Le Quang Liem wins 5th SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Texas

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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Le Quang Liem won the 5th SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Texas. The Vietnamese grandmaster defeated Leinier Dominuez of Cuba in the last round and finished on 17 points (in the football score, which was used in Texas) or 6.5/10 (in the traditional score).

Susan Polgar hands the cup to Le Quang Liem

Event5th SPICE Cup | PGN via TWIC
DatesOctober 15th-25nd, 2011
LocationLubbock, Texas, USA
System6-player double round robin
PlayersLe Quang Liem, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Georg Meier, Ray Robson, Sebastien Feller and Yuri Shulman
Rate of play

90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1

The 5th SPICE Cup, hosted by the Texas Tech University and the Susan Polgar Foundation, took place October 15-25 in Lubbock, Texas. 'SPICE' stands for 'Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence' at the Texas Tech University. This year’s festival had three closed groups (round robins), a FIDE Open, a Scholastic Championship, and an Invitational Blitz.

The A group was a 6-player double round robin with an average rating of 2656 FIDE, which meant it was the highest rated robin ever held in the USA. There were some special rules in effect: no draw offers were allowed before move 30, and the football score was used, with 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw.

After nine rounds, Dominguez (Cuba) was leading the field with 15 points, followed by Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) and Meier (Germany) with 14 each. In the final round, the two top seeded players from Cuba and Vietnam faced each other while Meier, who played Feller with Black, still had a chance to win the tournament outright as well. The Frechman and the German drew, but Le Quang Liem won a spectacular game to clinch tournament victory.

This crucial game was in fact treated in issue #147 of ChessVibes Openings, which we published yesterday (yes, our magazine always deals with the most important theoretical developments of the past week). We'll give the analysis and theoretical explanation by IMs Merijn van Delft & Robert Ris as an occasional freebee, and hope that this might get you interested in subscribing! :-)

[Event "5th SPICE Cup GpA"]
[Site "Lubbock, Texas"]
[Date "2011.10.25"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Le Quang Liem"]
[Black "Dominguez Perez, L."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D44"]
[WhiteElo "2717"]
[BlackElo "2710"]
[Annotator "Van Delft & Ris"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2011.10.16"]
[SourceDate "2009.02.11"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e4 Bb4 7. Bg5 Qa5 8. Bd2
c5 9. Bxc4 cxd4 10. Nxd4 O-O 11. Qe2 (11. Nc2 $5 {was played in Potkin-Shirov
(CVO 140).}) 11... Nc6 12. Nc2 (12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. O-O e5 14. Rac1 Nd7 15. Qh5
Nb6 16. Bb3 Ba6 17. Qg4 Rfe8 18. Bh6 Bf8 19. Rfd1 Qb4 $132 {Salgado
Lopez-Anton Guijarro, El Sauzal 2010.}) 12... Ne5 13. Ba2 (13. f4 Nxc4 14. Qxc4
Bxc3 15. Bxc3 Qa6 16. Qxa6 bxa6 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. O-O-O Bb7 19. Rhe1 Rfc8 $132
{Ding Liren-Yu Yangyi, Danzhou 2010.}) 13... Rd8 14. O-O b6 (14... Nc6 $2 15.
Nxb4 Qxb4 16. Nd5 Qxb2 17. Rfb1 Qe5 18. Bc3 Qg5 19. Nxf6+ gxf6 20. Rb3 e5 21.
Bb2 Bg4 22. Qf1 Kh8 23. Rxb7 Rab8 24. f4 exf4 25. Qb5 Qxb5 26. Bxf6+ Kg8 27.
axb5 Nb4 28. Bxf7+ Kf8 29. Rbxa7 Rd7 30. Bc4 Rc8 31. Ra8 {1-0 Vitiugov-Chadaev,
Taganrog 2011.}) 15. Nxb4 Qxb4 16. Rfd1 (16. Bg5 a5 $1 17. Rad1 (17. Bxf6 gxf6
{doesn't pose Black real problems.}) 17... Rxd1 18. Rxd1 Ba6 19. Qc2 {1/2-1/2
Shulman-Potkin, Khanty-Mansiysk 2011.}) (16. Nd5 $6 Qxb2 17. Rfb1 Qc2 18. Bb3
Ba6 {is fine for Black.}) 16... Bb7 (16... Qxb2 $2 {simply fails to} 17. Be1 $1
) (16... Qe7 $2 17. Bf4 $1 {and Black is in serious trouble due to a lack of
development and the absence of the dark-squared bishop.}) 17. Be1 (17. Nd5 $6 Qxb2
$17) (17. Bg5 Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Nxe4 19. Nxe4 Bxe4 (19... Qxe4 20. Qxe4 Bxe4 21.
Re1 Bd5 22. Bxd5 exd5 23. Rxe5 f6 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Rxd5 $16) 20. Re1 Nd3 $1
21. Bd2 Qc5 22. Bc3 (22. Qxe4 Qxf2+ 23. Kh1 Rd8 $19) 22... Rd8 $15) 17... Nxe4
$2 {Diagram [#] In CVO 140 we considered 11.Nc2 more critical than 11.Qe2,
based on the rather uneventful draw between Shulman and Potkin. However,
theory progresses quickly and in Le Quang Liem-Dominguez the Vietnamese GM
improved upon the aforementioned game with 16.Rfd1. After 16...Bb7 17.Be1
Black made a serious error by taking on e4, whereas the inclusion of
exchanging Rs on d1 would have avoided the queen getting trapped. Le Quang played
18.Nb5? which led to a rapid victory, though stronger would have been 18.Nd5!
which leads to a better endgame for White. In the game Black could have put up
more resistance with 21...Rf8!? and even 26...Re8 would still have been
playable for Black. Dominguez, however, simply overlooked that after 27.Rd7 e5
White can simply take the pawn exploiting his superiority over the dark
squares as well as the misplaced Q on a6. Thus, 17...Rxd1 still seems playable
for Black, although the position remains extremely tricky.} (17... Rxd1 18. Rxd1 Nxe4 19. f3 (19.
Nb5 Qxa4 {transposes to the game.}) (19. Nd5 Qxa4 20. b3 Ba6 $1 $17) 19... Qc5+
(19... Nxc3 $2 20. Qxe5 Qxa4 21. b3 Qxa2 22. Bxc3 f6 23. Qxe6+ Kh8 24. Bxf6 $18
) 20. Kh1 Nxc3 21. Bxc3 Nc6 22. Rd7 Bc8 23. Rd1 Bb7 $11 24. Qe4 Qe7 {seems OK
for Black.}) 18. Nb5 $2 ({A step in the wrong direction. White should have
played} 18. Nd5 $1 Qxa4 (18... Qc5 $2 19. Qxe4 $18) (18... Qd6 19. Nf6+ gxf6
20. Rxd6 Rxd6 21. f3 $16) 19. Ne7+ Kh8 20. Bd5 $1 (20. Bxe6 $2 Qe8 $1 $15)
20... Qxd1 21. Rxd1 exd5 22. f3 Re8 23. fxe4 Rxe7 24. exd5 Rd8 {which is
better for White, though Black has reasonable chances of establishing a
fortress.}) 18... Rxd1 (18... Qe7 $2 19. f3 Qc5+ 20. Kf1 {and Black is forced
to give up one of his Ns.}) (18... Qxa4 $2 19. Bxe6 $1) 19. Rxd1 (19. Qxd1 $2
Qxb2 $19) 19... Qxa4 20. b3 Qa6 21. Bb1 f5 ({Another option worth considering
is} 21... Rf8 $5 {removing the R from its vulnerable position on a8.} 22. Rd4
Bc6 (22... f5 $2 23. Ra4 $1 $18) 23. Rxe4 (23. Bxe4 Qxb5 $17 24. Bxh7+ $2 Kxh7
25. Qh5+ Kg8 26. Rh4 f6 $19) 23... Bxb5 (23... Bxe4 24. Qxe4 Ng6 25. Nd4 $14)
24. Rh4 Ng6 (24... Bxe2 25. Bxh7+ Kh8 $11) 25. Qh5 h6 26. Bxg6 Qa1 $1 $15) 22.
f3 (22. Rd4 $2 Bc6 $19) 22... Bc6 (22... Nxf3+ $2 {leads to an advantage for
White after} 23. gxf3 Ng5 24. Rd3 $1 Rf8 25. Nc7 Qa1 (25... Nxf3+ 26. Qxf3) 26.
Nxe6 Nxf3+ 27. Rxf3 Bxf3 28. Qxf3 Qxb1 29. Qc3 $16) 23. fxe4 Bxb5 ({Less
convincing is} 23... Qxb5 $6 24. Qxb5 Bxb5 25. exf5 Re8 (25... exf5 26. Rd5 Re8
27. Bc3 $1 $18 (27. Rxb5 $2 Nf3+ 28. gxf3 Rxe1+ 29. Kf2 Rxb1 $19)) 26. Bc3 $44
{gives White compensation for the pawn.}) 24. Qb2 Nd3 25. Bxd3 Bxd3 26. exf5
Bxf5 $4 ({Black should have played} 26... Re8 $1 {when he's doing fine, e.g.}
27. f6 Qb5 28. fxg7 Qc5+ 29. Qf2 (29. Kh1 Qc2) 29... Qxf2+ 30. Kxf2 Be4 {and a
draw will be the most logical outcome.}) 27. Rd7 $1 e5 28. Qxe5 Bxd7 29. Bc3 (
29. Bc3 Kf7 30. Qxg7+ Ke6 (30... Ke8 31. Qh8+ Ke7 (31... Kf7 32. Qf6+ Ke8 33.
Bb4 $18) 32. Qf6+ Ke8 33. Bb4 $18) 31. Qe5+ Kf7 32. Qf6+ Ke8 33. Bb4 {and mate.
[IM Merijn van Delft & IM Robert Ris for ChessVibes Openings #147]}) 1-0

SPICE Cup 2011 | Group A | Round 10 (Final) Standings

 
1.Le, Quang LiemgVIE2717**011½½½½½11172753
2.Dominguez Perez, LeiniergCUB271010**½½11½½½½152716
3.Meier, GeorggGER26480½½½**½11½½1152729
4.Robson, RaygUSA2583½½00½0**1½½1112634
5.Feller, SebastiengFRA2668½½½½0½0½**0192581
6.Shulman, YurigUSA260800½½½0½010**72516

The other two invitational groups were 10-player, single round robins. The B group was won by GM Anatoly Bykhovsky from Israel, who scored an undefeated 6.5 out of 9. IM Roberto Morgranzini of Italy came second and scored his first GM norm. GM Ben Finegold won the C group, also with 6.5 of 9.

It's remarkable that after five editions there still doesn't seem to be an official website. However, you might find more information on Susan Polgar's blog.

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