HA NOI — International Grandmaster Le Quang Liem ranked second in the Aeroflot Chess Open's group A after the first round on Tuesday in the Russian capital of Moscow.
|Focused: Le Quang Liem, winner of the first match at the Aeroflot Chess Open's group A, on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut
Liem, the tournament defending champion, defeated host, and Grand Master Boris Savchenko, to pocket one point. He will next meet with Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela who beat Krisztian Szabo of Hungary.
"This year the number of masters in group A is 77, less than last year (80) but it is much more competitive. The organisers have invited many young talents such as Szabo and Vladimir Fedoseev (of Russia) and Lu Shanglei (of China) who are improving quickly," said Liem.
"The stronger the rivals, the more surprises are expected to happen at the tournament – and I have to pay all attention to each match," he said.
"Liem is the tournament No 4 seed but has gained much attention as the competition's defending champion. Too much attention could create a challenging environment, but Liem insists he feels comfortable. If he remains calm and maintains his composure, Liem could take the championship title for the third time in a row," said coach Lam Minh Chau.
Vietnamese International Master Le Quang Long also took a win in the first round of group B. Long, Liem's older brother, beat Russia's Oleg Gladyszev and will pair with Indian Suri M Vaibhav in the second round.
In the same round, Nguyen Van Huy drew in his group against Hungarian Bence Szabo. Huy, now at 54th position, will next play Russian Arseny Alavkin.
The winner of group A will receive 20,000 euros (US$27,000) while the group B champion takes 10,000 euros. The final round is on February 17. — VNS