Gold for Le Quang Liem at World Blitz
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Le Quang Liem won the gold medal at the FIDE World Rapid Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia and took home the first prize of US $40,000. Not bad at all for two days of blitz! But it was far from easy: the players had to go through thirty gruelling rounds and in the end the Vietnamese managed to score just half a point more than three players: Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia).
The World Blitz was the second of two tournaments organized under the aegis of FIDE and held at the Ugra Chess Academy in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. It started right after the World Rapid Championship, in was fought out on June 9th and 10th at the same venue and among the same players, 60 in total, from 18 different countries.
The tournament was one big Swiss event with fifteen double rounds. This meant that each time the new pairings were known, the players would not play one, but two blitz games against each other, with both colours. Eight of these mini-matches were held on Sunday, and seven more followed on Monday.
After the first day, two players were at the top of the leader board: Le Quang Liem of Vietnam and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. They were on 12 points out of 16 games. Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) was just behind with 11.5/16, and Ivan Cheparinov (Bulgaria), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (also Vietnam!) followed, with 11/16.
After the second day, Le had collected just enough points to keep that half point lead. Vietnam's number one finished on 20.5 out of 30, ahead of three players with 20 points: Alexander Grischuk (who won the silver medal), Ruslan Ponomariov (bronze) and Ian Nepomniachtchi. The latter won silver in the Rapid tournament, but just missed out on the medals in the Blitz.
Afterwards, Ruslan Ponomariov tweeted:
Which 3 things most important for playing good in blitz? First is luck... second is luck, and third is luck! This is my secret of play :)— Ruslan Ponomariov ( @Ponomariov) June 10, 2013
Here are some of Le's victories:
World Blitz Championship 2013 | Final standings
|1||GM||Le, Quang Liem||VIE||2771||20.5|
|5||GM||Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son||VIE||2665||19.5|
|30||GM||Vallejo Pons, Francisco||ESP||2617||15.0|
|45||GM||Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan||IRI||2557||14.0|
|46||GM||Vasquez Schroeder, Rodrigo||CHI||2542||14.0|
|50||Ram, S. Krishnan||IND||2341||13.5|
|52||GM||Salem, A.R. Saleh||UAE||2538||13.0|