Le Quang Liem is sole leader of the Charity Chess Cup 2022 after day 2 of the Prelims. The former World Blitz Champion, who is now a university chess coach, scored three wins and a draw to stay unbeaten in the event being held as a fundraiser for UNICEF. The Vietnamese Grandmaster collected 20 points and is four ahead of Magnus Carlsen and the Candidates Chess 2022 participant Jan-Krzystof Duda.
More about Charity Cup: Charity Cup 2022 participants and preview / Charity Cup 2022 live / Charity Cup 2022 video) Round reports: Hans Niemann and Liem Quang Le lead after Day 1 / Le Quang Liem is sole leader after Day 2
So far more than $51,000 has been raised as Liem racked up 20/24 points at the half-way point in the Prelim stage. It means Liem, who won an incredible 6/8 games, has all-but booked his place in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event’s Knockout.
Liem said afterward: “This is amazing. I did not expect this! I think this is my best performance ever on the Tour.”
Asked what he’s doing differently this tournament, Liem added: “I think I’m just getting used to it and I don’t have too much stress and I just try to enjoy the games, and I tried to prepare a little bit better a play a bit more practical.”
Four points behind in second is the World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who won three and lost his second of the tournament. The Norwegian is looking ominous and will also breeze into the last eight.
Indian teen sensation Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa took another big scalp in the Tour, beating world No.3 Ding Liren in the final round of the day.
He ended the day in 6th and faces Carlsen in his first game tomorrow – a re-match of the clash Pragg won in the Airthings Masters.
David Navara also had a strong day, taking two wins and two draws – including his Round 6 win over Carlsen.
But it could have been event better for the Czech No.1 after a third win in his Round 8 game against Richard Rapport slipped through his fingers to finish in a draw.
Navara sits in 10th and has a battle ahead to make the cut while the other top eight spots are occupied by Jan-Krzysztof Duda, the American teen Hans Niemann, Ding, Rapport, Pragg and Jorden Van Foreest.
The Prelim stage ends at Round 15 on Tuesday. Eight will progress to the Knockout stage and eight will be eliminated. The event is supported by NEAR Foundation and is being held as a fundraiser for UNICEF.
Next event for Le Quang Liem: Biel Chess 2022
Tune in at 17:00 UTC / 18:00 CET tomorrow for day 3 of the Charity Cup.