NDO – Vietnam’s no. 1 chess player Le Quang Liem impressively defeated reigning world rapid chess champion, Vassily Ivanchuk, after 41 moves in the seventh round of the ongoing 8th Hainan Danzhou Super Grandmaster Chess Tournament in China on July 16.
Ivanchuk (elo 2,729) was on the offensive for the majority of the match, but Liem (elo 2,726) maintained a resilient and effective defence.
As it seemed to be heading towards another draw for the Vietnamese GM, Liem seized the opportunity as Ivanchuk made mistake in move no. 37 and finished off the most experienced competitor in the tournament, for his second win so far.
Ivanchuk once beat “chess king” Magnus Carlsen (Norway) in last year’s world rapid chess championship and is also one of the most respectable masters in the current world chess circle.
The surprising victory contributes to Liem’s total of 4.5 points after seven rounds, just one point behind the leader, Chinese Wei Yi (elo 2,738), who was held to a draw by Azerbaijan’s Arkadij Naiditsch.
In the eighth round scheduled for later today, Le Quang Liem will play white against Chinese Lu Shanglei (elo 2,638), the bottom-placed player with 1.5 points, which presents a good chance for the Vietnamese star to pocket another full point ahead of the decisive clash between himself and Wei Yi.
The Super GM tournament, which is taking place in Danzhou, China from July 9 to 18, is one of the most anticipated annual sporting events in Hainan province. Since its inception in 2010, the tournament has always attracted the top chess masters from across China.
A total sum of US$60,000 is up for grabs in this year’s event, with the top three finishers to receive respective stakes of US$20,000, US$11,000 and US$7,000.
Results of Round 7 matches:
Le Quang Liem 1-0 Vassily Ivanchuk
Lu Shanglei 0-1 Wang Hao
Wei Yi ½ – ½ Arkadij Naiditsch
Ruslan Ponomariov 1-0 Vladimir Malakhov
Ding Liren ½ – ½ Yu Yangyi