It's finally summer and time for a real update on this past few weeks. Also, we have plenty to look forward in the fall. In this update you'll find tournaments and events going back to our last update (week 23).

As such, this article sets out to rectify our missing weekly updates with a ton of summer news from some of our players, including the latest tournament result by the world champion.

This is what you'll find in this update:

  • Lara scores big in the French League
  • Magnus claims bronze in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid
  • MVL reviews 2021
  • Nihal Sarin wins Silver Lake Open

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Trying out the Top 12

First, we'll start with a report from the "Top 12", the French Team Championships, brought to you by Lara Janželj:

I was really excited to play an over-the-board tournament again since my last one before that was almost a year ago.

The 2021 edition of the French Team Championship, also known as "Top 12", took place from the 24th of June to July 4th in Chalons-En-Champagne. The concept is that the 12 best French teams play a 11-round all-play-all. Each match is played over eight boards, with teams choosing from a starting list of up to 16 players.

Even though the games haven't been the best I managed to score some points and the team is doing pretty well too. It's the first time I am playing the French League, but so far I enjoy it a lot!

The list of participants in the French League includes top players like Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Nils Grandelius and Offerspill member Jorden Van Foreest.

Lara played a lot of games and score some important points for her team Grasse Échecs, including this win in the tricky opening Two Knights Tango:

Ruhlmann - Janželj (0-1)

We are looking forward to more updates from Lara - rumor has it that she will play in the Norway Chess Open in September.

Goldmoney Asian Rapid

The Goldmoney Asian Rapid was the seventh leg of the Meltwater Champions Chess and was played from June 26 until July 4. Vladislav Artemiev and Levon Aronian meet in the finals after knocking out rating favourites Ding Liren and Magnus Carlsen respectively.

Aronian showed his class

Levon Aronian didn't even need an hour and a half to claim victory against Russian top grandmaster Vladislav Artemiev to win the top prize in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid. With the 1st prize Aronian also brought home the $30,000 top prize.

The Armenian's final win was a fitting end to his tournament as he'd also had won the preliminary stage beforehand. World champion Magnus Carlsen needed a blitz playoff to beat Ding Liren in the fight for 3rd place.

Let's take a look at how Aronian managed to beat Artemiev in the final:

Artemiev - Aronian (0-1)

Armenia's number one Aronian is set to switch to the United States Chess Federation after the ongoing FIDE World Cup, so it may have been appropriate that he won his first event on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour on the 4th of July (Independence Day).

Let's also enjoy one of Magnus' fine wins from the tournament, here against

Read more about the tournament on Chess24.

Nihal Sarin wins international tournament

Offerspill member Nihal Sarin was the dominant player at the Silver Lake Open. The young, but extremely strong, Indian won the tournament with a score of 8.0/9 points and a rating performance of 2809. Thus, the tournament serves as a great warm-up before the World Cup for the reigning U18 World Champion.

Enjoy Sarin's important win with the black pieces in round seven against a strong international master:

Makhnev - Nihal Sarin (0-1)

Chessbase covered the tournament here while games can be replayed on Lichess.

MVL wins Croatia GCT

French star Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was the clear winner of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour’s third leg, played in Zagreb. The Frenchman had an undefeated 6½/9 performance on on the last day of the tournament, and managed to secure first place with a round to spare.

Legend Vishy Anand had a great finish as well, as he also scored 6½ points in the second half of the blitz section to get sole second place. Dutch number one Anish Giri finished third, while retiree Garry Kasparov struggled heavily against his younger opponents.

Sorry I couldn’t do better for the fans who gave me so much support a. But time is undefeated, and Caissa is a jealous mistress who punishes anyone who ignores her as much as I do! - Garry Kasparov

Oferspill member Jorden Van Foreest beat the former world champion Kasparov in the blitz section - let's see how:

Van Foreest - Kasparov (1-0)

Replay games on Lichess and catch up on the tournament over at Chess24.

Tough reflections

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has been through a roller coaster of a year so far, with a depleting rating and a disappointing Candidates tournament. Now he has been surpassed by on the ratings list by Alireza Firouzja. The latter was recently granted French citizenship. The 18-year-old Iranian-born chess prodigy has been living in Chartres in France since 2019 and now also represents his new country.

In a recent interview with Chessbase the tactician vows to get back into the top 10 "very soon".

The interview is available here - it's well worth the read.