The French Individual Chess Championships 2022 took place 13-21 August in the city of Albi. A magnificent city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site hosted the 95th edition of the French Individual Chess Championship after three years of pause caused by the pandemic of Covid19.
The event was played in two sections: Men and Women, with 16 players in each section competing in a knock-out event with each match consisting of two classical games and rapid, blitz and Armageddon tiebreaks if the result was tied. Simultaneously with National Championships, Albi hosted seven open chess tournaments.
GM Jules Moussard claimed the title of the French National Chess Champion after defeating GM Etienne Bacrot in the thrilling final match with the final result of 4-3. The match started with two solid games and two draws with the classical time control. Moussard took the lead with a victory in the rapid part of the match, but Bacrot stroke back taking the finals further to the blitz 2-game match. Etienne Bacrot won the first blitz game, and Jules Moussard did the only thing he could do to keep the fight ongoing – he won the second game scheduling the decisive Armageddon. Having White pieces in the Armageddon game, Jules Moussard needed only a draw, but he scored a victory and lifted the French Chess Championship Winner’s trophy for the first time in his career.
As the second finalist, GM Etienne Bacrot clinched silver medal while the bronze medalist was determined in the match for the third place. The match was played between GM Laurent Fressinet and GM Matthew Cornette. After two classical games finishing in a draw, Fressinet won the rapid mini match with 1.5-0.5 result and claimed bronze.
Replay the games here
IM Almira Skripchenko convincingly won the finals against WIM Natacha Benmesbah with two straight-forward classical victories. Skripchenko won her 7th French National Champion title.
WIM Natacha Benmesbah won silver medal and the bronze medalist was determined in the match between WIM Andreea Navrotescu and WFM Sarah Djidjeli. Navrotescu won the match after two classical victories, thus clinching the bronze medal.