…Six members of that young second tier competed in the SPICE Cup this month at Webster University in St. Louis. The tournament, which ended a week ago, was won by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, who turned 22 on the event’s final day. Ding Liren of China, who turned 20 on Wednesday, and Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, 21, tied for second.
A few years ago, Vachier-Lagrave, who is ranked 29th in the world and is about a month older than Carlsen, seemed as if he would be among the players jockeying for No. 1. But after rising to No. 18 in January 2010, he dropped to No. 69 at one point this year before making a nice recovery in recent months.
Like many players of the personal computer generation, who have been immersed in chess on the Internet since childhood and have pored over databases that were unavailable to older players as they developed, Vachier-Lagrave has a universal style of play. He is adept at long endgames that require patience and accuracy, but he is also at home in games with swashbuckling tactical complications.
One example was his quick victory in St. Louis over Georg Meier, a German grandmaster, in Round 5.
Vachier-Lagrave played 3 … e5 to inhibit White from playing d4, and then he tried to control the center with 5 … d5. But Meier challenged him by playing 6 d4, and the game suddenly became double-edged.
Full article here.
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar