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Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem wins World Open to complete three-title streak in one month

Monday, July 08, 2019, 17:23 GMT+7
Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem wins World Open to complete three-title streak in one month
Vietnam's grand master Le Quang Liem. Photo: T.P. / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s top chess player Le Quang Liem won the annual 2019 World Open, an open chess tournament organized in the U.S., on Monday, claiming his third international title in one month.

The Vietnamese grand master, with an Elo rating of 2713, and American Jeffery Xiong, Elo 2691, entered a blitz match as a tiebreaker after they both earned 7.5 points following nine rounds, according to Lam Minh Chau, head coach of Vietnam’s national chess team.

According to rules set by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), applicable to a single fast game to break ties between players who have the same total number of points after the last round, the player with black pieces gets five minutes on the clock, and the other player, seven minutes.

The player with white pieces is required to win the tiebreaker, as a draw counts as a win for the black.

Liem won the draw of lots to decide who would have the advantage to choose the color, and entered the game playing Black.

After 36 moves, the 28-year-old Vietnamese successfully tied with his opponent to claim the championship, his third consecutive title in the past one month.

Liem won the Asian Continental Championship in China on June 19, and went on to clinch the title of the Summer Chess Classic in the U.S. earlier this month.

Despite the tiebreaker win, Liem still had to share the total prize of US$30,000, comprising the $20,000 top prize and $10,000 for the runner-up, with Xiong as they scored the same points after nine main matches, as per the World Open’s competition rules.

However, the Vietnamese was also given a $500 bonus for winning the decisive tiebreaker.

The World Open took place from July 3 to 7 this year, attracting 227 participants, including 36 grand masters.

Monday appeared to be a good day for Vietnam’s chess as the country’s young talent Nguyen Anh Khoi, Elo 2516, was also declared the winner of the standard chess event at the 2019 Asian Junior (Open and Girls) Chess Championship.

Khoi, 17, won the title with a round to spare at the championship that was organized in Indonesia, from July 1 to 8.

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