Турнир претендентов 2020

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

FIDE Titles: International Master (2005), Grandmaster (2004)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France). Date of birth: October 21, 1990.

Although a young Frenchman quickly turned into a powerhouse in the national tournaments, he never managed to triumph in the children's world championships against child prodigy peers of the 1990s generation.

In 2004, Vachier-Lagrave pulled off a meteoric rise and became one of the youngest GMs in the world. Yet another leap happened in 2008-2009, when Maxim joined the 2700 club and took the U20 Junior World Championship. From this moment on, the young chess player has been going among his fans by the abbreviated name of MVL. MVL developed a many-year collaboration with a famous GM and coach Alexander Beliavsky.

Having firmly entrenched in the elite chess circles and being one of the leading European players, he qualified into the 2013 World Cup semifinals. Maxime made a real splash at the stellar Alekhine Memorial of 2013, where he had for a long time maintained a lead in the tournament race. He was part of the world champion Magnus Carlsen's coaching group for many years. Many a success in super tournaments brought the France top player's rating to a fantastic mark of 2819 ELO points (as of August 2016). Vachier-Lagrave rated second on the FIDE list for several months.

Alas, Maxime's golden dream of making it into the "tournament of life" was being postponed time and time again. In the 2017 World Cup, Maxim was close to qualifying into the Candidates tournament, but lost an incredibly dramatic semifinal match to Levon Aronian.

Two years later, Vachier-Lagrave found himself edged out by almost every tiebreaker, such as performance at the FIDE Grand Prix and World Cups, as well as the average annual rating. The blessing came in disguise for the Frenchman who has stepped in to fill the vacant spot left by Teimour Radjabov's last-minute refusal to participate.