''…the tournament was rather short for me, yet I was happy to play some interesting and nice games…''
Anish on French Championship with his annotation


A while back!
This year again, me together with my experienced Dutch colleague Loek Van Wely (who also brought me to the French league by car, for already the 4th time), were invited to play the French League for our team- Echiquier Châlonnais. Unfortunately we could only play the first six games, as our team had no ambitions to defend the title (we became French champion last year) and then leave our team, which would then supposedly be secured about its stay in the league. By winning 4 out of 6 matches we indeed managed to secure out spot for the next year, when hopefully we will fight for the top-places again.
So the tournament was rather short for me, yet I was happy to play some interesting and nice games (as well as winning some interesting and nice ELO-points) and score 5,5 out of the 6 games that I played.

As you could already guess, the event was a round-robin team tournament, with all the matches being played in just one go. This system has a lot of advantages, as now much less time is being spent on the way to the spot and much more to play the games themselves.
This year, the organization found a curious location- the car-museum in the town Mullhouse. I must say I can't complain as I myself was feeling excellent at the board, but to disappointment of some players there was a constant background-like movie-sound during the games. I personally was more disappointed to have heard the sound and actually never have had a look at the actual, supposedly very instructive film about the history of auto-industry... Also, some participants didn't find the romantic-candle-like light very appealing for a game of chess, but ok, let's leave the museum alone.
The tournament, was unsurprisingly very strong, a lot of interesting and strong players (amongst them Navara, Eljanov, Jakovenko, Adams, Wojtaszek, Vachier-Lagrave, Le Quang and so on and so on) took part in the event and a lot of entertaining games were played and I had good times walking around the playing hall, observing them.
Renet-Anish
As I already mentioned I had an excellent tournament with 5,5 points out of 6. Actually my first game was the one I drew, against the Luxembourgian player David Alberto. I had white and it was a very uneventful game. I didn't play the best way in the opening and then decided that in order not to end up worse and without any play I should just exchange everything. Also the team lost that match, so obviously I was not so happy about our first day. Then however things started to get much better and when I won my next 3 games and so did the team, I felt quite some pressure..:).

In round 2, I played a nice game with black against the French GM Renet and this is the one I decided to annotate.

Renet - Anish  




In round 3 and 4, I had two Catalans and while the first one was a nice positional one against another French GM Le Roux, the second one was way more sharp and double-edged against Georgian Grandmaster Tornike Sanikidze. That was a very exciting game and I had a lot of fun playing and analyzing it. Unfortunately not all my calculations were as good as I hoped them to be, I was nevertheless happy to emerge the winner of such an exciting battle.

Round 5, I was playing an international master Aguettaz with black and after opening with Ragozin, we quickly reached a standard ending, where my opponent lost his way and with few inaccuracies got into an unpleasant position. After that he committed a blunder and the game ended in a quick victory for me.

In the next round I was lucky enough to get another White from our team captain and I had a serious opponent- Russian 2600 player Konstantin Landa. I decided to try my luck in Catalan again, but this time, my opponent played a less known, somewhat old variation. As far as I remembered, my conclusions were that White was slightly but pleasantly better (as in the most Catalans) and that was indeed the type of the position I got. The question was whether my advantage was enough to win or not, but the answer remained hidden as my opponent blundered a cute tactic in his time trouble.

After that game, me and Loek became unemployed and the next day we left the nice country-France having behind us a good tournament (Loek's scored a bit less points, but 4,5/6 can never be bad) and a nice French dinner.