French Chess championship: daily summary

This page will be updated on a daily basis with pictures, results, pairings and a summary of the day

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Round 9, August 26 (9 am GMT) : final report

The 2017 French championship is over! Etienne Bacrot wins his eighth title. Sophie Milliet her sixth. Eric Prié is the Seniors+ French champion, Richard Goldenberg is the Vétérans French champion. Jean-Pierre Le Roux won the Accession in front of Quentin Loiseau.

In the last round of the French championship there was only one draw, between Yannick Gozzoli and Tigran Gharamian. The two players seemed happy with their result and did not expect to win the tournament, too bad.

Nice attack by Sébastien Mazé against Jean-François Jolly. With 27 … Kd8! the king hide himself in front of the d7 white pawn, and black could quietly conclude an unstoppable offensive. Very nice game also of Maxime Lagarde against Matthieu Cornette. The move 14.Nf5! allowed white to seize the initiative. Then, by a new exchange sacrifice (Maxime’s specialty) with 20.Rxg8 +! followed by 21.f6, he caged the kinght and a black rook. There was no more hope for Matthieu and the game ended very quickly.

The position was balanced in the game between Jean-Luc Chabanon and Laurent Fressinet. Up to 19.Nh4?! where black gradually took the ascendancy. This time the exchange sacrifice was not good, and instead of 23.Rxc6? it was necessary to be satisfied with 23.f3. Black’s counter-attack on the king-side was dazzling, after 26 … g5! Jean-Luc was lost.

The game between Etienne Bacrot and Christian Bauer was for a long time equal. Etienne managed to penetrate pretty much in the opposite camp and eventually won.

With the victories of Laurent Fressinet and Etienne Bacrot, there were tie-breaks. They played two games (10 min + 5 sec per move) in which Laurent Fressinet took the lead but failed to convert his extra pawn. Result: two draws. Then two blitz games were played (3 min + 2 sec). Etienne took the lead with the white pieces but, like Laurent, he did not succeed to convert his extra pawn. In the second game, no extra pawn for Laurent but a significant pressure. Etienne nevertheless managed to defend once more. Result: again two draws!

Then an Armaggedon game was played, white had one minute more than black but absolutely had to win!

In this game with 6 min against 5 min without increment (!), Laurent Fressinet who won the toss chose to take the white pieces. This surprised us a lot. In the game he took the advantage, but in the end he lost a pawn. He spent a lot of time to recover it and had even less time than his opponent. The crazy blitz ended in a winning endgame for white but with 0:00 on the clock.

Etienne Bacrot thus won his eighth title of champion of France!

Here is the video of the tie-breaks, the comments are in French but there is no need to understand French to enjoy this exciting show!


In the Women’s tournament there was a quick draw between Silvia Collas and Sophie Milliet as expected. Sophie was already French champion a round before the end. Silvia finished 3rd in the championship.

Andreea Navrotescu tried everything she could against Marina Roumegous but the endgame left no chance of victory.

The third draw of the day was Anda Safranska against Nino Maisuradze, in a balanced position there was a threefold repetition.

In the game Isabelle Malassagne vs. Natacha Benmesbah, Natacha won a pawn very quickly. She even captured a second one and got an opposite colored bishops endgame. Despite the two pawns ahead the technical gain was not easy. The beautiful 55 … b5! would have made it possible to finish more quickly. But Isabelle’s mistake with 57.Ke3? allowed black to queen her pawn.

The most uncertain game was the one between Cécile Haussernot and Maria Leconte. There were very quickly three pawns exchanged with the two kings in the center of the board. Cécile succeeded in capturing a pawn but her king was blocked next to her rook. Only a knight had been exchanged when she greedily decided to take a second pawn by 31.Bxh7 + ??. It was time to take back some material with 31.Rxc5 !. The black attack was then devastating in spite of a few inaccuracies by Maria during the zeitnot. She nevertheless managed to find a checkmate after the time control. Cécile, still junior (she’s 18), nevertheless finishes vice-champion of France after her exceptional 5/5 start. Andreea and Maria qualify for 2018.



Round 8, August 25 (1 GMT) : Sophie Milliet retains her title!

Huge suspense in the French Championship! Today was a dramatic day with an unexpected regroupment before the last round. 5 players are tied and will therefore play the title tomorrow!

Matthieu Cornette had to settle for a draw against Jean-François Jolly, but he was playing for a better result during the whole game. In a very interesting gambit he managed to capture two pawns and got a very dangerous past pawn. By playing the move 17.c7! he would have win quickly, but he began to waste time, and Jean-François took advantage of it to regroup. Jean-François even missed the very strong move 34 … d4! Luckily whites found a perpetual check.

Yannick Gozzoli seemed to have an advantage against Sébastien Mazé. Why not keep the queens on the board with 23… Qd6 instead of going into an opposite colored bishops endgame? He must be angry, because winning this game would have ensured him to be alone at the first place before the last round!

Laurent Fressinet had a small edge in a bishops endgame against Maxime Lagarde. But he did not succeed in creating a passage for his king and had to settle for a draw.

There was a very astonishing opening choice in the game between Etienne Bacrot and Jean-Luc Chabanon. For 30 years that I know him, I have never seen Jean-Luc play the French defense, as he is fond of the defense Pirc or the Sicilian! Even more surprising is the fact that Etienne Bacrot decided to play the exchange variation, quite drawish and offering little opportunity for white. The game turned quickly into an endgame because queens were off after move 7, followed by a rook after move 10! Yet Etienne succeeded to place a solid knight on e5 and we began to understand what he was looking for. Then we saw many maneuvers, pretty painful for black. The black knight finally ran away from the queen side where it was essential, 58 … Nb7 instead of 58 … Nf7? would have held the game. The white king finally found a passage and Etienne succeeded in capturing the pawn of the queen-side. The passed pawn on the « a » column could then no longer be stopped.

Here is the dramatic game between Tigran Gharamian and Christian Bauer which allowed the first to temporarily stop the 2015 French champion to get his title back.

By winning the decisive game against Cécile Haussernot, Sophie Milliet gets her 6th French champion title a round before the end!

In this game, Cécile made the mistake of playing 18 … gxf5? probably not anticipating the pretty 21.Nd5! which was to follow. She lost a pawn which left her no hope.


Round 7, August 25 (1 GMT) :

In the French championship, there were two decisive games. Laurent Fressinet won quickly against Jean-François Jolly with a nice interception: 21 … Nd4! .

Yannick Gozzoli won against Matthieu Cornette in a very complicated game, he succeeded in capturing a pawn to enter a better rook and opposite colored bishops endgame. Maybe 39 … g5 ?! is the decisive move, 39 … g6 was safer. Yannick won a second pawn and Matthieu preferred to stop there.

In the Tigran Gharamian game against Etienne Bacrot, there was a solid Berlin defense. As often the game quickly reached an endgame and nobody managed to take advantage.

Jean-Luc Chabanon is pleased with his game against Maxime Lagarde. He told us during the live comments. It is true that he had an advantage in the rook+bishop against rook+knight endgame. He seems to have missed 33 … Ra2! instead of 33 … Ra1+.

Christian Bauer is still ahead but half a point ahead of two pursuers: Laurent Fressinet and Yannick Gozzoli. Everything remains possible in this championship!


For the first time we saw more draws in the Women’s tournament! All the games were extremely disputed. Only Silvia Collas managed to win against Marina Roumegous thanks to a beautiful attack on the king. She is now in third place.

Isabelle Malassagne seemed to have taken a small advantage against Andreea Navrotescu, but she did not succeed to turn it into a victory. The exchanges led to a totally equal endgame. Same thing in Maria Leconte’s game against Nino Maisuradze, Maria did not manage to realize her advantage, and Nino found a perpetual check in a queens endgame.

Cécile Haussernot’s game against Natacha Benmesbah could have ended very badly for the youngest of the two. Cécile as usual, took a risk to try to win with 45.Rxe6? while 45.Rc8 easily ensured the draw. Fortunately for her, Natacha was not precise enough with 51 … .Rc4? while 51 … Rc2 was a winner.

Sophie Milliet has curiously failed to turn her great material advantage into a victory against Anda Safranska. Anda had to drop an exchange after 32.Qh4? while 32.Rg1 was fine. A few shots later, Sophie thinking of winning immediately gave the e5 pawn, but the pretty 48.Ke3! was for white who threatened perpetual check. Eventually, lacking time, she was happy to give perpetual check to concede her first draw in the tournament. She is still in the lead, a full point ahead of Cécile Haussernot that she will face tomorrow!

Round 6, August 24 (1 GMT) :

  • g Matthieu CORNETTE 1/2-1/2 g Christian BAUER
  • g Laurent FRESSINET 1/2-1/2 g Yannick GOZZOLI
  • g Sebastien MAZE 1/2-1/2 g Tigran GHARAMIAN
  • g Etienne BACROT 1-0 g Maxime LAGARDE
  • g Jean-Luc CHABANON 1/2-1/2 m Jean-Francois JOLLY

In the French championship, there were four draws this time, but all very hooked.

The duel between Jean-Luc Chabanon and Jean-François Jolly was the fastest. It turns into an opposite colored bishops endgame and the two players had to play their bishops until the 41st move before concluding the draw.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, world number 2, was in Agen to start round 6 of the championship. He has been applauded by 852 players!

In the between Laurent Fressinet and Yannick Gozzoli, the former French champion got a little advantage, and he tried to make it enough for a win. Maybe 27.Bd5 would have increased the pressure. Instead there was a lot of exchanges and the knight versus bishop endgame was a dead draw.

Sébastien Mazé also had something from his opening against Tigran Gharamian. He turned in every direction with his bishop pair but the black knight was well hung and this fortress was solid. The draw was concluded shortly after the 40th move.

The most important game for the title was the game between Matthieu Cornette and Christian Bauer. In this Sicilian, white seemed to get some attacking chances, but the nice defensive move 24 … Rxe5! which sacrifices an exchange for a pawn, allowed Christian to defend. And he started to get some initiative, therefore Matthieu decided to give a piece. The endgame seemed to be substantially equal. The two players kept on playing, and it was hard to know who was looking for a win! Finally the draw was concluded after the exchange of almost all the pawns.

The only victory of the day is for Etienne Bacrot against Maxime Lagarde. Etienne finally wins a game in this tournament and is now in 2nd position tied with four other players. Christian Bauer is alone in front of five pursuers, a whole point behind.


  • m Sophie MILLIET 1-0 gf Maria LECONTE
  • mf Marina ROUMEGOUS 1-0 ff Cecile HAUSSERNOT
  • gf Nino MAISURADZE 0-1 ff Isabelle MALASSAGNE
  • mf Andreea-Cristiana NAVROTESCU 1-0 m Silvia COLLAS
  • mf Natacha BENMESBAH 0-1 gf Anda SAFRANSKA

In the Women’s tournament, with five new decisive games today, we are now at 28 games out of 30 that have not ended in the draw! Over 93% of the games, certainly a record!
The only two players not to win any games have avenged themselves today. Anda Safranska played well against Natasha Benmesbah and did not let her go at the end of the game.
Isabelle Malassagne was more successful against Nino Maisuradze, white missed the winning 21.Qxh5! instead of 21.Qxe7?! and a few moves later 29.Re5 instead of 29.Rc4 ??, losing a piece.

Why did Silvia Collas give a knight against Andreea Navrotescu? After 15.e4 she could have just played 15 … Ne7 or even 15 … Rd8. As a result, she was a piece down, but decided to fight back and was almost ok. 38 … b4! would have allowed her to pass a dangerous pawn, but instead she gets checkmated a few moves later. Thanks to this victory Andreea gets back to the third place.

Sophie Milliet continues her perfect tournament with a beautiful Italian opening against Maria Leconte. Now, she has the impressive score of 6/6!

This precious victory allows Sophie to be alone in the lead since the revelation of the tournament Cécile Haussernot felt against Marina Roumegous. A tense game where each player had a chance. 31.Bb3 + followed by 32.Bd5 won material and guaranteed Marina a considerable advantage. But 37 … Rc8! would have allowed Cécile to win a piece and therefore the game. In the endgame the game seemed to be a draw especially after 44 … Nd4 + but Cécile preferred 44 … Kg7 and lost a pawn, then the game.


Round 5, August 23 (1 GMT) :

  • m Jean-Francois JOLLY 0-1 g Maxime LAGARDE
  • g Yannick GOZZOLI 1-0 g Jean-Luc CHABANON
  • g Tigran GHARAMIAN 1/2-1/2 g Matthieu CORNETTE
  • g Christian BAUER 1/2-1/2 g Laurent FRESSINET
  • g Sebastien MAZE 1/2-1/2 g Etienne BACROT

In the open section, there were again 3 draws. The one between Sébastien Mazé and Etienne Bacrot was predictable. If Etienne wants to win his eighth (!) title of French champion, he will now have to start a winning streak.

The first four players of the tournament met today, but this ended with draws. Tigran Gharamian seemed to have an advantage against Matthieu Cornette , 21.Rad1! instead of 21.Qc3?! would have allowed him to increase the pressure.

Christian Bauer – a full point ahead of his pursuers – , did not need to take any risks. By playing a quiet variation of the London system against Laurent Fressinet, he forced his opponent to try to break through his defense. There were some interesting attempts with 7 … Nh5 and 8 … Bd6 to take control of the f4 square. But the white pieces were well regrouped and 14.g3 was enough to stop the offensive. Only black had to try the dangerous 21 … e5 ?! but the creation of hangings pawns would certainly have given the advantage to white. The game ended as players repeated moves.

Hard times continues for Jean-Luc Chabanon who has not been unworthy in his game against Yannick Gozzoli. The endgame rook and knight against rook and bishop seemed unclear. Short of time, he made the mistake of letting a passed pawn, 35 … Kb6 prevented it. Then occurred the dangerous knight versus bad bishop endgame. The knight finally found a clever path through the black camp, and captured all the pawns.

The game of the day is the one between Jean-François Jolly and Maxime Lagarde. The latter was rather inspired with a bit of success.

Tomorrow we will have a great game between Matthieu Cornette and Christian Bauer, the last two French champions.


  • ff Cecile HAUSSERNOT 1-0 mf Andreea NAVROTESCU
  • m Sophie MILLIET 1-0 gf Nino MAISURADZE
  • gf Maria LECONTE 0-1 mf Natacha BENMESBAH
  • gf Anda SAFRANSKA 0-1 mf Marina ROUMEGOUS
  • m Silvia COLLAS 1-0 ff Isabelle MALASSAGNE

In the women’s championship the fight is still on with five decisive games again! Marina Roumegous wins against Anda Safranska. She took the initiative, castled on the opposite side and her attack was faster.

Quick victory for Silvia Collas, against Isabelle Malassagne. Scalded by her two defeats in a row, she takes revenge on her young opponent!

The last pursuer of the two leading players has lost. Against Natacha Benmesbah, Maria Leconte blundered in zeitnot by playing 39.Rc1??, allowing her opponent to get the exchange back, and entering in an opposite colored bishops endgame, with two pawns up. The position was equal before that.

The two top players continue to win! Cécile Haussernot won against Andreea Navrotescu by playing a nice attack game. The black defense was not easy but the main error is 19 … f5? which loses quickly. 19 … Qd7 would have forced white to find the correct way to win.

Sophie Milliet was once again very impressive today, mastering the game. The ambitious 10 … g5 !? Played by Nino Maisuradze had the advantage of trying to unbalance the position. Nothing was certain after this move, but the arrival of a white knight on d6 quickly put an end to the game. Moreover 17 … a6 to block the passage to the dangerous knight would have been better for black.

Sophie Milliet and Cécile Haussernot are thus alone in the lead with 5/5! Already two points ahead of Silvia Collas and Maria Leconte. This is to say that the final victory will be played between these two players.

Remember that they will face each other in the 8th round, we look forward to it…


Round 4, August 22 (1 GMT) :

In the Open National – although no woman playing it this year, Almira Skripchenko or Marie Sebag used to play it -, there were three draws.

The first one was expected, between two players who know each other very well, Matthieu Cornette and Sébastien Mazé. We had a lot of exchanges and the game turned into an equal endgame (opposite colored bishops)

Maxime Lagarde’s Italian with 4.Ng5 !? was a rather surprising choice at this level. This did not seem to surprise Yannick Gozzoli who found the nice 10 … b5 to complicate the position and take the initiative. Finally, to counter it, Maxime decided to give back his extra pawn, making the position balanced. The weaknesses of the white pawns were compensated by the activity of the rooks. Then an equal rook ending occured.

Jean-François Jolly played a nice game, like he did last year! Facing Etienne Bacrot with the black pieces was not an easy task. And after 19. g4, we had a doubt about his position. Nevertheless, he managed to contain Etienne’s attack and could even have taken a huge edge with the move 30. … Rc2! But here again, there was a lot of exchanges bringing the game into a rook ending. The extra pawn is not enough to play for a win.

In the game between Laurent Fressinet and Tigran Gharamian, nobody understood the move 31. … Ra5? Nevertheless Tigran found a very good defense 30 … Rd7! and he had to continue with 31 … Rb7! which ensured equality. Perhaps Laurent would have had to play 30. Rdd4 directly instead of waiting with 30.f3 ?! Nevertheless, he showed today the full extent of his technique by winning a rook + opposite colored bishops endgame that seemed very close to perfect equality. First win for Laurent Fressinet, who is back to chase the leaders.

Also a very important victory for Christian Bauer who, as usual, played an original variation against Jean-Luc Chabanon. Unusual also was the move 8 … Bc8 whereas we were expecting 8 … Be4. It was not, however, the only round-trip of this bishop who played an essential role in the victory. The white pawns on the queen side are too weak, and the poor dark square bishop will remain blocked the whole game. A nice positional game from the 2015 French champion. Christian Bauer is the sole leader with the impressive score of 3.5 / 4 ahead of three players, already a whole point behind him!

Tomorrow there will be two important games: Christian Bauer against Laurent Fressinet and Tigran Gharamian against Matthieu Cornette.

Good habits are back in the women’s championship with five decisive games for the third time in four rounds!

Andreea Navrotescu’s clearly dominated Anda Safranska, who is not playing her A game in this tournament. She allowed all the white pawns to grab space, leaving no space at all for her pieces.

Nino Maisuradze played a good game against Silvia Collas, although she missed some winning combinations with the nice 21.Nxe5! Or 29.Nh5 Nh3 30.Rg8 +! Silvia then came back in the game, being only a pawn down in an endgame that she could have defended better with 37 … Kf7.

Also a nice game from Maria Leconte, who finds a magnificent checkmate pattern in the middle of the chessboard, in a rook ending!

After a risky opening – especially after 8 … Qa5 ?! – Cécile Haussernot had very active pieces, and her opponent of the day Isabelle Malassagne did not react accurately. Yet if she had found 13.a3! the game would have taken a completely different path. Cécile continues her winning streak with four wins on four games! Tied with the defending French champion, Sophie Milliet, who won the game fairly well in a beautiful attack against Natacha Benmesbah. These two players are therefore leading with a full point ahead of Maria Leconte.

Game of day 4
Click on a move to replay the game


Round 3, August 21 (1 GMT) :

  • g Tigran GHARAMIAN 1-0 g Jean-Luc CHABANON
  • g Sebastien MAZE 1/2-1/2 g Laurent FRESSINET
  • g Matthieu CORNETTE 1/2-1/2 g Etienne BACROT
  • g Yannick GOZZOLI 1-0 m Jean-Francois JOLLY

In the Open championship, we got three draws. Those of Matthieu Cornette against Etienne Bacrot and Sébastien Mazé against Laurent Fressinet are the fastest. None of the two players with the white pieces tried to take risks. Hopefully Etienne Bacrot will not have too much trouble with the blacks in the tournament … The game between Christian Bauer and Maxime Lagarde was fairly balanced, the youngest of the two players having a small advantage, but « Houdini » -The nickname of the champion of France 2015-, found a perpetual check that concludes the game nicely.

The two underdogs of the National have to worry, they are clearly targeted now. However, the game between Tigran Gharamian and Jean-Luc Chabanon was not clear at all. In spite of having an extra pawn, black’s bishop pair seemed to be an excellent compensation. But the zeitnot was fatal, and a knight picked a bishop with a fork! Yannick Gozzoli also had an extra pawn against Jean-François Jolly and seemed to follow a clear path. But Jolly had some initiative which allows him to be back in business. The zeitnot once again played was crucial, allowing white to play the pretty 38.b6! to conclude brilliantly.

Two players are now ex-aequo in the lead, Christian Bauer and Tigran Gharamian with 2.5 / 3.

  • m Sophie MILLIET 1-0 mf Marina ROUMEGOUS
  • mf Natacha BENMESBAH 1/2-1/2 gf Nino MAISURADZE
  • ff Cecile HAUSSERNOT 1-0 m Silvia COLLAS
  • gf Maria LECONTE 1 – 0 mf Andreea-Cristiana NAVROTESCU
  • gf Anda SAFRANSKA 1/2-1/2 ff Isabelle MALASSAGNE

In the Women’s National, we saw the first draws of the tournament today. The one between Anda Safranska and Isabelle Malassagne was the longest. Despite a small advantage the whole game, the youngest player had to settle for a draw.

The game between Natacha Benmesbah and Nino Maisuradze was spectacular and could have been the game of the day. The two times French champion made a very bad opening with the awful 9 … Nxc3 ?. White quickly took an advantage which should have been decisive. But there was a magnificent rescue with 25 … Bg4!! Which allowed black to save this very complicated game.

Interesting part between Maria Leconte and Andreea Navrotescu, the exchange sacrifice 31.Rxa7 !? allowed a transition in an endgame that was badly defended by black.

Sophie Milliet won nicely against Marina Roumegous, she dominated the chessboard on all fronts. She still has the lead with 3/3, but a shared lead with the amazing Cécile Haussernot who wins against the former French champion Silvia Collas in a very nice part of attack, commented below!

Game of day 3
Click on a move to replay the game


Round 2, August 20 (1 GMT) :

g Laurent FRESSINET 1/2-1/2 g Matthieu CORNETTE
g Jean-Luc CHABANON 1/2-1/2 g Sebastien MAZE
m Jean-Francois JOLLY 0-1 g Christian BAUER
g Etienne BACROT 1/2-1/2 g Yannick GOZZOLI
g Maxime LAGARDE 1/2-1/2 g Tigran GHARAMIAN

In the Open tournament, the only decisive result is Christian Bauer’s victory against Jean-François Jolly, in a well-controlled Sicilian. The 2015 French champion takes the initiative and does not let it go. He leads the tournament with 2/2! Difficult start for the hero of last year… Jean-Luc Chabanon and Sébastien Mazé did not want to take any risks, the position was repeated three times. The same scenario occurred in the Maxime Lagarde’s game against Tigran Gharamian, who did not dare to accept his opponent’s pawn sacrifice with 14 … Bxh4!?. Laurent Fressinet had a small advantage against Mathieu Cornette, but he decides to exchange the queens with 26.Qd6?!, 26.Rd6 kept an interesting pressure. A sharp theoretical duel between Etienne Bacrot and Yannick Gozzoli, the two players followed a long time between two great masters, Caruana and Giri. The result was the same, but the game is interesting. It is the commented game of the day.

mf Marina ROUMEGOUS 0-1 mf Natacha BENMESBAH
ff Isabelle MALASSAGNE 0-1 gf Maria LECONTE
m Silvia COLLAS 1-0 gf Anda SAFRANSKA
mf Andreea-Cristiana NAVROTESCU 0-1 m Sophie MILLIET

Again, a lot of decisive results in the Women’s championship! Like yesterday, black won four times, for a single white victory. Sophie Milliet logically wom against Andreea Navrotescu, because 15.f4? was too optimistic , creating weaknesses on dark squares. A complicated game between Nino Maisuradze and Cécile Haussernot, white missing several opportunities to get a decisive advantage, and in zeitnot Cécile missed her last chance, by playing 27. Rd1! instead of 27.Qxg2??. Natacha Benmesbah is back after her loss yesterday, winning against Marina Roumegous thanks to her domination over the dark squares. Maria Leconte has also avenged herself after her loss yesterday thanks to an audacious piece sacrifice. 13 … exd4 was probably better, but her opponent of the day, Isabelle Malassagne, did not defend well, 14 Ncd2 instead of 14.Ne3? seemed to hold the position. The only white victory goes to Silvia Collas, against Anda Safranska who probably forgot the castling rule, because doing Kf8, Kg8, Kh7 takes too long and gives the initiative to the opponent, 9 … f5! was the right move. Before the third game tomorrow, three players are leading with 2/2. Tomorrow, the main focus will be ont the fame between Cécile Haussernot and Silvia Collas.


Round 1, August 19 (3 GMT) :

Five out of five in the Women’s National! Five decisive results including four with the black pieces! The only white victory is for Sophie Milliet, the current French champion, who easily wins against Isabelle Malassagne. Nino Maisuradze showed a good positional play against Marina Roumegous, Andreea Navrotescu wins against Natacha Benmesbah although the latter seemed to have the advantage (why not playing 22.h3?). Very nice play from Cécile Haussernot against Anda Safranska, which concludes with a nice combination. Silvia Collas made the right choice by continuing to the endgame against Maria Leconte, although 51. Bd4 would probably have been enough to hold the draw.

In the Open National (which includes only men), there has been three victories. Predictable result, Laurent Fressinet vs Etienne Bacrot is a draw, in spite of an extra pawn in a opposit-colored bishops endgame. The other draw of the day is the game between Sébastien Mazé and Maxime Lagarde, nothing suggested that after the opening (the very dry French exchange) the game would be so interesting. Christian Bauer has mastered his opponent of the day Yannick Gozzoli, 19.Qh3! Frightened him, he preferred to offer a pawn instead of allowing the sacrifice on h6, and that’s probably a mistake. Nice endgame technic by Matthieu Cornette against the winner of the 2016 accession Jean-Luc Chabanon. Here is the beautiful commented game of the day between Tigran Gharamian and the big surprise Of last year Jean-François Jolly. A year ago, they had already met in the first round, but the result was a great draw.

Clic on a move to watch the game

Presentation of the event:

The French chess championship will be held in Agen from 19 August to 27 August 2017. Nearly 1000 players from all over France are expected, with the prestigious title of French champion at stake.

In fact, there are nine tournaments that will be played, each player participating in the tournament that corresponds to his level and play nine games. The best players participate in the National tournament and in the National women’s tournament, which award the titles of French champion.

The 2016 French champion Matthieu Cornette will face a very strong opposition, with the participation of Etienne Bacrot, seven-time French champion and 39th player in the world. French champion Sophie Milliet will look for a 6th title.

The last days of the championship will coincide with the festivities of the « Pruneau-show » and chess players will be able to attend this very important cultural event and its concerts. Numerous animations are planned in the city, like the « Night of Chess » during which it will be possible to play against chess champions in the city center.

The novelty this year is the « French Championship for beginners », open to everyone, young or adult, including unrated players. This is a way to discover chess and competition for the kids from Agen and elsewhere, for accompanying persons who will be initiated during the summer or during the championship.

It will be possible to follow the championship live on the internet, with a dedicated site, the live broadcast of the games with comments and an important emphasis on social medias. The media coverage of the championship is indeed a priority.

The French chess championship is organized by the Agen chess club and the French Chess Federation (FFE), with the support of the city of Agen. This is the biggest tournament of the year organized by the FFE. About 3,000 people will make the trip, taking into account families and accompanying persons.