French Teams 2015 – Top 12

I am currently playing for my team of Grasse in the French Team Championship, the Top 12. We play in the touristic place called Le Grau-du-Roi, very close to Montpellier.

My team’s objective is to try and avoid relegation, but things are not going our way so far. In the first two rounds we lost both our matches, especially painful was the first round loss to Vandoeuvre, who also try to avoid relegation. Here’re a few examples showing our bad luck. The following is from that fateful match, Forestier-Steil Antoni, a win would have secured a draw in the match.

19 de5 wins a pawn and the game. White even lost the game later on

The second one is even more baffling, from the game Sokolov,A-Pile, our second round match. Black managed to lose this:

There are very strong players in the French League, this year Giri and So are leading the field. But Giri was busted today against Solodovnichenko, a good friend of mine. He went for the French (I wonder why, perhaps as a compliment to the organisers?) and Yuri deviated from his usual 4 a3. Giri was unfamiliar with the opening and was thoroughly destroyed. It’s a comforting thought that even those guys can suffer setbacks in unfamiliar territory.

Tomorrow we are paired to play Giri’s team of Bischwiller (who also have Naiditsch, Bacrot, Edouard and Ragger on board) so that will be tough!

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Jun 1,2015 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks for your best wishes!

    As for the draw offers, well, today you can see another example. This used to be considered the "Soviet school", to offer draws in lost positions. Today it's common practice.

  • Anonymous
    May 31,2015 at 7:59 pm


    I'm a compatriot of your teammate Bart Michiels, so good luck for you and your team.

    I hate it and find it unsportive when stronger opponents (in rating) offer me a draw when being in a worse position. Be a man !!!
    My respect for Giri is definetely gone by now.

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