Vietnam GM stumbles at online chess tour

By Xuan Binh   February 22, 2022 | 12:17 am PT
Vietnam GM stumbles at online chess tour
Le Quang Liem in the St. Louis Grand Chess Tour in August 2021. Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour
Le Quang Liem only managed to win one out of four games on the third day of Airthing Masters on Tuesday.

Liem started his day with a game against chess king Magnus Carlsen and played white. He deployed the queen's gambit and focused on positional play. The game remained balanced until the end when Carlsen suddenly found an advantage and beat Liem after 63 moves.

This is Liem's ninth defeat in 10 matches with Carlsen. The only time he didn't lose was in 2020, when he drew against Carlsen in the Skilling Open.

Vietnam's top player continued to lose the second match against Uzbek world rapid chess champion, Nodirbek Abdusattorov. One mistake was all it took for Liem to accept defeat.

In the third game, Liem got his only win of the day against young Russian player Andrey Esipenko after 62 moves. The last game saw Liem drawing against world number two, Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi.

With four more points earned in the third day, Liem scored 15 points and dropped to 11th. He needs to get at least seven points out of three games on the final day to reach the top eight and the quarterfinals.

After three days of the tournament, Nepomniachtchi is leading with 27 points, followed by Carlsen with 20.

Airthings Masters is the first tournament of the grand series 2022 Champion Chess Tour. The event, which takes place from Feb. 19 to 26, has 16 players and 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.

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