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Vietnam grandmaster wins rapid chess silver at World Masters Championship

By Xuan Binh   May 17, 2019 | 03:42 am PT
Vietnam grandmaster wins rapid chess silver at World Masters Championship
Le Quang Liem competes at the World Masters Championship 2019. Photo courtesy of the International Mind Sports Association
Le Quang Liem finished second in the rapid chess category after 11 games at the World Masters Championship and improved his world ranking.

Before the tournament in Hengshui City, China, Liem had a rapid chess Elo rating of 2,706 and he was the only Vietnamese chess player invited to compete in this category.

Liem earned seven points, going unbeaten with three wins and eight draws. His wins came against Peter Leko (2,702), Lenier Domiguez (2,752) and Gawain Jones (2,622).

When the tournament ended, Liem and Domiguez got equal points but Liem took the second place because he had beaten the latter.

This is an unexpectedly good result for Liem. He had been seeded 10 among 16 competitors in the tournament. The silver medal also helped Liem increase his rapid chess rating to 2,736, ranking him 25th in the world.

The 2019 World Masters Championship is organized by International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) from May 13 to 18. It includes five sports – bridge, chess, draught, go and xiangqi with 17 categories. It has attracted 170 contestants from 36 countries.

The chess part of the tournament consists of rapid and blitz categories. The rapid championship was held from May 14 to 16 while blitz competition takes place May 17-18.

The rapid chess champion this year is Ukraine’s Anton Korobov with 8.5 points after 11 games. Koborov received $20,200 in prize money for the gold medal while Liem got $12,600.

After the rapid chess tourney, Liem will continue to compete in the blitz category. Among 16 playeres participating in this category, Liem is seeded ninth with a blitz Elo rating of 2,699.

He won the U.S. Bay Area International chess tournament in January.

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