The Paris International Chess Team (“PICT”) is an initiative of the Department Committee of Chess of the City of Paris (CDPE) (

The initiative was born when Paris received the invitation from Rotterdam to participate in the third BASAMRO International youth chess Tournament. Thank you for that!

In Paris many youngsters, both at schools and in their clubs, play chess. Paris counts 45 chess clubs and 3000 licensed players, on a 2 million population.  France was one of the first countries to nationally endorse Kasparov’s  ( Written Declaration 50/2011 “Chess in School”, as endorsed by the European Parliament in 2012.  Today, out the 330 public schools in Paris, 231 propose chess as extracurricular activity.

Chess is fun, chess is good for school results, and chess, formerly known as a brain exercise for nerdy glasses wearing slightly autistic children, is a real (Olympic!) game with 3D pieces of wood.  Children are playing in clubs and in competition, meet and socialize. More and more French parents see it as a perfect alternative to brain damaging solitary games of the virtual gaming world. And it surely helps knowing that it is difficult to find children that enthusiastically play chess and, at the same time, are bad school performers. Parents like that idea. So chess, a very old game, that had enjoyed an almost monopolistic domination in the Western “gaming” world throughout the previous millennial, and that had gone trough some rough times and the end of the previous century, has a bright future.

While Paris has a sound base of many school-playing kids, the “High Level” or “Talent Pool”, had, so far, not received much attention. The Paris International Chess Team is filling that gap. It will give the young talented players of the city the possibility to see where they stand internationally, meet other cultures, see places, and meet other play-styles. The first edition of the PICT team still only counts players that have already participated in one or more national French youth championships. Competition is clearly not new to them! Here is some information about the players individually:

  • Adrien Rodriguez (Lutèce Echecs). Adrien is an International chess Master and has the highest rating of the tournament. He has participated in the European and World Youth Championships in 2014.
  • Etienne Albaric (Lutèce Echecs) was the winner of the prestigious 2014/2015 Youth Chess Festival in the Paris Region (Rapid).
  • Oscar Chemla (Nomad Echecs). Oscar has participated several times in the French national Youth Championship.
  • Leo Boitel (Nomad Echecs). With his club friend Oscar, Leo has qualified several times for the French national Youth Championship.
  • Alexandre Rachid (le Petit Pouchet). Alexander is rated number 7 in France in his age category.
  • Sarah El Barbry (Le Petit Pouchet). Sara is currently rated number 5 in France in her age category (girls) and ended runner up in the 2011 French National Championship U10.
  • Elie Verhille (Lutèce Echecs). Elie is moving up quickly in chess and ended No 4 in 2015 in the French National Championship U10 and repeated that performance with another 4th place at the European Union Championship in the Czech Republic in September.
  • Clovis Kien (Lutèce Echecs). Clovis is playing for Paris but has the double Dutch-French nationality. Despite that fact that he is the tournament’s youngest participant, he has already ended 4 times in the top 10 of National Championships in his age category, both in France and the Netherlands.

IM Emmanuel Neiman, writer of various chess best sellers (,) is the trainer-coach of the Paris International Chess Team.

Et que les meilleurs gagnent!

Paris, 10 October 2015