August 28, 2011
The French Chess Federation was founded by Henri Delaire in 1921 but the General Secretary Pierre Vincent was better known for his role in the organization of the first national team tournament and the founding of FIDE in Paris, July 21st 1924. Other well known presidents were the problemist Pierre Biscay, Marcel Berman, Jacques Lambert, Raoul Bertolo and Jean Claude Loubatière and Jean Claude Moingt.
France is known for its club team championship, the Opens of Capelle la Grande and Cannes, to have hosted the World Championship Final match (second part) Kasparov-Karpov in Lyon 1990, the Olympiads of Nice in 1974, the Candidate’s Tournament in Montpellier 1985, the World Youth Championships in Cannes in 1997 and in Belfort in 2005 and the European Individual Championship in Aix les Bains in 2011.
Chess was better known in France from the 17th century. The first chess academy was founded in Fontainebleau in 1680. A century later the French were leading the chess world with Sir de Legal, François-André Danican Philidor, Alexandre Deschapelle, Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais, later with Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant, the world champion Alexander Alekhine, Savielly Tartakower and Nicolas Rossolimo. Now, the leading players are Maxime Vachier Lagrave, Etienne Bacrot, Joel Lautier, Laurent Fressinet, Vladislav Tkachiev and Christian Bauer.
The national team won the Mitropa Cup 1982, 2000 and 2007. They also succeeded to get the silver at the 2001 European Championship and the bronze at the same competition in 2005. The women national team became European Champion in 2001.
In 2010 France was ranked seventh among the countries (2625) with 32 IGMs, 77 IMs and a total of 263 titled players.
The French national team at the Olympiad of Warsaw in 1935 headed by the World Champion Alexander Alekhine (left)
1925 French championship poster designed by Marcel Duchamp
The national champions were:
1914 Alphonse Goetz, 1923 Georges Renaud, 1924 Robert Crepeaux, 1925 Robert Crepeaux, 1926 André Chéron, 1927 André Chéron, 1928 Aimé Gibaud, 1929 André Chéron, 1930 Aimé Gibaud, 1931 André Muffang, 1932 Maurice Raizman, 1933 Aristide Gromer, 1934 Victor Kahn, 1935 Aimé Gibaud , 1936 Maurice Raizman, 1937 Aristide Gromer, 1938 Aristide Gromer, 1940 Aimé Gibaud, 1941 Robert Crépeaux, 1942 Robert Daniel, 1943 Louis Bigot, 1945 César Boutteville, 1946 Maurice Raizman, 1947 Maurice Raizman, 1948 Nicolas Rossolimo, 1949 Claude Hugot, 1950 César Boutteville, 1951 Maurice Raizman, 1952 Maurice Raizman, 1953 Xavier Tartakover, 1954 César Boutteville, 1955 César Boutteville, 1956 Pierre Rolland, 1957 Wolf Bergraser, 1958 Claude Lemoine, 1959 César Boutteville, 1961 Guy Mazzoni, 1962 André Thiellement, 1963 André Thiellement, 1964 Michel Roos, 1965 Guy Mazzoni, 1966 Wolf Bergraser, 1967 César Boutteville, 1968 Jean-Claude Letzelter, 1969 Jacques Planté, 1970 Jacques Maclès, 1971 Jean-Claude Letzelter, 1972 Aldo Haik, 1973 Michel Benoît, 1974 Jean-Claude Letzelter, 1975 Miodrag Todorcevic, 1976 François Chevaldonnet, 1977 Louis Roos, 1978 Nicolas Giffard, 1979 Bachar Kouatly, 1980 Jean-Luc Seret, 1981 Jean-Luc Seret, 1982 Nicolas Giffard, 1983 Aldo Haik, 1984 Jean-Luc Seret, 1985 Jean-Luc Seret, 1986 Gilles Mirallès, 1987 Christophe Bernard, 1988 Gilles Andruet, 1989 Gilles Mirallès, 1990 Marc Santo-Roman,1991 Marc Santo-Roman, 1992 Manuel Apicella, 1993 Emmanuel Bricard, 1994 Marc Santo-Roman,1995 Eric Prié, 1996 Christian Bauer, 1997 Anatoli Vaïsser, 1998 Iossif Dorfman, 1999 Étienne Bacrot, 2000 Étienne Bacrot, 2001 Étienne Bacrot, 2002 Étienne Bacrot, 2003 Étienne Bacrot, 2004 Joel Lautier, 2005 Joel Lautier, 2006 Vlad Tkachiev, 2007 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 2008 Étienne Bacrot, 2009 Vlad Tkachiev, 2010 Laurent Fressinet, 2011 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.