Vietnam chess ace defeats defending champion of Prague Masters

By Xuan Binh   June 8, 2022 | 11:23 pm PT
Vietnam chess ace defeats defending champion of Prague Masters
Le Quang Liem (L) plays Sam Shankland at the Prague Masters on June 8, 2022. Photo by Prague Chess Festival
Vietnam's number one chess player Le Quang Liem took down American Sam Shankland in his first match of the grand standard chess tour Prague Masters on Wednesday night.

After 860 days without any standard chess competitions, Liem played white against Shankland, who is the 2021 title holder. The stance was balanced until Shankland made a mistake mid-game. He surrendered after 42 moves.

This victory brought Liem back into the FIDE standard chess ranking at 26th, the same spot as Shankland, with a real-time Elo rating of 2,714. His goal is to enter the top 20.

In the second match, Liem will play black against Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo, who drew with Czech-Vietnamese player Nguyen Thai Dai Van.

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.

The average Elo rating of the 10 grandmasters is 2,693. Liem is the third seed in this tournament.

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