Vietnam GM off to sluggish start in online chess tournament

By Xuan Binh   February 19, 2022 | 10:31 pm PT
Vietnam GM off to sluggish start in online chess tournament
Le Quang Liem appears on the promotional poster for online chess tournament Airthings Masters. Photo courtesy of Chess24
Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem lost two of four games Sunday, the first day of the Airthings Masters online tournament.

The 31-year-old grandmaster beat Canada's Eric Hansen, drew with India's Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and lost to Russia's Vladislav Artemiev and China's Ding Liren.

At the end of the first day, morning Hanoi time, he was in 12th place in the 16-player tournament with four points.

Chess king Magnus Carlsen of Norway also wrapped up his first day with four points, finishing in 11th place.

He beat Russia's Vladislav Artemiev in the first game and drew with rapid chess champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan before losing two games in a row to Russian players Andrey Esipenko and Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Despite playing from 1-6 a.m. (China time), Liren currently leads the tournament with 10 points after three wins and one draw.

Liem, who entered the tournament as the eighth seed, will face Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland, Levon Aronian of Republic of Armenia, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Anish Giri of Holland. He will play against Carlsen Tuesday.

Airthings Masters is the first tournament of the grand series 2022 Champion Chess Tour. The Feb. 19-26 event is being held with 16 players, six of whom are in the world's top 10.

Eight players will advance to the knockout stage.

The prize pool for this event is $150,000, with the champion pocketing $25,000. A player will get $750 for a win and $250 for a draw.

Each player will have just 15 minutes per match, with 10 seconds added after each move.

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