Vietnam grandmaster leads in first day of Chessable Masters semifinal

By Xuan Binh   August 6, 2021 | 03:15 am PT
Vietnam grandmaster leads in first day of Chessable Masters semifinal
Le Quang Liem (R) faces Levon Aronian in the semifinal of Chessable Masters on August 6, 2021. Photo courtesy of Chess24.
Le Quang Liem defeated Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian on the first semifinal day of international online chess tournament Chessable Masters on Friday.

As in Liem's two-day quarterfinal match with Iranian-French grandmaster Alireza Firouzja, the former won 3-1 against Aronian on the first day of the semifinals. The 30-year-old claimed two victories and drew two in four games.

"My opponent clearly had a better game today. I tried my best at important moments. I had a chance to win in the last game, but complicated things. Perhaps I was playing a bit slow today," Aronian said.

Liem couldn't hide his excitement after the games."I’m extremely happy with the best performance of my career against Aronian. He is a creative player and his moves are unpredictable.

"To be honest, there were times my heart wanted to jump out of my chest. But I calmed myself down and found the way back to the game," Liem said.

On the second day, Liem only needs to draw against Aronian in the remaining four games to advance.

Aronian is fifth in world rankings, having scored two world titles in 2005 and 2017. Liem is 32nd.

Chessable Masters, held July 31 to Aug. 8, is the eighth tournament of the prestigious Champion Chess Tour series - a 10-month long series of 10 online chess tournaments featuring top world players, with a prize pool of $1.5 million. All games are held on and broadcast on streaming site Twitch. The series runs from Nov. 22, 2020 to October 3, 2021.

The prize pool for the ongoing Chessable Masters is $100,000, with the winner taking $30,000.

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