Etienne Bacrot wins French Championship

by Johannes Fischer
8/28/2017 – Etienne Bacrot did it again. At the French Championship which was played form 19th to 27th August in Agen he won his eighth National Championship. After a dramatic last round and a tie-break against Laurent Fressinet. Sophie Milliet became French Women's Champion. | Photo: Pascal Simon

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The last round of the French Championship could hardly have been more dramatic: after eight of nine rounds five of the ten players shared first place with 5.0/8 each: Laurent Fressinet, Etienne Bacrot, Christian Bauer, Tigran Gharamian and Yannick Gozzoli.

Bacrot played in the last round with Black against his direct rival Bauer and won convincingly:

 

Gharamian and Gozzoli also belonged to the leading five players but in their game they both showed little ambition to become French Champion 2017: after 19 moves they managed to draw a well-known theoretical line by a repetition of moves:

 

Laurent Fressinet fared much better. He played with Black against Jean-Luc Chabanon who overambitiously sacrificed an exchange and a few moves later succumbed to a powerful counterattack.

 

Thus after nine rounds Bacrot and Fressinet shared first place with 6.0/9 each.

Final standings after 9 rounds

Rg. Tit. Name Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts.
1 GM Etienne Bacrot 2715   ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 6.0 / 9
2 GM Laurent Fressinet 2650 ½   1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 6.0 / 9
3 GM Tigran Gharamian 2616 ½ 0   ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.5 / 9
4 GM Yannick Gozzoli 2592 ½ ½ ½   0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 5.5 / 9
5 GM Christian Bauer 2650 0 ½ 0 1   ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.0 / 9
6 GM Sebastien Maze 2612 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0 / 9
7 GM Maxime Lagarde 2607 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½   1 ½ 1 5.0 / 9
8 GM Matthieu Cornette 2609 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0   1 ½ 4.0 / 9
9 GM Jean Luc Chabanon 2467 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0   ½ 1.5 / 9
10 IM Jean Francois Jolly 2381 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½   1.5 / 9

Games

 

Now Fressinet and Bacrot had to play a tie-break for the title - and this brought even more drama. After four draws Bacrot finally won the decisive Armageddon game and became French Champion 2017.

Rg. Tit. Name Elo   Score
1 GM Etienne Bacrot 2715 ½½½½1 3.0 / 5
2 GM Laurent Fressinet 2650 ½½½½0 2.0 / 5

Tie-Break games

 

The Women's Championship was much less dramatic. Here Sophie Milliet dominated from beginning to end and finished with 8.0/9, 2.5 points ahead of her closest rivals.

    Pays Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts SB
1 m Sophie MILLIET 2362 F   1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 8 32½
2 ff Cecile HAUSSERNOT 2077 F 0   1 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 0 22½
3 m Silvia COLLAS 2289 F ½ 0   0 1 1 1 0 1 1 21½
4 mf Andreea-Cristiana NAVROTESCU 2150 F 0 0 1   0 1 1 1 ½ ½ 5 19¼
5 gf Maria LECONTE 2208 F 0 1 0 1   0 0 ½ 1 1 17¾
6 mf Natacha BENMESBAH 2271 F 0 ½ 0 0 1   0 ½ 1 1 4 14½
7 gf Anda SAFRANSKA 2224 F ½ 0 0 0 1 1   ½ ½ 0 15¾
8 gf Nino MAISURADZE 2280 F 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½   0 1 14
9 ff Isabelle MALASSAGNE 2061 F 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1   1 3 10¼
10 mf Marina ROUMEGOUS 2142 F 0 1 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 0   11½

Sophie Milliet | Photo: Alina l'Ami

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".