Monday , August 8 2022

Vietnam GM to play chess king Carlsen in US tournament

Le Quang Liem will play world number one Magnus Carlsen again at FTX Crypto Cup, a major Champion Chess Tour (CCT) event this month.

FTX Crypto Cup features eight grandmasters including Carlsen (Elo 2,864), Alireza Firouzja (2,778), Levon Aronian (2,775), Anish Giri (2,760), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2,740), Liem (2,728), Hans Niemann (2,687) and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (2,661). The first four players are in the world’s top 10.

Carlsen and Duda qualified for the tournament by default as they are first and second on the overall CCT standing.

Aronian and Praggnanandhaa made it to the finals of the most recent two regular CCT tournaments (Chessable Masters and FTX Road to Miami), qualifying them for FTX Crypto Cup.

Organizers also gave two invitation slots to Liem and Giri, who are fourth and fifth on the CCT standing.

Two Chinese players Ding Liren and Wei Yi also qualified for the tournament, but due to Covid-19, they couldn’t reach Miami and had to withdraw. Their slots were given to world number four Firouzja and U.S. number one Niemann.

This is the second consecutive time Liem participates in a major Champions Chess Tour event this year. The first time was Oslo Esports Cup in Norway. Vietnam’s number one player surprised everyone here by winning against Carlsen for the first time, not just in one but two games. He finished in second place at the tournament, behind Duda.

Liem did not play the recent two regular tournaments, because he was busy competing in the SEA Games 31 and two standard chess tournaments Prague Masters and Biel Grandmaster, which earned him another 19 Elo to climb to 21st on world rankings.

FTX Crypto Cup has a total prize pool of $210,000, an average of $26,250 per player. It also has a bonus prize of $100,000 awarded in Bitcoin.

The all-play-all tournament will be held on-site at Eden Roc Miami Beach in Miami from Aug. 15 to 21. With each point earned, a player will get $2,500.

2022 Champion Chess Tour is a 10-month long series of 10 chess tournaments featuring top world players, with a prize money pool of $1.6 million.

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