Bacrot started playing at age 4. By 10, young Bacrot was already winning junior competitions. He became a Grandmaster in March 1997 at the age of 14. He competed at the Candidates Matches in 2007 and won the Aeroflot Open in 2009. He passed 2700 FIDE rating in 2004, and in January 2005 he became the first French player to enter the top 10. Bacrot won an individual bronze medal at the 37th Chess Olympiad in 2006 for his performance on board one, as well as four medals at the World Team Championships.