Update: 15:13 | 29/04/2022
Vietnam's No. 1 chess player Le Quang Liem bagged his fourth win in a row on the final day of the Oslo Esports Cup in Norway this morning (Apr 29), thereby finishing as runner-up with US$32,500 in cash.
In the seventh round, Liem beat Jorden van Foreest 3.5-2.5 to earn two more points for a total of 13. However, the Ho Chi Minh City born was still 1 point behind winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
Le Quang Liem claims his fourth win in a row in the last round, but it’s not enough for the Vietnamese top chess player to become the champion of the Oslo Esports Cup.
The developments on the last day of the competition opened a championship opportunity for Liem as his two top opponents, Chess King Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Indian chess prodigy Praggnanandha, were both defeated.
Therefore, if Liem could beat Foreest in 4 rapid games, the Vietnamese grandmaster would win the championship title.
Liem took advantage of playing the white pieces to defeat the world's 26th-ranked player in the first game after 66 moves.
In game 2, it was the Dutch’s turn to take the advantage of Liem's omission to go ahead and equalise 1-1 after 37 moves.
Both players had opportunities in games 3 and 4 but failed, so they accepted a 2-2 draw after 4 rapid games. Therefore, they had to go to the blitz tie-break of two games to decide the winner.
In the first blitz game, Liem let his opponent hold a draw. However, in game 2, the No. 1 Vietnamese player defeated the Dutch after only 25 moves, thanks to his surprised move in sacrificing the Queen to attack his opponent's King.
It was a pity for Liem that he failed to beat Foreest in the 4 rapid games to claim the championship when both Carlsen and Praggnanandha suffered losses in the final round.
After 7 rounds, Liem collected 13 points and surpassed Chess King Carlsen (12 points) to finish second on the final rankings after Duda. The reigning World Cup champion Duda took advantage of the slip of Carlsen, Praggnanandha and Quang Liem to suddenly rise to the top position, winning 14 points in total after taking all 3 points in the last game.
The final standings at the Oslo Esports Cup.
It can be said that Liem had a successful tournament as he is the only player in the tournament that beat reigning world No. 1 Chess King Carlsen and also defeated defending World Cup champion Duda. With 5 wins, including 2 wins by blitz tie-breaks, Liem earned US$32,500 in prize money.
The Oslo Esports Cup is the first main stage of the Champions Chess Tour 2022, bringing together eight top players, four of them in the Top 15 in the world. They play a round-robin format of seven matches. Liem is the first Vietnamese player to attend the main stage of the Champions Chess Tour.
On May 8, the grandmaster will return home to attend the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Quang Ninh Province.