|Born||21 October 1990|
|FIDE rating||2770 (February 2020)|
|Peak rating||2819 (August 2016)|
|Ranking||No. 4 (November 2019)|
|Peak ranking||No. 2 (August 2016)|
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (French pronunciation: [maksim vaʃje.laɡʁav]; born 21 October 1990) 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).
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 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.
- 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
- Aeroflot Open, Moscow 2006: 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.
- Corus tournament B, Wijk aan Zee 2007: finished 5th with 8 points out of 13.
- Winner of the 2007 and 2008 Paris City Chess Championships with 7 points out of 9.
- 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
- 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
- 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: 4th-7th place at the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15 stage in Tashkent.
- 2015: 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.
- 2015: 5th-8th (quarterfinalist) at the Chess World Cup 2015.
- Winner of the Sharjah Grand Prix (2017), with 5.5 points out of 9.
- 2017: Finished sixth (out of 24 participants) in the FIDE Grand Prix 2017
- 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: Second place (finalist) at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Riga.
- 2019: Third place at the Chess World Cup 2019 in Khanty-Mansiysk.
- 2019: Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Hamburg.
- 2019: Semifinalist at the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 stage in Jerusalem.
- 2019: Finished third (out of 21 participants) in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019.
Grand Chess Tour tournaments
- 2015: Grand Chess Tour Participant (Norway Chess (4th–5th), Sinquefield Cup (2nd-5th), London Chess Classic (1st-3rd)).
- 2015: 1st-3rd Place at the London Chess Classic, came third on Sonneborn-Berger tie-break and after a tie-break match against Magnus Carlsen.
- 2015: 4th Place in the 2015 Grand Chess Tour.
- 2016: Third Place at the Paris Rapid and Blitz Grand Chess Tour Tournament
- 2016: 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.
- 2017: 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.
- 2018: Second place at the Saint-Louis Rapid and Blitz
- 2018: Second place at the London Chess Classic (beats Levon Aronian in the semi-final) 2018.
- 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
- 2019: 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.
- 2019: Second place at the London Chess Classic (beats Magnus Carlsen in the semi-final) 2019.
- 2019: 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.
Vachier-Lagrave played in the U16 French team championship 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 2005–2006: NAO team, 6½ points from 8 games. NAO-CC won the championship for the fourth time in a row.
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.
Vachier-Lagrave narrowly missed qualifying for the biennial Candidates Tournament, the tournament to decide who plays for the World Chess Championship, in both 2018 and 2020. The Candidates has multiple qualifying paths, and he came close in three ways on both occasions.
In the Chess World Cup 2017, Vachier-Lagrave lost his semi-final to Levon Aronian in an armageddon chess game. A win would have put him into the final, automatically qualifying for the 2018 Candidates. He then lost his final game at the FIDE Grand Prix 2017, when a win would have qualified him for the Candidates; and came fourth in the qualifiers by rating list, in which the top two qualified.
He came even closer in the 2019-2020 cycle. In the Chess World Cup 2019, in which the top two finishers qualified, he finished third. It was the same in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019: the top two finishers qualified, and he finished third. For the qualifier by rating list, he was fifth, when fourth was sufficient to qualify.
This made him eligible for the 2020 Candidates wild card in three different ways, but instead it was awarded to the Russian Kirill Alekseenko. Vachier-Lagrave made an appeal for a chance to play Alekseenko for the wild card place, and also called for the abolishment of the rule. Alekseenko himself encouraged the abolishment of the wildcard in an interview.
Outside of chess, Vachier-Lagrave holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which he earned in 2010.
- Federations Ranking: France. FIDE.
- "Chess prodigies and mini-grandmasters". ChessBase. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Chessdom.com
- "Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information: Vachier-Lagrave tops SPICE Cup". Susanpolgar.blogspot.com. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- World Cities team championship, theweekinchess.com"
- 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.
- "Aronian and Gelfand win Alekhine Memorial 2013". ChessBase News. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Staff writer(s) (9 April 2018). "GRENKE Chess Classic 2018: Pairings & standings". Grenke Chess.
- Doggers, Peter (7 June 2018). "Caruana Wins Norway Chess". Chess.com.
- Yermolinsky, Alex (14 November 2018). "Vachier-Lagrave awarded Shenzen (sic) Masters win after three-way tie". Chessbase. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- Shah, Sagar (22 September 2017). "FIDE World Cup 2017: And then there were two!". Chessbase.com. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- Venkatachalam Saravanan (22 August 2017). "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at the Sinquefield Cup 2017 - a look at his games". Chessbase.com. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- Crowther, Mark (31 August 2018). "6th Sinquefield Cup 2018". theweekinchess.com. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- Pereira, Antonio (17 December 2018). "Nakamura deservedly wins the 2018 Grand Chess Tour". Chessbase.com. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- "St. Louis Rapid & Blitz Winners & Losers". chess24. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
- "European Blitz Championship 2010". FIDE. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- "European Blitz Chess Championship 2012: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave takes gold medal". Chessdom. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- McGourty, Colin (23 December 2019). "MVL makes wild card appeal as Alekseenko chosen". chess24.
- McGourty, Colin (9 February 2020). "Alekseenko: "The Candidates wild card should be abolished"". chess24.
- "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave player profile". chess24.com. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.|
- Official website
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave player profile and games at 365Chess.com
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave player profile and games at Chessgames.com
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave player profile and games at Chess-DB.com
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave team chess record at Olimpbase.org
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave player profile at the Internet Chess Club
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave player profile at Chess.com