The Basel Chess Festival, or Schachfestival Basel 2013, has just begun. This seven round event is scheduled to run between January 1st 2013 and January 5th 2013. With live updates of the top four games being broadcast by the event’s organisers, it is well worth tuning in to see what is going to be some amazing chess unfolding, particularly on the final day of the festival when the winner is crowned.
This year, the top seed in the festival is French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Legrave. 2012 has been something of a charmed year for 22 year old Vachier-Legrave. He was the winner of the SPICE Cup at Webster University for example, and towards the end of the year he shared the first prize at the European Rapid Championships 2012 with Alexey Dreev, Sergei Rublevsky, and Alexei Shirov whilst also winning the Amplico Blitz at Warsaw.
Vachier-Legrave is currently rated at a very respectable 2711. Chess fans will no doubt be intrigued at the least to see if he can continue to work his magic at the 2013 Basel Chess Festival. So far, he has put in a great performance. For instance, he has already beaten Germany player Udo Duessel. The endgame between Duessel and Vachier-Legrave was characterised by careful play with the pawns. Keeping his king carefully guarded with pawns on g2 and h3, Vachier-Legrave simultaneously edged a pawn towards e8, draining Duessel’s reserves as he tried to prevent this move to e8 and keeping his attention partly distracted by that end of the board.
If he does not win outright at Basel, Vachier-Legrave looks likely to end up very near the top of the leaderboard. And yet, whatever happens at Basel, Vachier-Legrave has plenty of opportunities to shine in 2013. For example, he is also set to appear at the 2013 Tradewise Masters beginning on January 21st in Gibraltar.