IMSA Elite Mind Games: Liem beats China’s Wang Hao for rapid chess medal

Tuesday, 2017-12-12 11:17:25
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2017 proves to be a fruitful year for Vietnam's no. 1 chess player, Le Quang Liem.
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NDO – Vietnamese grandmaster Le Quang Liem settled for the rapid chess bronze medal at the ongoing IMSA Elite Mind Games 2017 in Jiangsu, China, after brilliantly outplaying the host country’s brightest hope, Wang Hao, in the last round on December 11.

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Ahead of the match, Liem was half a point below the Chinese master, making a win against Wang Hao a must for Liem’s medal hopes.

With the advantage of playing white, Liem proactively deployed attacks and dominated the game in the first 20 moves, before forcing Wang Hao to surrender within the next 20 moves, to claim third place overall with a cash prize of US$7,000.

Despite only being seeded seventh among the 12 invitees to the tournament, Liem demonstrated exceptional form, finishing his campaign with 4.5 points following three wins, three draws, and one loss. His sole defeat came in the third-round clash with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan, who secured the overall silver medal with better auxiliaries against Liem.

Russian Dmitry Andreikin, who scored the same 4.5 points as Liem and Mamedyarov, took top honours in the rapid chess category thanks to his superior auxiliaries over the Azerbaijani silver medalist.

China sent their top three rapid chess stars, Wang Hao, Yu Yangyi, and Ding Liren, to this year’s tournament; however, they were all unsuccessful in winning a rapid chess medal for the host country.

The second version of the IMSA Elite Mind Games is taking place in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, China from December 9-16, featuring competition in five sports, including Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi.

In addition to the rapid category, Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem will also participate in the blitz chess event on December 12-13 and the Basque chess competition on the following two days.