Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 2016-07.jpg
Born (1990-10-21) 21 October 1990 (age 30)
Nogent-sur-Marne, France
TitleGrandmaster (2005)
FIDE rating2784 (January 2021)
Peak rating2819 (August 2016)
RankingNo. 4 (October 2020)
Peak rankingNo. 2 (August 2016)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Medal record
Representing  France
Men's Chess
European Championship
Silver medal – second place 2013 Warsaw Team

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (French pronunciation: ​[maksim vaʃje.laɡʁav]; born 21 October 1990) is a French chess player, the top ranked of his country.[1] 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[edit]

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).

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[2] 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.[3]

Chess career[edit]

French Championships[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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

FIDE Grand Prix and World Cups[edit]

Candidates Tournament 2020[edit]

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.[12]

The current standings have Maxime in first place, tied with Ian Nepomniachtchi, on 4.5/7 (2 wins, 5 draws and 0 losses).[13]

Grand Chess Tour tournaments[edit]

  • 2015: Grand Chess Tour Participant
  • 2016:
    • 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.[14]
    • 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.[15]
    • Second place at the Saint-Louis Rapid and Blitz
    • Second place at the London Chess Classic (beats Levon Aronian in the semi-final) 2018.[16]
    • 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.[17]
    • 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.[18]
    • 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[edit]

Berlin World Blitz Chess Championship 2015
  • Winner of the 2010 Aeroflot Open Blitz Tournament
  • Winner of the 2010 European Blitz Championship.[19]
  • 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.[20]
  • 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'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.


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).[21]

Rapid and blitz rankings[edit]

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[22] and 1st on the blitz list.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Outside of chess, Vachier-Lagrave holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which he earned in 2010.[24] He also teaches chess on his personal YouTube channel, MVL Chess.


  1. ^ Federations Ranking: France. FIDE.
  2. ^ "Chess prodigies and mini-grandmasters". ChessBase. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  3. ^ GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
  4. ^ "Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information: Vachier-Lagrave tops SPICE Cup". 22 October 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  5. ^ World Cities team championship,"
  6. ^ A bit of history : A bit of history : The Al Ain Classic started as a side event of the 2012 World Cities Chess Team Championship. On that occasion it introduced a unique format: players eliminated from the knock-out team competition could join, carrying over their points total to the individual Swiss. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who was eliminated by Romain Edouard in the main event, was the winner of the first Al Ain Classic.
  7. ^ "Aronian and Gelfand win Alekhine Memorial 2013". ChessBase News. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  8. ^ Staff writer(s) (9 April 2018). "GRENKE Chess Classic 2018: Pairings & standings". Grenke Chess.
  9. ^ Doggers, Peter (7 June 2018). "Caruana Wins Norway Chess".
  10. ^ Yermolinsky, Alex (14 November 2018). "Vachier-Lagrave awarded Shenzen (sic) Masters win after three-way tie". Chessbase. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  11. ^ Shah, Sagar (22 September 2017). "FIDE World Cup 2017: And then there were two!". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Breaking News: FIDE stops the Candidates Tournament!". Chess News. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  13. ^ "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020".
  14. ^ Venkatachalam Saravanan (22 August 2017). "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at the Sinquefield Cup 2017 - a look at his games". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  15. ^ Crowther, Mark (31 August 2018). "6th Sinquefield Cup 2018". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  16. ^ Pereira, Antonio (17 December 2018). "Nakamura deservedly wins the 2018 Grand Chess Tour". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "St. Louis Rapid & Blitz Winners & Losers". chess24. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  19. ^ "European Blitz Championship 2010". FIDE. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  20. ^ "European Blitz Chess Championship 2012: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave takes gold medal". Chessdom. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  21. ^ EUROPEAN MEN'S CHESS CLUB CUP, olimpbase.
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave player profile". Retrieved 15 July 2016.

External links[edit]