Vietnam chess ace defeated by reigning world champ

By Xuan Binh   April 24, 2021 | 09:25 pm PT
Vietnamese grandmaster Le Quang Liem has lost his second game of the New in Chess Classic tournament to Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen.

On the first day of the fifth event of the Champion Chess Tour, Liem entered his second game after a victory over another Norwegian player Johan-Sebastian Christiansen.

In the match against Carlsen, Liem dominated the first half with several offensive moves. However, the world champ warded off the attacks and won the game after 52 moves.

The world champion ended his first day at the online tournament with a score of 3.5 points after five victories in as many games. Azerbaijani player Teimour Radjabov is the current leader with four points.

Le Quang Liem currently peaks at 13th among the 16 players. Photo courtesy of the International Chess Federation.

Vietnamese chess ace Le Quang Liem. Photo courtesy of the International Chess Federation.

Liem lost one and drew two in his remaining three games on the first day. He drew with Japan’s Hikaru Nakamura and Iran’s Alireza Firouzja, and lost to Polish GM Jan Krzysztof Duda.

Thirteenth among the 16 contestants now, Liem is 0.5 points away from the eighthposition.

On the second day, Liem is expected to have an easier time with matches against Indian chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Azerbaijani GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Russian GM Sergey Karjakin, and English GM Gawain Jones.

Liem, 30, also competed in the first of the 10-event tour, the Skilling Open Rapid Chess Tournament, held November 22-30 last year. He scored eight points and finished 10th among 16 players, notably drawing against Carlsen.

The Vietnamese ace did not play the three tournaments in between, the Airthings Masters, Opera Euro Rapid and Magnus Carlsen Invitational.

The Champion Chess Tour of online chess tournaments featuring the world’s top world player carries a prize money pool of $1.5 million. All games are held on the website and broadcast on streaming site Twitch.

In the major tournaments, eight of 16 spots are given to the current top eight players in the series rankings. The winner of the preceding regular tournament also gets a spot if not already in the top eight. The rest of the spots are decided by wild cards.

For the final, eight of 10 spots are given to the three winners of the major tournaments and the top five players in the series rankings. The final two spots are given to the best "Tour Ambassadors," chosen by organizers.

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