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Lê Quang Liêm (born 13 March 1991 in Ho Chi Minh City) is a Vietnamese chess grandmaster and the 2013 World Blitz Chess Champion. He was the Under-14 World Youth Chess Champion in July 2005. He competed for Vietnam at the Chess Olympiads in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012,[1] 2014 and 2016 . In particular, his 8/10 score on board 1 at the 2012 Chess Olympiad anchored the Vietnamese men's team to No. 7 in the final standing, the highest ever for Vietnam. Vietnam entered the Olympiad ranked No. 27.[2] As of the October 2017 FIDE rankings, he has an Elo rating of 2737 and is ranked 21 among active players in the world.[3] He is currently the number-one ranked player in Vietnam.[4]

Lê Quang Liêm
Liêm during the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in 2011
Born (1991-03-13) 13 March 1991 (age 28)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
FIDE rating2726 (August 2019)
Peak rating2739 - September 2017


Chess careerEdit


During August–September, he won the 1st Dragon Capital Vietnam chess open with 7/9.[5]


In September, he won the 4th Kolkata Open Chess Tournament ahead of 13 higher-rated players.[6]

In December, Le with Vietnamese team won the silver prize at Tata Steel Asian Team Chess Championship in India, behind the host India. His personal performance is +4=1-1.[7]


In February, Le participated in the Moscow Open tournament in Moscow, Russia. With +5=4 performance, he tied for 1st-4th with Konstantin Chernyshov, Evgeny Bareev and Ernesto Inarkiev.[8]

Immediately after the Moscow open at the same venue, Le won the 9th Aeroflot Open with 7/9 (+5=4), earning him an invitation to the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting.[9]

From July 15 through the 25th, he took part in his first elite invitational tournament in Dortmund, in a field consisting of nine-time Dortmund champion and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, world No. 6 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov, 2004 World Chess Championship challenger Peter Leko, and one-time Dortmund champion Arkadij Naiditsch.[10] Facing Kramnik with the black pieces in the opening round, Le held the former world champion to a draw, and after defeating the eventual winner Ponomariov in round 4,[11] and Leko in round 5, Le finished with five consecutive draws to secure clear second place with ​5 12/10 (+2=7-1) and a performance rating of 2776.

From August 28 to September 3, he participated in 1st Campomanes Memorial Cup Open in the Philippines. His final score was 7/9 (+5=4), a shared first place with GM Zhao Jun of China. However, GM Le yielded the crown to GM Zhao via tiebreak score.[12]

From 20 September to 4 October at Khanty-Mansik, Russia, Le with the other Vietnamese players took part in 39th World Team Championship. Sitting at table 1, Le played poorly with +2=7-2.


From February 7 to February 18, he once again participated in Aeroflot Open and successfully defended the title. His score was ​6 12/9, a shared first place with GM Nikita Vitiugov and GM Evgeny Tomashevsky. At the time he was the only player to have won Aeroflot Open twice, now having been matched by Ian Nepomniachtchi in 2015. His win automatically qualifies him for a return invitation to the Dortmund Invitational, where he competed in a field that included Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, and Ruslan Ponomariov among others.

From May 10 to May 21, he was invited to play in the Elite Group of Capablanca Memorial Tournament, a very strong field of players (FIDE category 19) including reigning champion GM Vassily Ivanchuk, Latin-America's number one GM Leinier Domínguez, Czech Republic's number one GM David Navara, GM Lázaro Bruzón of Cuba and GM Dmitry Andreikin of Russia. After the final round defeat to Ivanchuk, his score was ​6 12/10, a shared first place but ranked second after GM Ivanchuk via tiebreak score.


From October 12 to October 21, he once again participated in the 2012 SPICE Cup,[13] the highest rated international invitational round robin tournament in US history (FIDE category 18) including Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren, Wesley So, Georg Meier, and Csaba Balogh. He was undefeated but finished in a tie for 2nd with Ding Liren, 1/2 point behind the winner Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. After the tournament, he accepted a 4-year scholarship to attend Webster University,[14][15] starting in August 2013.


From March 19 to March 24, he once again participated in the 2013 HD Bank Cup Open, the highest rated international open tournament in Vietnam, including Ferenc Berkes (Elo 2702), Yu Yangyi (Elo 2696), Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Elo 2647), Zhou Jianchao (Elo 2595) and other foreign chess players. He was undefeated with six wins, three draws, scoring ​7 12/9 and winning the tournament.

From May 16 to May 26, he participated in the 2013 Asian Continental Chess Championships which was held in Philippines. He finished at 4th with ​6 12/9 in the classical part and won the blitz part with ​8 12/9.

From June 6 to June 8, he took part in the 2013 World Rapid Chess Championship, held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. He finished 4th, with 10/15, behind Mamedyarov (​11 12/15), Nepomniachtchi (11/15) and Grischuk (​10 12/15). After that he participated in World Blitz Chess Championship, which he won, scoring ​20 12/30. He is the first Vietnamese athlete to achieve the world champion title.


From June 15 to June 20 Le participated in the 2014 World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Dubai, UAE as the defending champion in blitz. At blitz Liem finished fourth with +12=4-5, behind the new champion Magnus Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Hikaru Nakamura. At rapid Liem finished 19th with +7=4-4.[16]

From 2 to 15 August, Le, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, and other Vietnamese chess players participated in 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway. With +3-2=5 result at board 1 (lost to Michael Adams and Francisco Vallejo), Le lost 4 Elo rating points.[17]

College ChessEdit

Le graduated Summa Cum Laude from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, in May, 2017. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management. While at Webster University, Le played Board 1 for the national championship chess team, winning the President's Cup (chess) all four years as a student 2014 through 2017.


In March, Liem won the 7th HDBank tournament in HoChiMinh city, with total score 7 in 9 games (5+4=). This strong tournament was with participation of 2 other super Grand Masters Wei Yi and Bu Xiangzhi and many other Grand Masters as Wang Hao, Iturrizaga, ...

From 1 to 5 July, Le anticipated in World Open 2017 as the number 1 seed, but he could only finish at second place (behind Tigran L. Petrosian) with 7 points after 9 rounds.[18]

From 8 to 18 July, Le participated in Danzhou SuperGrandmaster Tournament in Danzhou, China. His result of 5.5/9 (+2=7) earned him the second place behind the winner Wei Yi and US$11,000 prize, having same point as Ding Liren but worse tiebreak.[19][20]

From 13 to 19 of August, Le was invited to the Saint Louis Grand Chess Tour top rapid and blitz event with attendance of top super Grand Masters including the return of the legendary Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. He shared the 5th places with Caruana and Dominguez. In the event he made remarkable wins against Caruana, Aronian, Nakamura and Kasparov.

In early September he joined the Chess World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia. He beat Kunin from Germany in first round but eliminated by Vidit Santosh Gujrathi from India in second round.

From 21 to 27 September, Le participated in the 5th AIMAG (Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games event in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan). He won the gold medal with 5.5 points after 7 games in individual classical category. Then he also together with Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son won the team rapid and blitz categories.


In the second Danzhou super grand master tournament with all 8 participants with elo higher than 2700, Le finished second with 4/7 (+2=4-1). The only loss of him was to Bu Xiangzhi. Le Quang Liem defeated Vidit, returning the favor from Chess World Cup 2016, and Shankland in two last rounds.

Notable tournament resultsEdit

  • 2005 World Championship (U14), Belfort (Classical) 1st 9/11
  • 2008 Dragon Capital VietNam Chess Open (Classical) 1st 8/9
  • 2009 Kolkata Open (classical) 1st 8/10
  • 2010 Aeroflot Open (classical) 1st 7/9
  • 2010 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting (classical) 2nd 5.5/10
  • 2010 Campomanes Memorial (classical) 2nd 7/9
  • 2010 Moscow Open (Classical) 3rd 7/9
  • 2011 HD BANK Cup (Classical) 4th 6.5/9
  • 2011 TATA Steel (Group B) 4th 7.5/13
  • 2011 Aeroflot Open (classical) 1st 6.5/9
  • 2011 Capablanca (classical) 2nd 6.5/10
  • 2011 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting (classical) 2nd 5.5/10
  • 2011 SPICE Cup (classical) 1st 17/10 (football score system)
  • 2012 HD BANK Cup (classical) 2nd 7.5/9
  • 2012 FIDE World Blitz Championship 7th 16.5/30
  • 2012 SPICE Cup (Classical) 2nd 5.5/10
  • 2012 Chess Olympiad Istanbul 2012 5th 8/11
  • 2013 HD BANK Cup (Classical) 1st 7.5/9
  • 2013 Asian Continental Chess Championships 4th 6.5/9
  • 2013 Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championships 1st 8.5/9
  • 2013 FIDE World Rapid Championships 4th 10/15
  • 2013 FIDE World Blitz Championships 1st 20.5/30
  • 2013 SPICE Cup (Classical) 3rd 6/9
  • 2014 HD BANK Cup (Classical) 3rd 7/9
  • 2014 FIDE World Blitz Championships 4th 14/21
  • 2015 HD BANK Cup (Classical) 1st 7.5/9
  • 2015 President's Cup (Armageddon) 1st 10/24
  • 2015 Millionaire Chess Open (Classical) 2nd 6/7
  • 2015 SPICE Cup (Classical) 1st 7/9
  • 2016 College Final Four (Classical) 1st 3/3
  • 2016 Asian Nations Cup (Blitz) 1st 4.5/5
  • 2016 Asian Continental Chess Championships 2nd 6.5/9
  • 2016 Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championships 2nd 7/9
  • 2017 HD BANK Cup (Classical) 1st 7.0/9
  • 2017 Danzhou Super Chess Grandmaster Tournament (Classical) 2nd 5.5/9
  • 2017 St. Louis, Grand Chess Tour (rapid and blitz) : tied 5th (10 players in the tourney).
  • 2017 AIMAG (Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) : 1st 5.5/7 (classical) and gold medals in team rapid and blitz categories.


  1. ^ "Men's Chess Olympiads: Lê Quang Liêm". OlimpBase. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Vietnam accomplished 7th rank at Chess Olympiad". Tuoitrenews. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  3. ^ "World Chess Federation top 100 players". Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  4. ^ Administrator. "FIDE Country Top chess players". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  5. ^ "1st Dragon Capital Vietnam chess open". 2008-09-01. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  6. ^ "4th Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament 2009". 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
  7. ^, Dipl.Ing. Heinz Herzog -. "Chess-Results Server - Tata Steel Asian Team Chess Championship 2009". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Chernyshov wins Moscow Open 2010". ChessBase. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Aeroflot Open – Le Quang Liem victorious". ChessBase. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  10. ^ The Week in Chess: Dortmund 2010 Archived 2011-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Dortmund 2010 Round 4 Archived 2012-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^, Dipl.Ing. Heinz Herzog -. "Chess-Results Server - 1st Campomanes Memorial Cup". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Vachier-Lagrave tops SPICE Cup". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Le Quang Liem to study in the US, cherishing business dream - News VietNamNet". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Dubai WRB - World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship 2014". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  17. ^, Dipl.Ing. Heinz Herzog -. "Chess-Results Server - 41st Olympiad Tromso 2014 Open". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  18. ^ VN Grandmaster finishes second in World Open chess
  19. ^ Quang Liem places second at Danzhou
  20. ^ Wei Yi Wins In Danzhou, Climbs To World #14

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Alexander Grischuk
World Blitz Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Magnus Carlsen