Vietnam GM claims second win in major chess tour

By Xuan Binh   April 25, 2022 | 08:38 pm PT
Vietnam GM claims second win in major chess tour
A screenshot of Le Quang Liem playing Eric Hansen in the fourth round of Oslo Esports Cup on April 25, 2022.
Vietnam's top chess player Le Quang Liem only took three matches to defeat Canada's Eric Hansen in the fourth round of Oslo Esports Cup Monday night.

In the first game, Hansen played white and chose the Spanish opening to attack, while Liem defended well. The result is a draw after 60 moves.

The turning point came in the second game when Liem got to play white. He dominated throughout the game and patiently found a way through Hansen's defense, forcing him to sacrifice his bishop. Liem eventually won the game after 57 moves.

"The key point of this match is in the second game. It was intense but I finally found a way to win," Liem said.

Hansen had no choice but to win the third match, where he played white and still used the Spanish opening. However, it took a strange turn as Hansen lost his advantage in mid-game. Liem said that Hansen doesn't seem to remember the moves of the Spanish opening and used it to his advantage. The Vietnam chess ace gradually cornered Hansen and removed his knight. The game was set when Hansen only got a rook left while Liem still had his bishop and two knights. Hansen surrendered after 52 moves.

After four rounds of the Oslo Esports Cup, Liem won two and lost two. He beat chess king Magnus Carlsen on Saturday.

He has earned six points and $15,000 so far, with three more rounds to go. In the fifth round, Liem will face world champion Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Oslo Esports Cup is the first major event of the grand series Champions Chess Tour, which features eight grandmasters. Of these, four are among the world top 15. They will face each other in a round-robin format.

A player will get $2,500 for each point they earn and $7,500 for a win. The prize pool for this tournament is $210,000.

Each match is a set of four rapid chess games of 15 minutes each, with an additional 10 seconds for each move.

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