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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

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Birth date
21.10.1990
Zodiac Sign
Libra
Gender
Male
Fields of Expertise
Chess
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

We made the effort to come play because this is a very important tournament, but we knew there was a chance it would not be completed, you just have to remain calm and wait for the world to do better. Then when everything is resolved, we can play chess again.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is a French chess player, the top ranked of his country. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE in 2005, at age 14. His peak Elo rating of 2819 makes him the seventh-highest rated player of all time. He is often referred to by his initials, MVL.

He was world junior champion in 2009 and is a three-time French champion 2007, 2011, shared 2012. Vachier-Lagrave is a five-time winner of the Biel Grandmaster Tournament 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and won the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting in 2016 and the Sinquefield Cup in 2017.

He participated in seven Chess Olympiads 2006–2018 and four European Team Chess Championships 2007, 2011–2015 as a member of the French national team and has been a member of the winning team of the French Team Championship multiple times in the "Paris NAO", "Évry Grand Roque", "Club de Clichy-Echecs-92" teams.

Early life

From the age of six, Vachier-Lagrave competed in numerous sections of youth tournaments, winning the French Under-8 championship in 1997, U-10s in 1999, U-12s in 2000, U-16s in 2002, runner up in the U-18s in 2003 and won the U-20s in 2004 scoring 8/9.

He also took part in the World Youth Chess Championship, coming third in the U-10 division in 2000 8½/11, third in the U-12 championship in 2001 8/11, second in the U-14 event in 2003 9/11 and third in U-16 section in 2005 8½/11.

Vachier-Lagrave playing against Viswanathan Anand during the Alekhine Memorial in Paris, 2013

From 2001 to 2008, his FIDE rating increased steadily from 2198 in January 2001 to 2637 in January 2008. Vachier-Lagrave passed 2600 in October 2007 and 2700 one year later.

He became an International Master in 2004 and achieved the Grandmaster title in 2005 at the age of 14 years and 4 months after sharing first in the 2004 Paris Championship with 6½/9, winning the NAO GM tournament in 2004 with 6/9 and coming second in the Évry GM tournament in February 2005 with 7½/9.

Chess career

French Championships

  • 2004: Winner of the French Junior Championship U20.
  • In 2005, Vachier-Lagrave finished in third place at the French Chess Championship with 7/11.
  • Besançon 2006: finished 5th at the French Championship with 6 points out of 11 and a TPR of 2608.
  • Winner of 2007 French Championship after beating GM Vladislav Tkachiev in tiebreak match. In the main tournament he collected 7.5 out of 11.
  • Winner of the 2011 and 2012 French Championships.

Classical international tournaments

  • 2006: Aeroflot Open, Moscow: played the A1 main tournament, reserved for players having a rating superior to 2550. He finished sixth with 6 points out of 9 and a TPR of 2775.
  • Young Masters, Lausanne 2006: being the youngest player invited, won the tournament with a TPR of 2630.
  • 2007: Corus tournament B, Wijk aan Zee: finished 5th with 8 points out of 13.
  • Winner of the 2007 and 2008 Paris City Chess Championships with 7 points out of 9.
  • 2008: 2nd-10th place at the European Individual Chess Championship with 8 points out of 13
  • Winner of the 2008 Gregory Marx Memorial in Paks, with 7 points out of 10.
  • Winner of the 2009 Biel Grandmaster Tournament with 6 points out of 10 ahead of Morozevich and Ivanchuk.
  • Winner of the 2009 World Junior Chess Championship.
  • Winner of the 2010 Hoogeveen tournament.
  • Winner of the 2012 SPICE Cup Festival at Webster University with 6 points out of 10 ahead of Le Quang Liem, Ding Liren, Wesley So, Georg Meier, and Csaba Balogh.
  • 2012: 1st-2nd of the first Al Ain Classic, second on tie-break number of wins.
  • 2013: In the Alekhine Memorial tournament, held from 20 April to 1 May in Paris, Vachier-Lagrave finished eighth, with +2−2=5.
  • Winner of the 2013 Biel Grandmaster Tournament +3 -2 =5 after a tie-break against three players Moiseenko, Bacrot and Ding Liren.
  • Winner of the 2014 Biel Grandmaster Tournament with 6 points out of 10 ahead of Radoslaw Wojtaszek.
  • 2014: Scored 4/10 fourth place in the Sinquefield Cup 2014 in Saint Louis, USA, the strongest chess tournament ever held in the history of chess.
  • 2015: 2nd place in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament.
  • Winner of the 2015 Biel Grandmaster Tournament with 6.5 points out of 10 ahead of Radoslaw Wojtaszek. 4th victory in Biel and 3rd consecutive victory.
  • 2015: Fourth place at the 3rd Sinquefield Cup
  • 2015: Third place at the London Chess Classic
  • 2016: Second Place at the Gibraltar Chess Festival after a tie-break against Hikaru Nakamura.
  • Winner of the 2016 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting with 5.5 points out of 7. Ahead of multiple-time previous winners Vladimir Kramnik and Fabiano Caruana.
  • 2017: 2nd-3rd place at the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting.
  • Winner of the 2017 Sinquefield Cup with 6 points out of 9 +3=6.
  • 2018: Second Place at the Gibraltar Chess Festival after a tie-break against Levon Aronian.
  • 2018: Third place at the 5th Grenke Chess Classic with a score of 5/9 +2–1=6.
  • 2018: Eighth place at the sixth edition of Norway Chess, with a score of 3/8 +0–2=6.
  • Winner of the 2018 Shenzhen Masters on tiebreak, with a score of 5.5/10 +1=9, defeating Ding Liren in their direct encounter 1.5-0.5.
  • 2019: Fourth place at the 6th Grenke Chess Classic with a score of 5/9 +2–1=6.

FIDE Grand Prix and World Cups

  • 2009: 9th-16th at the Chess World Cup 2009.
  • 2013: Semifinalist at the Chess World Cup 2013.
  • 2014-2015 4th-7th place at the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15 stage in Tashkent. Finished 15th out of 16 participants in the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15, one of the qualifying methods of the 2016 World Chess Championship cycle. 5th-8th quarterfinalist at the Chess World Cup 2015.
  • 4th-7th place at the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15 stage in Tashkent.
  • Finished 15th out of 16 participants in the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15, one of the qualifying methods of the 2016 World Chess Championship cycle.
  • 5th-8th quarterfinalist at the Chess World Cup 2015.
  • 2017: Winner of the Sharjah Grand Prix 2017, with 5.5 points out of 9. Finished sixth out of 24 participants in the FIDE Grand Prix 2017 Semifinalist at the Chess World Cup 2017, after losing the armageddon tiebreak to Levon Aronian, thus narrowly missing qualification to the Candidates Tournament 2018.
  • Winner of the Sharjah Grand Prix 2017, with 5.5 points out of 9.
  • Finished sixth out of 24 participants in the FIDE Grand Prix 2017
  • Semifinalist at the Chess World Cup 2017, after losing the armageddon tiebreak to Levon Aronian, thus narrowly missing qualification to the Candidates Tournament 2018.
  • 2019: Third place at the Chess World Cup 2019 in Khanty-Mansiysk. Finished third out of 21 participants in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019. Second place finalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Riga. Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Hamburg. Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Jerusalem.
  • Third place at the Chess World Cup 2019 in Khanty-Mansiysk.
  • Finished third out of 21 participants in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019. Second place finalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Riga. Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Hamburg. Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Jerusalem.
  • Second place finalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Riga.
  • Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Hamburg.
  • Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Jerusalem.

Candidates Tournament 2020

On March 6, citing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, Teimour Radjabov withdrew from the tournament. His replacement was Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, as he was next on the qualifier by rating list. FIDE decided to postpone the second half of the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic..

The current standings have Maxime in first place, tied with Ian Nepomniachtchi, on 4.5/7 2 wins, 5 draws and 0 losses.

Grand Chess Tour tournaments

  • 2015: Grand Chess Tour Participant Norway Chess 2015: 4th–5th place joint 2nd-5th place at the 2015 Sinquefield Cup 1st-3rd Place at the London Chess Classic, came third on Sonneborn-Berger tie-break and after a tie-break match against Magnus Carlsen. 4th Place in the 2015 Grand Chess Tour.
  • Norway Chess 2015: 4th–5th place
  • joint 2nd-5th place at the 2015 Sinquefield Cup
  • 1st-3rd Place at the London Chess Classic, came third on Sonneborn-Berger tie-break and after a tie-break match against Magnus Carlsen.
  • 4th Place in the 2015 Grand Chess Tour.
  • 2016: Third Place at the Paris Rapid and Blitz Grand Chess Tour Tournament 7th Place in the 2016 Grand Chess Tour.
  • Third Place at the Paris Rapid and Blitz Grand Chess Tour Tournament
  • 7th Place in the 2016 Grand Chess Tour.
  • 2017: Second place at the Paris Grand Chess Tour rapid and blitz after a tie-break with Magnus Carlsen Winner of the 2017 Sinquefield Cup with 6 points out of 9 +3=6, defeating Magnus Carlsen in their individual encounter. Second place at the 2017 Grand Chess Tour, behind Magnus Carlsen.
  • Second place at the Paris Grand Chess Tour rapid and blitz after a tie-break with Magnus Carlsen
  • Winner of the 2017 Sinquefield Cup with 6 points out of 9 +3=6, defeating Magnus Carlsen in their individual encounter.
  • Second place at the 2017 Grand Chess Tour, behind Magnus Carlsen.
  • 2018: Joint fifth through seventh place at the 2018 Sinquefield Cup, drawing all nine of his games. Second place at the Saint-Louis Rapid and Blitz Second place at the London Chess Classic beats Levon Aronian in the semi-final 2018. Second place at the 2018 Grand Chess Tour, behind Hikaru Nakamura.
  • Joint fifth through seventh place at the 2018 Sinquefield Cup, drawing all nine of his games.
  • Second place at the Saint-Louis Rapid and Blitz
  • Second place at the London Chess Classic beats Levon Aronian in the semi-final 2018.
  • Second place at the 2018 Grand Chess Tour, behind Hikaru Nakamura.
  • 2019: Second place at Côte d’Ivoire Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament. Winner of the 2019 Paris Rapid and Blitz Grand Chess Tour tournament with a score of 21/36 Second-Fourth place in the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz event with a score of 21.5/36. The second place was tied and shared with Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi. Second place at the London Chess Classic 2019 beats Magnus Carlsen in the semi-final. Second place at the 2019 Grand Chess Tour, behind Ding Liren.
  • Second place at Côte d’Ivoire Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament.
  • Winner of the 2019 Paris Rapid and Blitz Grand Chess Tour tournament with a score of 21/36
  • Second-Fourth place in the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz event with a score of 21.5/36. The second place was tied and shared with Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi.
  • Second place at the London Chess Classic 2019 beats Magnus Carlsen in the semi-final.
  • Second place at the 2019 Grand Chess Tour, behind Ding Liren.

Rapid, Blitz and Bullet tournaments and matches

  • Winner of the 2010 Aeroflot Open Blitz Tournament
  • Winner of the 2010 European Blitz Championship.
  • Winner of the 2011 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing
  • Winner of the 2011 Quenza Blitz Open Tournament
  • Winner of the 2012 Port-Marly Rapid Pyramid Grand Prix
  • Winner of the 2012 Biel Blitz Tournament
  • Winner of the 2012 European Blitz Championship.
  • Winner of the 2013 Paris International Blitz Tournament
  • Winner of the 2013 Port-Marly Rapid Pyramids Grand Prix
  • Winner of the 2014 Paris International Blitz Tournament
  • Winner of the 2014 Paris International Rapid Tournament
  • Winner of the 2014 Venaco Casanova Rapid Open
  • Winner of the 2015 Norway Chess blitz tournament with 6.5 out of 9.
  • Winner of the 2015 Quenza Blitz Open Tournament
  • 2015: Second Place at the World Blitz Championship in Berlin with 15 points out of 21, only 0.5 point behind Alexander Grischuk.
  • Winner of the 2016 Ciamannacce Blitz Open Tournament
  • Winner of the 2016 Biel Masters Challenge Rapid match against Svidler
  • Winner of the 2016 Corsica Masters rapid, beat Anand in the final.
  • 2016: Sixth Place at the World Blitz Championship in Doha with 14 points out of 21.
  • 2019: Third place in Chess.com's Bullet Chess Championship, behind runner-up Oleksandr Bortnyk and Hikaru Nakamura, the winner.
  • Winner of the 2019 Norway Chess blitz tournament with 7.5 out of 9.
  • 2019: Fifth Place at the World Blitz Championship in Moscow with 14 points out of 21.

Teams

Vachier-Lagrave played in the French team championship with the NAO Chess Club teams since 1997. Team results include:

  • U16 French championship 2004–2005: first board for NAO Chess Club, 7 points from 7 games. NAO-CC earned the title
  • U16 French championship 2005–2006: first board for NAO Chess Club, 7 points from 7 games. NAO-CC again earned the title
  • Top 16 2006: NAO team, 6½ points from 8 games. NAO-CC won the championship for the fourth time in a row 2003 to 2006

He played for the Évry Grand Roque chess club in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Since 2011, he plays for the Clichy club chess team in the Top12.

In the European Chess Club Cup, he played with SV Mülheim Nord in 2008, SOCAR Baku in 2010, Clichy Échecs 92 in 2013 and Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova 2014-2016.

Rapid and blitz rankings

In addition to his strength in classical time controls, Vachier-Lagrave is very skilled at rapid and blitz chess. As of June 2019, Maxime ranked 4th on the FIDE rapid list and 1st on the blitz list.

Personal life

Outside of chess, Vachier-Lagrave holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which he earned in 2010. He also teaches chess on his personal YouTube channel, MVL Chess.

Discussion
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

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