4th victory brings Vietnam GM close to major chess tour title

By Xuan Binh   April 28, 2022 | 12:31 am PT
4th victory brings Vietnam GM close to major chess tour title
A screenshot of Le Quang Liem playing Anish Giri in Oslo Esports Cup on April 27, 2022.
The fourth win and third consecutive one in Oslo Esports Cup shot Vietnam's top chess player Le Quang Liem into the top three of the tournament Wednesday.

Liem went up against Dutch player Anish Giri and in the first game, despite playing black, used an error to his advantage and won.

In the second game, Giri made the wrong click on the mouse, which put him in a tough situation. Liem quickly gained the advantage and pushed forward. He sacrificed his bishop to lure Giri's king out of the defense, achieving checkmate in 37 moves.

The third game saw Liem gaining a winning advantage again, but he agreed to a draw with Giri. The result was enough to give him an overall 2.5-0.5 victory and he earned another three points to climb to third. He's currently on 11 points, behind chess king Magnus Carlsen and Indian prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, who both have 12 points.

This is Liem’s third consecutive win in the tournament after he defeated Canada GM Eric Hansen and defending world champion Jan-Kryzsztof Duda. He beat Carlsen earlier.

Liem has a chance to win the tournament if he can beat Dutch GM Jorden van Foreest in the last match, while Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa fail to win.

Oslo Esports Cup is the first major event (third overall) of the grand series Champions Chess Tour, which features eight grandmasters. Of these, four are among the world's top 15. They will face each other in a round-robin format.

A player will get $2,500 for each point they earn and $7,500 for a win. The prize pool for this tournament is $210,000. So far, Liem has earned $27,500.

Liem is the first Vietnamese to play a major event of Champion Chess Tour.

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