Vietnamese star begins international chess quarterfinal poorly

By Xuan Binh    April 27, 2021 | 10:10 pm PT
Vietnamese star begins international chess quarterfinal poorly
A screenshot of Le Quang Liem (L) and Hikaru Nakamura playing online at New in Chess Classic quarterfinals on April 28, 2021.
Grandmaster Le Quang Liem lost to American GM Hikaru Nakamura on the first day of the New in Chess Classic quarterfinals, and needs a win to stay in contention.

Liem lost the first match with black in 48 moves, and tried various tactics in the next three to claw a point back, but a cautious Nakamura managed to draw all of them to lead 2.5-1.5.

In the remaining matches, Armenian GM Levon Aronian is leading Philippine-American Wesley So and Azerbaijani GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is leading Iranian GM Alireza Firouzja.

World champion GM Magnus Carlsen drew all four matches with Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov.

The second day of the matches will be on Thursday.

The quarterfinals involve four rapid matches on each day with tie-breaks to be broken by two blitz chess matches and, if still tied, an armageddon game with white getting more time on the clock. If the result is still a draw, black wins.

The New in Chess Classic is part of the Champion Chess Tour, a 10-month long series of 10 online tournaments featuring the world's top players and with prize money of $1.5 million. The games are played on and broadcast on streaming site Twitch.

Among the 10 tournaments in the series, six are labeled as regular, three as major and one as the final. Each tournament is played over nine days.

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