Vietnamese GM drops to last in US chess tour

By Xuan Binh   August 14, 2021 | 12:51 am PT
Vietnamese GM drops to last in US chess tour
Le Quang Liem plays Jeffery Xiong in Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz on August 14, 2021. Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour
Le Quang Liem lost two out of three matches on the third day of Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz chess tournament in the U.S., slipping to last place.

Liem started Saturday morning (Hanoi time) with a loss against bottom placed American Jeffery Xiong. Despite playing white, Liem made six consecutive weak moves right at the start and quickly lost after 20 moves. This loss pushed him down to last.

In the next game, Liem played black against another American, Sam Shankland and lost again.

The last game saw Liem playing white against Cuban-American Leiner Dominguez, with both accepting a draw after 46 moves.

With only one point earned on the third day, Liem wrapped up his rapid chess competition with six points, peaking 10th. On the top is Japan’s Hikaru Nakamura with 12 points, followed by Italian-American Fabiano Caruana and Richard Rapport of Hungary with 11 points.

The players will continue with the blitz chess competition in the last two days of the tournament. Each win will give a player one point, while a draw affording half a point and a loss, zero. Each player will have five minutes, plus a two-second increment per move.

From Aug. 11 to 15, players will engage in nine rounds of rapid and 18 rounds of blitz chess for a total prize pool of $150,000. The champion will get $37,000 while the last-placed contestant pockets $6,000.

Saint Loius 2021 is the third and final rapid and blitz event of Grand Chess Tour (GCT), a series of two classical and three rapid and blitz tournaments. Participants are eligible to earn tour points in these events. At the end of the GCT, the top three players with the most tour points will receive a bonus of $175,000.

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