Fressinet and Maisuradze win 2014 French Ch

by Christophe Philippe
8/31/2014 – After five rounds, it had been a dominating performance by Laurent Fressinet, followed closely by Etienne Bacrot trying to catch up. They met in the final round, but Bacrot could not break him, and Fressinet won his second title. Nino Maisuradze was neck-and-neck with rival Safranska, but defeated her and went on to win the title for a second consecutive year. Final report.

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The giant playing hall housing no fewer than six opens and over 700 competitors

The analysis area in the great outdoors

There were many spectators for all the opens

In the first report about the 89th French chess championship in Nîmes, Laurent Fressinet had charged ahead with a comfortable 4.5/5, followed by Etienne Bacrot with 3.5/5, and several other players with 3.0/5. Remarkably, after ten rounds the ranking had almost not changed and the gap of one point remained the same with respectively 8.0/10 and 7.0/10.

Romain Edouard had a great comeback and finished in thid place

The pairing of the eleventh and last round was a very appropriate Fressinet-Bacrot, however White easily neutralized his opponent and with a strong 8.5/11 won his second French title after his first in 2010. To lead such a strong tournament from the very first round to the last was a great achievement for Laurent who has remained in the shadow of former prodigy Bacrot and now world class player Vachier-Lagrave. Nevertheless his work as second of Kramnik in the past, and with Carlsen nowadays is yielding its fruits, as can be seen by this win.

The crucial last round game, but having white gave Fressinet the tools to keep it under control

The winner's podium with 2014 champion Laurent Fressinet, second place Etienne Bacrot,
and third place Romain Edouard

A similar situation took place with the women with Nino Maisuradze led after five rounds and remained there until the end. That said, she was not unchallenged since Anda Safranska was surprisingly first equal until round nine with 6.5/8, when their clash decided the 2014 title. Just as for Laurent in the men’s group, Nino’s domination from beginning to end was spectacular, even if it was not without a bit of the famous “luck of winners” when she drew a lost endgame against Sophie Milliet. Still, it takes more than good fortune to score 9.0/11! There can be no doubt that she also came especially charged up after being passed over for the French Olympic team in Tromso in spite of being the reigning 2013 champion. A sweet vindication.

Andreea Bollengier kept her cool, and was rewarded with a second place

Anda Safranska had a wonderful tournament, but after her loss in round nine to Maisuradze,
she lost again in round ten, finishing in a slightly disappointing fourth

The women's podium with 2014 champion Nino Maisuradze, Andreea Bollengier
in second place, and Almira Skripchenko in third

The third strongest tournament of the 2014 individual French championship was the “Accession” open (for players over 2200 elo and some regional champions). The reason of this name is that the two top placed in the final ranking qualify for the very strong “National” next year, and a chance to claim the title. Finally young GM Maxime Lagarde, who had a wonderful summer winning no fewer than three tournaments in a row, qualified easily with a no-nonsense 9.5/11, while IM Jules Moussard took the coveted second spot.

Winning the Accession was Maxime Lagarde, followed by Jules Moussard in second, both
of whom qualified for the main event next year, and in third was Pierre Barbot

Laurent Fressinet and Nino Maisuradze celebrate their second career title

The 90th French individual chess championship will take place in Saint Quentin in August 2015.


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