Vietnamese GM records debut win against chess king Carlsen

By Xuan Binh   April 23, 2022 | 08:22 pm PT
Vietnam's chess ace Le Quang Liem defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen 2.5-1.5 in the second round of the Oslo Esports Cup Saturday.
A screenshot shows Le Quang Liem (R) playing Magnus Carlsen on the second day of Oslo Esports Cup on April 23, 2022.

A screenshot shows Le Quang Liem (R) playing Magnus Carlsen on the second day of Oslo Esports Cup on April 23, 2022.

After 15 games without winning against the Norwegian grandmaster, Liem bagged his first victory against the world champion in two of the four games.

In the first match, while playing the white piece, Carlsen made a mistake and lost his queen. He surrendered after the 39th move.

Experts are inclining towards the possibility that he made the mistake because of a mouse-slip. In fact, this is not the first time that the chess king has made an unintentional mouse-click that cost him a piece and a match.

In the second match, the Vietnamese grandmaster held the white piece and quickly drew against his rival after only a few minutes. However, Carlsen made a comeback and won the third game.

Both had a 1.5-1.5 score going into the final match, but Liem had the advantage of playing the white piece. The match proved to be a good fight, with both players constantly putting pressure on each other's defenses.

Another Carlsen mistake gave Liem the opportunity to launch a final attack, forcing the chess king to resign after the 42nd move.

Carlsen gave a thumbs up to congratulate Liem on his victory.

Last month (March 23), Carlsen had slammed the table when he missed a chance to bet Liem in a Charity Cup match that ended in a draw.

This is Liem's first appearance in a major stage of the Champions Chess Tour, initiated by Carlsen himself with a prize money of $1.6 million.

Liem received $7,500 from this win, bringing his total prize money in the Champions Chess Tour 2022 to $29,000, just behind Carlsen and world champion Jan-Kryzsztof Duda.

In the next round, he will face Indian prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, the only player with a winning streak so far in the tournament.

Oslo Esports Cup is the first major event of the grand series Champions Chess Tour, which features eight grandmasters. Of these, four are among the world 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.

Each match is a set of four rapid chess games, with 15 minutes for each game and an addition of 10 seconds for each move.

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