Vietnam’s no. 1 chess player, Le Quang Liem, shared the overall four-place finish with Jeffery Xiong (US) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), tied on nine points, at the Online Steinitz Memorial, a EUR30,000 20-player blitz event.
Top Vietnamese chess player Le Quang Liem.
Taking place from May 15 to 17, the FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial featured two 10-player tournaments, one open and one for women. Each player played each other twice over 18 rounds of blitz matches to decide the winner of each category.
After drawing with Dubov Daniil (Nga) in the opening round, 2013 world blitz champion Liem suffered a second-round loss against world champion and five-time world blitz champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) within 60 moves. In their second-leg meeting (Round 11), the Vietnamese star was again beaten by the Norwegian chess king, who continued to display a superior form.
Despite his defeats against Magnus Carlsen, Liem performed excellently when confronted by other competitors. On the first day, the 29-year-old player earned 2.5 points following two wins over Pater Svidler (Russia) and Anton Korobov (Ukraine), one draw against Dubov Daniil, and three losses to Carlsen, Jeffery Xiong and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
The next day of competition saw a better display from Liem as he defeated Bu Xiangzhi (China), three-time world blitz champion Alexander Grischuk (Russia) and Peter Svidler; tied with David Anton Guijarro (Spain) and Daniil Dubov; and lost only to Magnus Carlsen. These results helped the Vietnamese star climb to fourth position with 6.5 points.
In the last six rounds on Sunday, Liem won 2.5 additional points after a victory over Xiong, three draws against Korobov, Guijarro and Grischuk, and two losses to Mamedyarov and Bu Xiangzhi.
Concluding the tournament, Liem received EUR900 in prize money, corresponding to his nine-point tally. This was considered a success for the top Vietnamese chess player, as his blitz Elo rating was ranked just ninth among the ten participants.
Norwegian chess king Magnus Carlsen.
It came as little surprise that chess king Magnus Carlsen was crowned the overall champion of the Open tournament with 12 out of the total 18 points. Dubov Daniil and Peter Svidler took second and third place with 10 and 9.5 points, respectively.
The women’s tournament saw the overall triumph of Russian Kateryna Lagno, who beat a Chinese competitor in a tie-break to take the crown with 12 out of 18 points.
The Online Steinitz Memorial is held in memory of the first official world chess champion, Wilhelm Steinitz (1886).
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