Maxime Vachier-Lagrave outperforms French students

by ChessBase
3/28/2007 – It is hard to believe: the best chess players, some rated up to 2400, from universities all over France gather together to play a qualification tournament. Eight winning teams of four players each then face the country's youngest grandmaster, a 16-year-old lad, in a clock simultaneous exhibition. The lad concedes just one draw. We predict a bright future for Maxime.

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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave outperforms French students

Report by Olivier Macard

The 16th Ernst & Young Trophy, the biggest French Students Chess Competition, took place on March 10 and 11 in Paris. 28 teams competed, and the eight winners got to play Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, one of the youngest grandmasters of all time. Maxime made is final norm in 2005, at the age of 14 years and four months. Today, at the ripe age of 16, he is number nine in France, rated at 2573.

France's youngest GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrav (right), with trainer GM Arnaud Hauchard

Here are the eight teams that qualified from the French Students Chess Competition, with their scores in the qualifier and their subsequent result against the young simultaneous master:

Top Elo
vs MV-L
1. Centrale Nantes
2. Centrale Paris
3. Sciences-Po
4. Université de Caen Lettres-Sciences  
5. Polytechnique Lille 1
6. Université de Paris V
7. Polytechnique Lille 2
8. Université de Bordeaux V

Click to replay and download the games of the simultaneous exhibition

The students of “Ecole Centrale Nantes”, led by Charles Monroy (2400 Elo), dominated the qualifier and were the only team to secure half a point against Maxime. The event took place in the French Senate, the rate of play for the simul was 90 minutes for all moves. The simultaneous master played the games at a quick pace, putting most of the teams into zeitnot. After two hours and a half, the score was seven wins and one draw – avery good performance, especially when one recalls that Peter Leko had to concede three draws two years ago under the same conditions (see link below). In fact Maxime achieved the same score as World Champion Vladimir Kramnik last year.

The qualification tournament was held in Ernst & Young headquarter in Neuilly sur Seine

Relaxation and refreshment in the foyer of the building

The victorious team of Ecole Centrale Nantes, who won the qualifier with 6.5/7

Yves Marek, Cultural Advisor of Senate’s President, greeting the participants
of the
Ernst & Young’s tournament and its guest Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

The clock simultaneous display can begin, Maxime makes the first moves

One against 24, with 1:8 time odds – that's what the clock simul is all about

Jean-Claude Moingt, President of the French Chess Federation, and Jean-Baptiste
Mullon, captain of Clichy team, commenting the games for the public

Charles Monroy, captain of Centrale Nantes (2400 Elo), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Olivier Macard – the organizer of the tournament – analyzing the draw achieved by Centrale Nantes


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