GM Le Quang Liem wins Summer Chess Classic in the US

Saturday, 2019-06-29 10:33:21
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Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem in their sixth game at the 2019 Summer Chess Classic.
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NDO – Vietnamese Grandmaster Le Quang Liem was crowned champion at the 2019 Summer Chess Classic in the United States on June 28 – his second consecutive title this month, following the Asian standard chess crown.

>>> Grandmaster Le Quang Liem claims maiden Asian individual title

The event, which took place in St. Louis, Missouri, from June 18 to 28, is the second of four annual Chess Classic tournaments featuring international chess professionals. In the Spring tournament last March, Liem finished third overall among the 10 participants.

The Summer Chess Classic was comprised of three six-player double round robin tournaments. Over the course of 11 days, the competitors battled for a total US$75,000 in prize money. Liem (Elo 2694) was seeded third in Group A, which had an average Elo rating of 2694.

The Vietnamese chess ace started the competition poorly as he only claimed two points after five first-leg games (four draws and one loss). However, Liem demonstrated excellent form in the second leg, taking advantage of playing white to beat Dariusz Swiercz (US, Elo 2667), Gawain Jones (UK, Elo 2709) and Jeffery Xiong (US, Elo 2684).

Le Quang Liem (R) talks with David Howell after the eighth game.

In the last game on Friday, Liem managed to tie with Sam Shankland (US, Elo 2717) within 48 moves, which forced Jeffery Xiong to clinch a compulsory win over Swiercz to take the title. Xiong, however, could not capitalise on his advantage of playing white and had to accept a draw after 30 moves, joining David Howell as the overall runners-up.

With six points after 10 games, GM Quang Liem took the top honour and US$12,000 in prize money. In addition, the victory earned him 10 additional Elo points and promises to bring him back to the group of Super GM (Elo 2700+) next month.

The Summer Chess Classic crown is a perfect warm-up for Quang Liem ahead of the Grand Swiss tournament this October, which will gather 100 of the most prominent players from around the world.