Long-time Moroccan ace Hicham Hamdouchi has won the French Championship after winning a tiebreak match over fellow GM Jean-Marc Degraeve. Hamdouchi has lived in France for many years after studying at University of Montpellier, but changed his federation some years back and has taken a wife in France. This Hamdouchi’s first French title and he earned it after scoring 7½/11.
Moroccan champion multiple times, Hamdouchi was the second player on the African continent to earn the coveted title of Grandmaster (after Slim Bouaziz of Tunisia). He has won a number of tournaments in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and got his breakout performance as a 16-year old at the Olympiad in Thessaloniki (9½/13) and later as a 17-year old at the World Team Championships beating several GMs. His peak rating was 2628 in July 2011.