|Lê Quang Liêm (right) draws Ruslan Ponomariov in the first round match of the 8th Hainan Danzhou Super Grandmaster Chess Tournament in China on Sunday. — Photo nongnghiep.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Lê Quang Liêm tied with Ruslan Ponomariov in the first round of the 8th Hainan Danzhou Super Grandmaster Chess Tournament in China on Sunday.
Vietnamese Liêm is a former world blitz chess champion while Ukraine’s Ponomariov was world champion from 2002-04.
The two rivals met seven times prior to the Chinese event.
In the Hainan Island match, Liêm took the early advantage in a match that was delayed for nearly four hours due to Ponomariov’s poor health.
Liêm played aggressively but Ponomariov defended well, leading to a balanced game that the two agreed was a draw after 40 moves.
Liêm, who ranks fifth among 10 masters after the first match, will meet Chinese Ding Liren in the second match. Liren is at second position after a draw against his countryman Wang Hao.
Ponomariov is seventh and will play Wei Yi of China in the next round. Yi, the youngest master, is the only player who won in the first round.
The eighth super grandmaster tournament runs from July 9-19 with 10 masters in Danzhou on the island province of Hainan.
Players compete in a single round-robin system that features five international grandmasters and the top Chinese players.
The total prize fund is US$60,000, with $20,000 for the winner. — VNS