Le Tuan Minh Scores A Knockout In Arena Kings Season 9

Le Tuan Minh Scores A Knockout In Arena Kings Season 9

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

A week after finishing in third place, IM Le Tuan Minh earned a victory in the second week of Arena Kings Season 9 on Wednesday. He defeated GM Vugar Rasulov in a close 3-2 final (+2 -1 =2).

Semifinalists GM Oleksandr Bortnyk and GM Jose Martinez finished in third and fourth as a total of 1213 players joined Arena Kings this week. 

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Arena Kings Season 9

The tournament began with the usual two-hour arena, followed by a knockout tournament between the top 16 finishing streamers. Both the arena and knockout are played with a 3+0 time control. 

Live broadcast of this Wednesday's tournament, hosted by commentator NM James Canty III.


As GM Hikaru Nakamura was busy winning his game in the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix, today's broadcast mainly focused on Minh Le and GM Robert Hess, with WCM Rebecca Selkirk (@beccrajoy) and Chessbrah streamer Jeff F. (@LethbridgeChess) also among those receiving time on today's show.

Frustrated with himself for blowing a game, Jeff recovered by trapping a queen:

Arena Kings doesn't always mean playing someone rated the same as you, as James Chirilov (@chessbrainiac) found out with a surprise encounter against GM Gata Kamsky:

Near the end of the two hours, it wasn't certain that Minh Le would make it to the knockout as he rushed to get into the top 16 streamers. 

His effort paid off as he did reach the knockout stage with a +17 -4 =13 score. Other notables in the knockout included Bortnyk, Martinez, GM Renato Terry, GM Baadur Jobava, and FM David Czerw.


Rasulov led all titled players in the arena portion with 79 points from a +24 -4 =5 score, but had some trouble in the knockout first round before moving on 2-1.

In the quarterfinal, Minh Le defeated Jobava 2-0 in what was probably the biggest-name matchup, while Martinez had a rough start against IM Cem Kaan Gokerkan before recovering to win 2-1.

Crunchtime in the semifinals, each of which is played separately, brought Bortnyk and Rasulov together as well as Minh Le and Martinez. Rasulov began with a 2.5-0.5 showing against Bortnyk.

After that, Minh Le used his pet line, the Nimzowitsch Sicilian, to start his match against Martinez off on the right foot and win in just 19 moves, and rode it to a 2-0 win.

In the finals, the first three games were a win, loss, and draw for each player. In game four, Rasulov avoided Minh Le's Nimzowitsch Sicilian with the Grand Prix Attack, but the Vietnamese player took the lead with a win.

He then clinched the knockout with a dramatic draw in the last game.

Standings, Results, Prizes

Minh Le earned $500 with Rasulov taking home $350 as the runner-up. Bortnyk and Martinez picked up $200 each. Fifth through eighth all earned $100 and ninth through 16th received $50 (pending confirmation of fair play). Below you can see the full standings of the knockout:

 Arena Kings Season 9 | Week 2 | Final Knockout Standings

# Username Country Rating
1 wonderfultime 2944
2 vugarrasulov 2793
3-4 Jospem 2983
3-4 bortnyk_chess 2941
5-8 exoticprincess 2866
5-8 MITerryble 2835
5-8 ckgchess 2776
5-8 shreyas1609 1555
9-16 AbasovN 2967
9-16 davidczerw 2510
9-16 jack2212 2086
9-16 MikhailTal-Reborn 2003
9-16 LordGigantics 1990
9-16 ChessBruh630 1735
9-16 The_Blessed 1610
9-16 krrish118 1530

Full arena standings here.

All prizes are published in the results report here. 

Arena Kings is a weekly tournament held by It is an arena event followed by a knockout with the top 16 players which begins at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time/18:00 Central European.

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