Vietnam chess ace beats former Asian champ

By Xuan Binh   June 15, 2022 | 01:00 am PT
Vietnam chess ace beats former Asian champ
Le Quang Liem plays Salem Saleh in the sixth round of Prague Masters on June 14, 2022. Photo by Prague Chess Festival
Le Quang Liem edged out the United Arab Emirates' Salem Saleh in the sixth round of Prague Masters on Tuesday to further ascend world rankings.

Liem played white and entered the game with an unorthodox approach to confuse the opponent. This match was heavy on tactics and both players made mistakes. However, only Liem could take advantage of Saleh's flawed play and won the match after 52 moves.

This victory once again sent Liem to the top of Prague Masters with 4.5 points, followed by India's Pentala Harikrishna with 4 points and Vietnamese-Czech player Nguyen Thai Dai Van with 3.5 points.

Of six matches, Liem won three. In the seventh round Wednesday night, Liem will play black against Harikrishna.

The win against Saleh also earned Liem 4.6 Elo, which put his real-time Elo rating at 2,722 and got him to 23rd in the world standard chess ranking. Liem is still 7 Elo away from the top 20. If he wants to reach that mark, he would need to win two and draw one in the remaining three matches of the tournament.

Prague Masters will take place from June 8 to 17 with one match played daily.

The chess festival in Prague, Czech Republic will consist of four groups of different levels. The lowest is the Open and anyone can register. The next three levels are Futures, Challengers and Masters. Liem is invited to the Masters group, along with nine other grandmasters.

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