FIDE Master (2003); IM (2006); GM (2006). U14 World Champion (2005); Asian Blitz Champion (2013); World Blitz Champion (2013).
Lê Quang Liêm was born in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and learned chess at the age of 7. He earned his Grandmaster title in early July 2006 when he was 15 years and 3 months old. He has also been the world's number 1 Junior (U20).
Consistently scoring well in international youth championships, he placed second in the World Youth Championship (U12) in Halkidiki, Greece in 2003, and then won the Under-16 Asian Championship in July 2004 in Iran, the Asian Youth Open U14 in December 2004, and the Under-14 World Youth Chess Championship staged in Belfort, France in July 2005.
Lê Quang Liêm's results in subsequent international tournaments has also been consistent. After doing relatively well (=4) in the 3rd Singapore Masters International Open Tournament and the Aeroflot Open 2007 A2 (=6), in April 2007, he tied for first in the Vietnam Chess Championship 2007 with Anh Dung Nguyen, winning on countback. Following this, in May 2008, he tied for first in the 2nd Philippine International Open, in August/September 2008, he won the 1st Dragon Capital Vietnam Chess Open with 7.0/9 ahead of Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Wesley So who were equal second, and in October 2008 came in half a point behind the 5 joint winners of the World Youth Chess Championships 2008 - Open 18 held in Vung Tau, Vietnam.
In 2009 he won the 2nd Vietnam Dragon Capital Chess Open 2009 with 8/9. Also in 2009, he won the 4th Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament (2009) with 8/10 ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (defeating that player in their individual game), the Zhejiang Lishui Xingqiu Open with 7.5/9, and placed equal third in the 8th Asian Continental Individual Open Championship.
In February 2010, Lê Quang Liêm tied for first in the Moscow Open (2010) with Konstantin Chernyshov, Evgeny Bareev, and Ernesto Inarkiev, with the first two mentioned taking the first and second places on countback. Immediately afterwards, he won the 9th Aeroflot Open (2010) with 7/9 and a 2872 performance rating, thereby attracting an invitation to Dortmund (2010). In March 2010, he won the Vietnam Chess Championship , and in April 2010, he took equal second behind Ni Hua at the 9th Asian Continental Men's Chess Championship held in the Philippines. In his inaugural top-flight tournament, Dortmund (2010), and with 5.5/10 and a 2775 performance rating, Lê took outright second place behind Ruslan Ponomariov and ahead of Vladimir Kramnik, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Arkadij Naiditsch, and Peter Leko. A few months later he came =1st (2nd on count back behind Zhao Jun) at the 1st Campomanes Memorial Cup Open with 7/9, and entered the 2700 club on the live rating list for the first time. 2010 finished with a poor showing in the Asian Games where he scored one draw in five rounds, losing 25 ELO. After a poor start in the Tata Steel Group B (2011), Lê regained some form and finished strongly to come =4th with +5 -3 =5 and a 2715 performance rating. He continued his good form by successfully defending the Aeroflot Open (2011), winning with 6.5/9 (+5 -1 =3) on tiebreak ahead of Evgeny Tomashevsky and Nikita Vitiugov; his performance rating for the tournament was 2809. In May he scored equal first with Vassily Ivanchuk (who won on tiebreaks) in the 46th Capablanca Memorial (2011) and in July he came outright second in the category 20 Dortmund (2011) with 5.5/10 (TPR 2770) behind Kramnik, repeating his 2010 success at the same tournament. In October 2011, Lê came =6th in the 1st Qinhuangdao Open Chess Tournament but then followed up by winning the SPICE Cup (2011) in the last round by winning a brilliant game against front runner Leinier Dominguez Perez, his final score being 6.5/10 (+4 -1 =5 for a TPR of 2753).
Lê Quang Liêm competed for Vietnam at the Chess Olympiads in 2006 (board 4), 2008 (board 2), 2010 (board 1), 2012 (board 1) and 2014 (board 1). He also played in the World Chess Cup (2007) and World Cup (2009), but on both occasions was knocked out in the first round by Andrei Volokitin and Vladislav Tkachiev respectively. Qualifying through his results in the 2011 Asian Continental championship, Lê has fared better at the World Cup (2011), defeating Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto in the first round, and Russian GM Boris Grachev in the second round before being eliminated in the third round tiebreaker by Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista.
2012 began well for Lê, scoring 7/10 at Tradewise Gibraltar (2012), but then fared poorly at Aeroflot Open (2012), scoring 4/9 and shedding enough rating points to reduce his rating to below 2700. A strong showing at the 2nd HD Bank Cup Open in March 2012, where he scored 7.5/9 to place outright second behind Ni Hua, restored him temporarily to the 2700 club, but meagre performances in the early rounds of the Chinese League (2012) and in the Asian Continental Chess Championship (2012) (5.5/9) were not entirely redressed by good results in the Asian Nations Cup 2012 (6/8) and in the French Top 12 League (6.5/10). Consequently he sat just outside the 2700 club until a splendid performance for Vietnam at the Chess Olympiad (2012) in Istanbul, where he scored 8/10 (TPR 2787), coming in fifth on first board. He then came in =2nd with Ding Liren on 5.5/10 at the SPICE Cup (2012). Shortly after the end of the tournament, it was announced he would be the latest addition to the SPICE program at Webster University, commencing in the fall of 2013. (1) In November he competed in the Fujairah Tournament in the UAE, scoring a par-for-rating 6/9. 2013 started with a solid, if modest, 7/10 at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2013). In March he surged to an outright win in the HD Bank Open that was held in Ho Chi Minh City, with a score of 7.5/9 (+6 =3) and followed up with =2nd (4th on tiebreak) at the Asian Continental Championship 2013, thereby qualifying for the World Cup (2013) where beat Oliver Barbosa in the first round, Spanish #1 Francisco Vallejo Pons in the second round and Russian GM Alexander Grischuk in the third round. However, he was eliminated in the Round of 16 (fourth round) by Russian GM Peter Svidler in the rapid game tiebreaker.
Le placed outright 4th at the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2013) with 10/15. He then went on to win the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2013) at the event with 20.5/30 points. He ushered out 2013 with a 5/6 performance to help his team, Webster University win the 2013 PanAmerican Intercollegiate Chess Championship. In March 2014, he placed =1st (3rd on tiebreak) at the HD Bank International Open. In May 2014, he played top board for Vietnam at the Asian Nations Cup, helping his team to win silver. In June he competed in the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014) and the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014). In the former he scored a respectable 9/15 without troubling the leader board, while in the latter he placed 4th with 14/21, behind Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and Ian Nepomniachtchi. Since this his form lapsed during the Millionaire Chess (2014) (5.5/9) and the SPICE Open (6/9), both played in October 2014. His rapid skills however remain unimpaired: in September 2014 he made a 6/6 clean sweep of the 2014 Webster Rapid, his victims including Wesley So, Illya Nyzhnyk and Ray Robson. He finished the year by helping his team Webster University A, to win the annual Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championship.
In 2015, he won Zonal 3.3 in March 2015, scoring 7.5/9, and thereby qualified for the World Cup (2015). The same month he won the 5th HDBank Cup 7.5/9. When the World Cup started in September 2015, Le defeated Vasif Durarbayli and Nikita Vitiugov in the first and second rounds, but lost to Wesley So in the first set of rapid game tiebreakers to be eliminated from the Cup.
Le's highest rating to date was 2717 in September 2011 when he was ranked #25 in the world (his highest ranking to date), and #2 Junior in the world. He reached 2717 again in April 2013 when he was ranked #27.
Live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/ Weekly blog by Lê: http://tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitr... (1) http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com.au/...
Wikipedia article: Le Quang Liem
Last updated 19 September 2015