Vietnamese grandmaster wins Asian Continental Chess Championship

By Hoang Nguyen, Xuan Binh   June 16, 2019 | 11:50 am GMT+7
Vietnamese grandmaster wins Asian Continental Chess Championship
Le Quang Liem in the Asian Continental Chess Championship 2019 held in Xingtai, China. Photo courtesy of World Chess Federation.

Late surge enabled grandmaster Le Quang Liem to win his first Asian Continental Chess Championship title in Xingtai, China.

Liem, Vietnam’s top player with an Elo rating of 2,694, beat Indian GM S.P. Sethuraman (2,613) in the ninth and final round in 38 moves on Saturday. The win helped him go past Sethuraman, who had been leading the table after eight rounds. 

Liem remained unbeaten. In the first four rounds, he won just one and drew the rest to slump to 22nd place. But he roared back by winning four of the next five matches, against opponents that have high Elo rating like Chanda Sandipan (2,511), Lalith Babu (2,571), Alireza Firouzja (2,682) and Sethuraman. 

This is the first title win for a Vietnamese men’s player in the ACCC. Liem’s previous best result was in 2016 when he finished runner-up.

In the women’s category, Vietnam has had two winners in the past, Hoang Thanh Trang in 2000 and Vo Thi Kim Phung in 2017.

Liem received $11,000 for his win and improved his Elo rating to 2,703. 

Another Vietnamese player, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, finished in 14th place despite not losing a single match but drawing seven.

In the women’s category, Pham Le Thao Nguyen finished in fourth place, which increased her Elo rating to 2,376 and kept her in top place in Vietnam.

The ACCC, held from June 7 to 15, was open to all players from Asian chess federations. It also served as a qualifying tournament for the Chess World Cup to be held from November 4-30 in Russia.

 
 
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