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Himal Gusain victorious at 16th Marseille International Festival 2023

by Shahid Ahmed - 18/01/2024

IM Himal Gusain scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 to win 16th Marseille International Festival 2023 Open A (>1500). He finished a half point ahead of the rest. IM Guillaume Lamard (FRA) and IM Guillaume Philippe (FRA) scored 7/9 each to secure second and third place respectively. Himal drew against both runners-up in the seventh and eighth round respectively. The total prize fund of the festival was €7000. The top three prizes were €1200 + trophy, €800 and €600 each respectively. This is Himal's seventh tournament triumph of the year, third in France. He also went on to win another tournament in France at the beginning of 2024 in Tours. Photos: Edward Bottomley / Marseille-Echecs

Himal's seventh tournament triumph of 2023

IM Himal Gusain and IM Olexiy Bilych (UKR) were the coleaders 6.5/8 heading into the final round. Himal defeated Adrien Vu Dinh (FRA) and IM Guillaume Lamard (FRA) won against Bilych. Thus, Himal became a clear champion. IM Guillaume Lamard (FRA) scored a win against IM Armen Petrosyan (FRA). Lamard and Philippe were placed second and third according to tie-breaks.

Champion - IM Himal Gusain 7.5/9

Bilych - Himal, Round 6

Position after 26...Bf1

IM Himal Gusain (2457) played a fantastic move 26...Bf1 threatening checkmate at g2 against IM Olexiy Bilych (UKR, 2433) in the sixth round. 27.Qd2 does not work due to Qb6. 27.g3 Bxh3 and Black won the game in the next few moves.

IM Himal Gusain scored an unbeaten 7.5/9, finished a half point ahead of the field and performed at 2551

The reigning France champion - GM Yannick Gozzoli's Masterclass in session

GM Yannick Gozzoli played simultaneous exhibition games

Blitz event in progress

The tournament organizer - WIM Laurie Delorme addressing the players

The tournament hall

Venue - Salle les Lices - Louis Battinelli in Marseille, France

By Edward Bottomley of Marseille Echecs


Marseille-Echecs, proudly announces the success of its 16th International Chess Festival, held from December 26th to 30th. With over 1300 members, Marseille-Echecs continues to represent the pinnacle of chess enthusiasm in France.


This year's festival attracted a diverse group of over a hundred participants from 10 different countries, showcasing the international appeal of Marseille-Echecs' events. The club's commitment to fostering a global chess community was evident in the vibrant atmosphere throughout the tournament.


A highlight of the festival was the esteemed presence of Yannick Gozzoli, the reigning French Chess Champion of 2023. Participants had the unique opportunity to engage with Gozzoli through Blitz games, simultaneous matches, and an exclusive masterclass. Gozzoli's insights and strategic prowess added a layer of excitement and learning to the event. Yannick Gozzoli won the Blitz event. There was a Challenge event with IM Olexiy Bilych of Ukraine.


Marseille-Echecs continues to solidify its position as a hub for chess enthusiasts, promoting the timeless game's spirit of camaraderie and strategic brilliance. The success of the 16th International Chess Festival reinforces Marseille-Echecs' commitment to creating memorable experiences for chess players from around the world.


For more information about Marseille-Echecs and upcoming events, please visit


Thanks to Edward Bottomley of Marseille Echecs, for sharing the photos and info about the event.


A total of 54 players including six IMs took part from five countries all over the world in this five-day nine round Rating Open A (>1500) tournament. It was organized by Marseille-Echecs at Salle les Lices - Louis Battinelli in Marseille, France from 26th to 30th December 2023. The time control of the event was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move.

Final standings in Open A (>1500)

Pl NomEloCat.FedeLigueClubPtsTr.Bu.Perf
1mGUSAIN Himal2457 FSenM45532551
2mLAMARD Guillaume2497 FSenMPACCannes Echecs74452½2522
3mPHILIPPE Guillaume2334 FSenMPACMarseille-Echecs741½502361
4mBILYCH Olexiy2433 FJunM4251½2416
5mGIREL Joseph2495 FJunMPACMarseille-Echecs40½482402
6 AVANESYAN Davit2142 FJunMPACMarseille-Echecs640462251
7fMALKA Samuel2201 FSenMARALyon Olympique Echecs638½442172
8 VU DINH Adrien2234 FMinMPACMarseille-Echecs636½442057
9 PICHON Ewen2274 FCadMNAQPoitiers-Migne Echecs40492155
10 ADINOLFI Vincenzo1957 FSepM35½42½2051



Tournament details

Marseille Echecs: Official site, fb page and instagram

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