Grandmaster Le Quang Liem claims maiden Asian individual title

Sunday, 2019-06-16 10:09:07
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Le Quang Liem receives US$11,000 in prize money for his Asian championship title.
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NDO – Vietnamese grandmaster Le Quang Liem grabbed his inaugural Asian individual title after an amazing unbeaten run of five wins and four draws at the 2019 Asian Continental Championships which concluded in Xingtai, China, on June 15.

Ahead of the decisive game on Saturday, no. 2 seed Quang Liem (Elo 2694) was trailing in second place with six points, just half a point behind the leader Sethuraman S.P of India (Elo 2613). A victory over Sethuraman in the last round would allow the Vietnamese star to finish supreme overall.

In the previous four meetings between the two, Liem won one and drew three, and in their fifth encounter yesterday, Liem utilised the advantage of playing white to seize absolute control and forced Sethuraman to surrender after only 38 moves.

The convincing triumph helped Liem to take the gold medal with seven points, thus becoming the first Vietnamese chess player to claim the Asian men’s individual crown. His previous best was a runner-up finish at the 2016 competition where Sethuraman was crowned the champion.

The overall standings of the Open category and Le Quang Liem's nine games at the 2019 Asian Continental Chess Championships.

Furthermore, with the success in Xingtai, Liem has earned an additional 9.4 Elo points and officially regained the Super Grandmaster title (for players rated 2700+) with a new Elo rating of 2703.

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Elo 2,636) was the second-best Vietnamese performer in the Open category, finishing in 14th place with 5.5 points after two wins and seven draws.

On the women’s side, the four Vietnamese representatives managed to make the top 15, with Pham Le Thao Nguyen (Elo 2370) in fourth with six points, Hoang Thi Bao Tram (Elo 2293) in 10th with 5.5 points, Vo Thi Kim Phung (Elo 2337) in 11th with 4.5 points and Pham Bich Ngoc (Elo 2167) in 15th with 4.5 points.

The 2019 Asian Continental Championships took the form of a nine-round Swiss tournament taking place from June 7 to 15 in Xingtai, China. The Open division brought together 74 competitors, with Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (India, Elo 2707) named as the top seed.