Vietnamese grandmaster fails to make blitz chess top five

By Xuan Binh   November 21, 2021 | 11:38 pm PT
Vietnamese grandmaster fails to make blitz chess top five
Le Quang Liem at the Tata Steel India Blitz on November 21, 2021. Photo by Lennart Ootes
Despite being the number one seed, an underperforming Le Quang Liem only peaked sixth at Tata Steel India Blitz that ended Sunday.

Before entering the tournament, Liem was 13th in world blitz chess rankings with an Elo rating of 2,774. However, just like the rapid tournament that ended Friday, Liem failed to meet expectations.

After 18 games in two days of the tournament, Liem only earned 8.5 points. He had more losses than victories and finished sixth overall. His disappointing performance cost him 88 Elo points and his world blitz ranking dropped to 43rd.

On the first day, Liem played well to gain 5.5 points after nine games, which put him in third place. But on the second day, Liem started with a defeat against Iran’s Levon Aronian. He suddenly surrendered when the game could still go both ways. He went on to earn three more points, which was not enough for him to make the top five.

Liem, 30, is currently director of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Webster University, U.S. and also head coach of its chess team.

Tata Steel Blitz took place from Nov. 20 to 21 in Kolkata, India, with the participation of 10 players. The rapid tournament took place from Nov. 17 to 19. Liem only finished eighth in the latter and lost 53 Elo points, which dragged him down to 63rd in world rapid chess rankings.

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