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Monday, 18 May 2020 18:41
Rauf Mamedov wins French Online Blitz Championship

The Rapid and Blitz French championship was scheduled to be played in Orsay, but the coronavirus pandemic spoiled the initial plan. The blitz section of the championship (with time control: 3+2) was run online, May 16-17, and brought together 709 players, including 34 grandmasters. The line-up boasted of such stars as Alireza Firouzja and Vasyl Ivanchuk, who won the qualification phase on Day 1. 

Day 2 played in knockout-format, started sensationally as Alireza Firouzja was surprisingly eliminated by Kacper Piorun in the Round of 16. Other pre-event favorites Rauf Mamedov, Vasyl Ivanchuk, and Baadur Jobava turned in a very solid performance and made it to the semifinals. 

Mamedov beat Ivanchuk in Armageddon game and reached the final in which he was up against a three-time French Champion Christian Bauer who whitewashed Jobava (2-0). The four-game final was much closer than the score suggests - Christian gave Rauf a run for his money, leveling the score after losing the first game. In the fourth and final game, the Frenchman found himself in a must-win situation but failed to do the trick. 

Nevertheless, as the best French player in this tournament, Christian Bauer became French Online Blitz champion; Sophie Milliet wins the French women's champion title. 

The tournament was broadcast on Twitch with commentary by GM Matthieu Cornette, 2016 French champion, and Kévin Bordi, a popular French streamer with more than 1500 viewers following the event simultaneously. 

The French Blitz Championship also served a noble purpose, as 20% of the registration fees were donated to the associations fighting against the coronavirus: the Fondation de France and the Blouses Roses.

The French Chess Federation would like to thank the city of Orsay for supporting this championship.