Chess and music in the Invalides

by Albert Silver
6/17/2016 – On the sidelines of the Paris leg of the Grand Chess Tour, five tournaments were held for 400 youths on the grandiose lawns of the Invalides, a 17th century complex of museums and monuments relating to the military history of France. This event saw the elite players visit the delighted children all in with a live string ensemble playing!

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By Jean-Marc Naillou and Albert Silver

400 young players came from the Parisian schools to participate in one of the five tournaments organized by Nomad Échecs (Nomad Chess) on the lawns of the Hotel des Invalides. There was an event for each grade, thus one for first graders, another for second-grade children, all the way to fifth grade.

The young fans were able to meet the champions (photo by Lennart Ootes)

After the ovation that greeted their arrival, the champions went strolling to meet the
children on the lawns where the competitions were taking place. (Photo by Lennart Ootes)

All in a relaxed musical atmosphere with a string ensemble composed
of young musician chess players (photo by Roch Rossi)

The point of pride was the arrival of nine of the greatest chess players alive disputing the Paris leg of the Grand Chess Tour nearby: Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Veselin Topalov, Levon Aronian, Wesley So, Anish Giri and two of the best French players: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, world no. 4, and Laurent Fressinet.

The players had a good time watching so many delighted kids (photo by Guillaume Binet)

The players such as Magnus Carlsen were eminently accessible (photo by Lennart Ootes)

The beautiful park of the Invalides with hundreds of children playing chess (photo by Roch Rossi)

More than a thousand games were played in the sumptuous setting of the Hotel des Invalides, among the highly accessible stars, ... and all in music! Even the very wet weather that had plagued the city with floods held off to not spoil it!

The organizers were the Nomad Chess Club (photo by Guillaume Binet)

Among those present at the event, in addition to the officials such as Ms Rachida Dati,
Mayor of the 7th district of Paris, and the military representative of the Invalides, there
was also none other than the Minister of Education, Mrs. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem who
came as just a parent, and not her official office. (photo by Guillaume Binet)

The final prize giving (photo by Roch Rossi)



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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Denix Denix 6/18/2016 06:01
Wesley should start wearing collared shirts to help win more fans and games.
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