Vietnam chess ace exits bullet chess semifinals

By Xuan Binh   March 15, 2022 | 01:16 am PT
Vietnam chess ace exits bullet chess semifinals
Le Tuan Minh plays at the Southeast Asia chess tournament in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh
Vietnamese Le Tuan Minh lost to American Andrew Tang in the online Bullet Chess Championship on Tuesday, but retains a chance in the bracket for losers.

Going up against arguably the fastest player at the moment, Minh still won the first four games. Before the break, he was leading 5.5-3.5. But Tang quickly turned the tie around after the break as he leveled 6-6 and eventually won 9-8, thanks to his impressive speed.

Tang will face world number one blitz chess player Hikaru Nakamura in the final.

Even though Minh lost, he still has another chance in the loser bracket and will play Ukrainian grandmaster Olexandr Bortnyk on Wednesday. A win will give Minh a spot in the final, where a player from the loser bracket has to win twice to become the champion.

Bullet Chess Championship was hosted by for the first time in 2019 with a prize pool of $15,000. It's considered the top bullet chess tournament in the world. In 2022, the prize pool went up to $100,000. The tournament takes place from Feb. 21 to March 17, starting from the qualifiers. Minh has a high Elo rating of bullet on so didn't have to play the qualifiers.

Minh, 26, is the only non-grandmaster in the semifinals. With an Elo rating of 2,514, he needs another chess title to become one.

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