Quang Liem storms into round two at FIDE World Cup

Friday, 2019-09-13 11:06:13
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Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem has made it through to the World Cup second round for the fourth time, after 2011, 2013 and 2015. (Photo: FWC)
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NDO – Top Vietnamese chess player Le Quang Liem booked himself a place in the second round of the ongoing FIDE World Cup 2019 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, after defeating the host country’s Aleksej Aleksandrov in their opener on September 12.

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Despite being higher rated, GM Liem (Elo 2708) was held by Aleksandrov (Elo 2577) to consecutive draws in the first two classical games, forcing the match to be decided through tie-breaks.

In the first game of the rapid tie-break on Thursday, Liem utilised the advantage of white pieces to beat the Russian opponent after 36 moves. This also meant just a draw in the second game would be enough to send the Vietnamese star through.

Inspired by the win, Liem continued to take control of the second game and proposed a draw result which was agreed by 46-year-old Aleksandrov.

With an overall 2.5-1.5 victory, Liem has set up a second-round meeting against Ukrainian Anton Korobov (Elo 2679), who was crowned the rapid chess champion at the recent World Mind Games in China, with Liem having finished as the runner-up.

Korobov overcame Abhijeet Gupta (India, Elo 2609) 4-2 in the first round, winning three games and losing one in the rapid chess tie-break.

Vietnam's no. 2 chess player Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son crashes out of the 2019 FIDE World Cup right in the opening round. (Photo: FWC)

The other Vietnamese representative, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, was unexpectedly knocked out of the World Cup competition following his first-round defeat against Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko (Elo 2671).

The 2019 FIDE World Cup is taking place from September 10 to October 4, offering a total prize fund of US$1.6 million and a top prize of US$110,000. The two finalists will qualify for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020, which aims to decide Magnus Carlsen’s next challenger.