Vietnam GM runner-up at major chess tour

By Xuan Binh   April 28, 2022 | 11:28 pm PT
Vietnam GM runner-up at major chess tour
A screenshot of Le Quang Liem playing Jorden van Foreest in Oslo Esports Cup on April 28, 2022
The victory over Dutch player Jorden van Foreest put Vietnam chess ace Le Quang Liem in second at Oslo Esports Cup on Thursday.

The last round of Oslo Esports Cup was full of surprises when the top two players suffered quick defeats. Chess king Magnus Carlsen and Indian prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa were beaten by Azerbaijan GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Anish Giri of the Netherlands.

Therefore, the title chance opened wide for Liem and defending world champion Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who placed third and fourth with 11 points each.

Liem started the day with an easy win after 66 moves when he played white in the first game. Vietnam’s top player continued to put pressure on Foreest in the second game despite playing black. However, his risky moves backfired as a mistake cost him the queen. Foreest won this game after 37 moves.

In the remaining two games, both players enjoyed an advantage but couldn’t convert it into victory. The match entered the tie-break, where two blitz games were played. Liem finished the opponent when he played white and ended the match with a 3.5-2.5 win.

However, this result was not enough for Liem to win the title as in the other match, Duda didn’t need the tie-break to defeat Canada GM Eric Hansen. He got three points for this victory while Liem only got two.

Overall, Duda won Oslo Esports Cup with 14 points, followed by Liem with 13. The Vietnam GM received $32,500 as runner-up. Below him came Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa.

Oslo Esports Cup is the first major event (third overall) of the grand series Champions Chess Tour (CCT), which features eight grandmasters. Of these, four are among the world's 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.

In the CCT standings, Liem also climbed to third, behind Carlsen and Duda. This will guarantee Liem a spot in the next tournaments of the CCT.

The next event of the CCT is a regular tour that will take place from May 19 to 26. However, Liem won’t be able to participate since he has to compete in SEA Games 31 next month. After SEA Games, he will play two classic chess tours: Prague Masters in June and Biel Grandmaster in July.

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