Chess Festival Le Marais

by ChessBase
4/6/2016 – Le Marais is one of the oldest quarters in Paris, combining old world charm with modern day functionality. Over the Easter weekend, from 26th to 28th March, it also was host to a charming chess festival, played in the elegant City Hall of the fourth Parisian district. 400 players took part to enjoy the tournament and the unique atmosphere of this part of Paris.

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Chess Festival Le Marais 2016

By Elena Partac

Paris - the “City of Love”

In Le Marais historic buildings sit side by side with trendy restaurants, fashion houses, and galleries.

The Place des Vosges was built in 1605 by Henri IV and is the oldest planned square in Paris

A typical Brasserie

The chess club Lutece Echecs has its home in the Rue des Ecouffes.
Lutece is the ancient name of Paris.

The playing hall is ready to receive the players.

The 6th Chess Festival of Marais is one of the biggest and most beautiful Parisian chess events. It was played from 26th to 28th March and the seven tournaments (an International Open for players with a rating below 2200, an international rapid tournament and five junior tournaments) attracted about 400 players. The event is traditionally organized by the chess club Lutece Echecs which has its home in the heart of Le Marais.

Chess players from various schools in Paris. For some it was their first chess tournament.

This year the Festival took place on the Easter weekend and many children came with their parents to celebrate Easter with chess and the family. The festival also attracted a lot of spectators - about 1500 people paid a visit.


Chess – a game for old and young

The open tournament was won by Simon Lepot (Elo 2180), the top seed and rating favorite. However, Lepot had to share first place with Boumedienne Talbi, Radu Stoenescu, and Baptiste Menard 2028 – they all scored 5.0/6.

The highlight of the event was the Rapid Tournament in which seven Grandmasters and seven International Masters took part. It was won by French-Russian GM Andrei Shchekachev who scored 6.5/7. Half a point behind followed Swiss GM Yannick Pelletier and Italian GM Alberto David. IM Almira Skripchenko finished fourth and was the best women player.

70 players started in the rapid tournament.

The women’s prize went to WGM Elena Partac from Moldavia.

GM Laurent Fressinet (right) had trouble with his form. The several times French Champion
lost two games and with 5.0/7 he finished sixth.

Tension in the last round: Andrei Shchekachev (left) playing
against Marc Le Huec (right) from France.

Winners and organizers of Marais Festival 2016

Florence and Catherine catered for the hungry guests and seemed to be cheerful throughout the tournament

Final Standings Open

Final Standings Rapid

The next Chess Festival Le Marais will take place from 15th to 17th April 2017. “New edition, new players and new surprises”, say the organizers Julien and Yves Lamorelle. If you plan to visit Paris next spring do not miss this Festival!

Photos: Philippe Durand

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