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Le Quang Liem wins first Asian chess championship for Vietnam

Sunday, June 16, 2019, 14:04 GMT+7
Le Quang Liem wins first Asian chess championship for Vietnam
Vietnam's chess grandmaster Le Quang. Photo: Tan Phuc / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam's Grandmaster Le Quang Liem won the Asian Continental Chess Championship in Xingtai, China on Saturday in a first for his country, after beating an Indian contender.

Liem, who is the number-one chess player of Vietnam with an Elo rating of 2,694, wowed the audience at home with his impressive performance at the championship running from June 6 to 16.

In the ninth and final round of the tournament, Liem beat Indian Grandmaster Sethuraman S.P., who had an Elo rating of 2,613 and was leading in the tourney, within 38 moves only, turning him into the winner of the championship and elevating his Elo rating to 2,703.

Before the success attained in China, Liem had had many fallbacks, bringing his Elo rating down to 2,694.

Even though he remained Vietnam’s best contestant, he ranked only second-best in the competition in China, with the first being Indian Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, whose Elo rating was at 2,707.

Even at the Asian Continental Chess Championship, Liem was off to a disappointing start with only one win and three ties after the first four matches, plunging him to 22nd place.

However, in the following five matches, Liem proved to be the best, winning four times and tying once.

As he was entering the match with Indian Grandmaster Sethuraman S.P., who at that time ranked first in the contest, Liem only stood at 6th place, requiring him to beat the Indian contender in order to be crowned the champion.

As a result, the Vietnamese chess player beat his adversary, becoming the winner of the Asian Continental Chess Championship.  

Liem received US$11,000 for his victory. 

This is the first title for a Vietnamese player in the contest as Liem’s previous best result was achieved in 2016, when he finished as runner-up.

The ACCC was open to all players from Asian chess federations.

It also served as a qualifying tournament for the Chess World Cup, to be organized from November 4 to 30 in Russia.

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