Vietnamese grandmaster enters online chess cup semis

By Hoang Nguyen, Xuan BinhJuly 5, 2021 | 10:56 pm PT
Vietnamese grandmaster enters online chess cup semis
A screenshot of Le Quang Liem and Benjamin Bok in the quarterfinals of Banter Blitz Cup on July 5, 2021.
Le Quang Liem made quick work of Dutch grandmaster Benjamin Bok at Banter Blitz on Monday night to enter the semifinals.

It took Liem a mere five sets to defeat Bok, third-best player in the Netherlands. After drawing in the first set, Vietnam’s top player won four consecutive sets to win 4.5-0.5 after 47 minutes.

Banter Blitz Cup takes place from June 4 to July 10, with the participation of 64 players.

Liem’s opponent in the semifinals, to be held Wednesday, is 18-year-old Kirill Shevchenko from Ukraine. If Liem wins against Shevchenko, he will advance to the final and qualify for either Champion Chess Tour or San Fermin Mundial (SFM).

SFM is a rapid chess tournament with a prize pool of $60,000 hosted in Spain. It consists of eight participants, of which four are in the world top 10. SFM is set to take place from July 13-14. Liem may not be able to join this tournament because it’s difficult to get a visa to Spain in less than a week.

Champion Chess Tour 2021 is 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 hosted on the website and broadcast on streaming site Twitch. The series runs from Nov. 22, 2020 to Oct. 3, 2021.

If Liem chooses the Champion Chess Tour, he will compete in the eighth tournament of the series, which will take place from July 31 to Aug. 8.

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