Chess star Le Quang Liem wins Grandmaster Triathlon in Biel

Vietnamese chess ace Le Quang Liem clinched a well-deserved Grandmaster Triathlon title at the Biel International Chess Festival in Switzerland after holding direct rival Andrey Esipenko in the last round on July 22.

Vietnam’s no. 1 chess player Le Quang Liem (centre) wins the Grandmaster Triathlon in Biel, Switzerland. (Photo: FIDE)
Vietnam’s no. 1 chess player Le Quang Liem (centre) wins the Grandmaster Triathlon in Biel, Switzerland. (Photo: FIDE)

The Grandmaster Triathlon was the centrepiece of the festival. The eight-player tournament combined three different time formats (blitz, rapid and classic), counting towards the final score.

A win in a classical game was worth four points, with half a point for a draw. In the rapid segment, a victory was worth two points and a draw one point. The blitz was played as a double round-robin with one point for a win and half a point for a draw.

Le Quang Liem was convincing throughout the tournament, proving to be the strongest player in classical and rapid chess while maintaining his high level in blitz.

He won a total of 35.5 points out of the maximum 56 points across the three categories, three points ahead of runner-up Andrey Esipenko (Russian) and six points clear of third-placed Dommaraju Gukesh (India).

In particular, the Vietnamese grandmaster performed brilliantly in the classic segment, winning four games, drawing one and losing two, achieving a performance efficiency of a player with an Elo rating of 2780.

Chess star Le Quang Liem wins Grandmaster Triathlon in Biel ảnh 1

Le Quang Liem and his medal.

Thanks to the Biel triumph, Le Quang Liem earned an additional 5.7 Elo points to reach 2728 and resume his career-best world ranking of 21st.

This is the first individual title for Quang Liem since he bagged a hat-trick of titles at the Asian tournament, the Summer Chess Classic and the World Open in 2019.