Liem qualifies for Magnus Carlsen Tour 2 despite semifinal loss at Banter Series

by NDO27 September 2020 Last updated at 20:00 PM

Top Vietnamese chess player Le Quang Liem.
Top Vietnamese chess player Le Quang Liem.

VTV.vn - Vietnamese chess star Le Quang Liem missed out on a place in the title match of the Banter Series 2020 tournament after losing 3-6 to Wesley So in their semifinal meeting on September 27.

Despite his concerted efforts, Liem only managed to secure a solitary win (game 7) and three draws (games 1, 4, 5 and 8), while So blasted four wins to see him through.

“So delivered a brilliant form today. He played very fast and prepared well for opening moves. So deserves to be seen as one of the world’s best players at present,” Liem said after the match.

So also gave praise to his former Webster University teammate. “On some beautiful days, Quang Liem plays like a machine. At those times, he can defeat any opponent.”

In the remaining semifinal, Chess king Magnus Carlsen came from two games behind to beat Levon Aronian 5.5-2.5 and set up a final clash with Wesley So, which is slated for September 30.

Regardless of his semifinal elimination, Quang Liem has still qualified for the first stage of the Magnus Carlsen Tour 2 in November 2020, with an even larger prize fund than the US$1 million of Tour 1. According to regulations, the two finalists at Banter Series will be eligible for the Magnus Carlsen Tour 2. However, both Carlsen and So have already been invited to the tournament, causing the slot to be passed on to the Vietnamese star.

Banter Series 2020 is being held online by Chess24.com from September 22 to 30 with the participation of many world-leading players, including Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Teimour Radjabov and Anish Giri.

The competition has a total of US$36,000 up for grabs, with the overall winner to pocket US$14,000. As a semifinalist, Liem has pocketed US$3,500.


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