SIMPLECHESS

Vachier-Lagrave wins Port-Marly

Bacrot against Vachier-Lagrave
The sports complex 'Les Pyramides' in Port-Marly (eastern suburbs of Paris) was the venue for the first leg of the new French Federation Rapidplay Grand Prix. Ten 2600 plus players were present including many of the leading French players, including their highest-rated player Etienne Bacrot. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (French No.2) beat the young Brazilian GM Alexander Fier in the final.

The French Federation has come up with an interesting idea that other federations may be interested in following.

A Grand Prix series of four high-profile, big prize money rapid events throughout 2012. These are planned for Paris (Port-Marly), Nancy, Aix-les-Bains and Bastia, all of which are well-know venues in French chess circles.

The first of these events was played over two days.

On Saturday 8th of January a rapidplay open (15' + 5") with 150 players took place, and from which the top seven qualified to join special guest Laurent Fressinet in the further stages. These eight then played on Sunday 9th of January with a knock-out format.

On Saturday, the top twenty finished as follows:

Rank Player Elo Club/country Points Performance
1 VACHIER-LAGRAVE Maxime 2699 Clichy-Echecs-92 2789
2 DAVID Alberto 2598 Lutèce Echecs 2750
3 BACROT Etienne 2704 Marseille Echecs 7 2743
4 ISTRATESCU Andrei 2628 Marseille Echecs 7 2739
5 GHARAMIAN Tigran 2676 L'Echiquier Deauvilla… 7 2738
6 TREGUBOV Pavel V. 2599 Clichy-Echecs-92 7 2730
7 FIER Alexandr 2603 (Brazil) 7 2711
8 ZUBAREV Alexander 2597 (Ukraine) 7 2648
9 JANKOVIC Alojzije 2568 (Croatia) 7 2643
10 EDOUARD Romain 2616 L'Echiquier Chalonnais 2709
11 APICELLA Manuel 2541 Grasse Echecs 2660
12 BAUER Christian 2679 Vandoeuvre-Echecs 2648
13 HAMDOUCHI Hicham 2613 Clichy-Echecs-92 2622
14 BOSIOCIC Marin 2580 (Croatia) 2611
15 LANDA Konstantin 2645 Vandoeuvre-Echecs 2583
16 BARSOV Alexei 2514 L'Echiquier Chalonnais 2539
17 PELLETIER Yannick 2589 Clichy-Echecs-92 2515
18 NAIDITSCH Arkadij 2702 Marseille Echecs 6 2638
19 FEDORCHUK Sergey A. 2634 Evry Grand Roque 6 2573
20 LAHNO Kateryna 2557 Cannes Echecs 6 2558

So no qualification place for second seed Arkadij Naiditsch who finished on a lowly 6/9. However the unluckiest players were Alexander Zubarev and Alojzije Jankovic who came away with nothing, despite obtaining 7/9.

The eight cash prizes were decided on Sunday:

Quarter-finals
Alberto David 1.5-2.5 Etienne Bacrot
Tigran Gharamian 0.5-1.5 Maxime Vachier Lagrave
Pavel Tregubov 0.5-1.5 Alexandr Fier
Andreï Istratescu 0.5-1.5 Laurent Fressinet

The big surprise came in the semis.

Semi-finals
Etienne Bacrot 0-2 Alexandr Fier
Laurent Fressinet 0.5-1.5 Maxime Vachier Lagrave

Then Vachier-Lagrave again showed his class in the quicker forms of chess.

The Final
Alexandr Fier 0.5-1.5 Maxime Vachier Lagrave

Prizes in Euros:

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave: 4000

Alexandr Fier: 2500

Etienne Bacrot and Laurent Fressinet: 1250

Quarter Finalists: 700


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