double" match in which players of a team move alternately

Liren and Yifan in the mixed double

Their French opponents Sophie and Maxime

A one-on-one game between Hou Yifan and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave


 Milliet vs Ding: 0-2
 Vachier vs Hou: 1.5-0.5

Milliet vs Hou: 0-2
 Vachier vs Ding: 2-0

Mixed double: 0.5-0.5
Final Result: China won 5-4

In individual results Maxime Vachier-Lagrave came in first.

There was also a concert of Chinese and French classical music, in the main living room of the château, by Li Yun, pianist, and Jian Zhao, singer at the Paris opera. This event was very successful and was attended by Mr Kong Quan, the Chinese Ambassador in Paris and Mr Hervé Novelli, the French Minister of Tourism.

Europe Echecs video reports on Villandry 2009

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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