10 July 2017

Quang Liem ties with former FIDE world champion in Super GM tourney

NDO – Vietnam’s no. 1 chess player Le Quang Liem delivered a good start to the 8th Hainan Danzhou Super Grandmaster Chess Tournament in China, after drawing with Ukrainian Ruslan Ponomariov, FIDE World Champion between 2002 and 2004, in the first round on July 9.

Ponomariov is a familiar name within the world chess circle. In 2002, he beat his fellow countryman Vassily Ivanchuk in the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship 2002, by a score of 4½-2½, to become the FIDE World Champion at the age of 18, the first teenager and the youngest ever person to do so.

Liem (elo 2,726) has had a number of meetings with Ponomariov (elo 2,712) in the past, including his victory over the Ukrainian chess master at the prestigious Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Germany seven years ago, which helped him finish in second place overall, just one point behind Ponomariov.

With the advantage of playing white, Liem managed to share the point with the 1983-born opponent, after 40 moves.

It was the fourth draw out of the five matches on the first day of the tournament, alongside clashes between Vladimimr Malakhov (elo 2,722) – Vassily Ivanchuk (elo 2,738), Arkadij Naiditsch (elo 2,710) – Yu Yangyi (elo 2,749) and Wang Hao (elo 2,696) – Ding Liren (elo 2,783).

Wei Yi of China (elo 2,728), the competition’s youngest participant, was the only victor on July 9 as he brilliantly finished off fellow countryman Lu Shanglei (elo 2,638), despite having to play black.

In the second round later today, Quang Liem will play black against China’s no. 1 player, Ding Liren (elo 2,783).

The tournament, which will last until July 18, is be a 10-player round-robin, featuring Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Wei Yi, Wang Hao and Lu Shanglei from China, and Le Quang Liem, Malakhov, Ponomariov, Ivanchuk and Naiditsch from abroad.

A total sum of US$60,000 is up for grabs, with the top three finishers to receive US$20,000, US$11,000 and US$7,000, respectively.



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