Vietnamese chess grandmaster wins US tourney

By Xuan Binh   June 29, 2019 | 08:03 pm PT
Vietnamese chess grandmaster wins US tourney
Le Quang Liem won the second chess title in June. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
Le Quang Liem won his second title of the month topping the Summer Chess Classic in the U.S. on Friday.

In the final game, Liem, who was leading the board, needed a win to secure the title. However, he chose to play safe and drew with his American opponent Sam Shankland (Elo 2717) after 48 moves.

With this result, Liem had to see if his direct competition for the first place, American Jeffery Xiong, would win against Polish Dariusz Swiercz. A draw in that match after 30 moves handed Liem the $12,000 top prize.

The Vietnamese chess ace started the competition poorly, claiming just two points after his first five games (four draws and one loss). However, he demonstrated excellent form in the second leg, beating Dariusz Swiercz (Poland, Elo 2667), Gawain Jones (UK, Elo 2709) and Jeffery Xiong (US, Elo 2684).

With six points after 10 games, Liem won the competition and earned 10 additional Elo points.

This is his second consecutive title this month, following the Asian Continental Chess Championship crown.

The Summer Chess Classic 2019, which took place in St. Louis, Missouri, from June 18 to 28, is the second of four annual Chess Classic tournaments.

In the first tournament last March, Liem finished third among the 10 participants.

Over the course of 11 days, the competitors battled for a total $75,000 in prize money. Liem with an Elo rating of 2694 was seeded third in the tournament.

The Summer Chess Classic title is a warm-up for Liem ahead of the Grand Swiss tournament this October, which will gather 100 of the most prominent players from around the world.

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