Vietnamese grandmaster advances to int'l online chess semifinal

By Xuan Binh   August 4, 2021 | 11:40 pm PT
Vietnamese grandmaster advances to int'l online chess semifinal
Le Quang Liem (R) defeated Alireza Firouzja in the quarterfinals of Chessable Masters on August 3 and 4, 2021. Photo courtesy of Champion Chess Tour.
Le Quang Liem easily defeated French-Iranian chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja on Wednesday night to proceed to the semifinal of Chessable Masters.

On Tuesday, the first day of the quarterfinal, Liem defeated Firouzja 3-1. The second day put pressure on Firouzja who had to ensure a tie-break. However, he lost to Liem 0-2 and was eliminated.

When victory was claimed, Liem couldn't hide his excitement. This is the first time the 30-year-old advanced to a semifinal of a tournament under Champion Chess Tour - a 10-month long series of 10 online chess tournaments featuring top world players, with a prize pool of $1.5 million. It runs from Nov. 22, 2020 to Oct. 3, 2021. All games are held on and broadcast on streaming site Twitch.

Chessable Masters is the eighth tournament of the series. It’s held between July 31 and Aug. 8. The prize pool for this competition is $100,000, with the winner pocketing $30,000.

Liem has played in the first and fifth tournament of the series.

"Perhaps Liem should have prepared better for his celebration, but the 2-0 victory over Firouzja was really impressive," chess24 commented.

In the semifinal, Liem will face the winner of the match between Armenia’s Levon Aronian and Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Like the quarterfinal, the semifinal will be played in two days. On each day, the players will partake in four rapid chess matches. If the result is a draw after two days, they would enter a tie-breaker blitz chess match to decide the winner. Players will have 15 minutes per game plus a 10-second increment per move.

The semifinal will take place on Aug. 5 and 6.

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