French Teams 2015 – Top 12 – Finally!

Yesterday we won, finally! A convincing win, 4-0 with 4 draws, it could even have been more convincing, if GM Llanes found the win in this rook endgame:


The big derby in Round 6 between the powerhouses Bischwiller and Clichy ended in a win for the German-sounding team, the crucial win was Bacrot’s over Jakovenko, with black in a QGD, after Jakovenko introduced an interesting new move:

Some days ago I read a very interesting interview by Jakovenko (in Russian, here), where he described very succinctly how Carlsen wins and why he’s so far ahead of the rest. The following is from that interview, taken from the site www.chess24.com (you can read the whole interview in English here):

In his day, Robert Fischer reached a new level of tactical precision which, I think, Kasparov wrote about in one of his books. Fischer didn’t make the same mistakes that his contemporaries, such as Boris Spassky, considered acceptable inaccuracies. And he didn’t forgive them, although he also had poor games.

Carlsen, it seems to me, has gone to the next level of tactical precision. When people say Carlsen plays on to bare kings, that he maintains the tension, that even in equal positions he seeks out the slightest chance – that really is the case. But you have to grasp what it is that allows that to happen. And why others can’t manage it.
Any other chess player in the top twenty who tries to “squeeze water out of a stone” in an equal position would miscalculate at some point, then again overlook something at another and realise that, to be on the safe side, it’s better to make a draw… Carlsen, meanwhile, does the same thing but manages not to make any mistakes.

I think this is by far the most precise explanation of Carlsen’s secret.

With 4 round remaining we must win two more matches in order to avoid relegation. It is against the odds, but we were close on several ocassions before, so even though there are no more easy teams to play against, we still hope we can do it.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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