Le Quang Liem produced a spectacular finish to the 21st Dubai Open Chess Tournament 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, defeating Argentinian grandmaster Pichot Alan in the last round to settle for third place overall.
Vietnamese Super GM Le Quang Liem (second from left) claims third place at the 21st Dubai Open chess tournament. (Photo: UAE Chess)
Ahead of the decisive game early this morning, the door to the title had almost nearly closed for Quang Liem, with him having been half a point behind the leading group of five players. However, the ninth round took place in an extremely nail-biting manner, with all of the five front-runners missing out on a victory.
Such an exciting situation opened the opportunities for Quang Liem and those in the second group to rise above. The Vietnamese star played his best game since the beginning of the tournament, overcoming Pichot Alan (Elo 2566) after 65 moves, despite playing black.
Le Quang Liem (left) defends his International Super GM title after the tournament. (Photo: UAE Chess)
The crucial win lifted Quang Liem to the leading group of eight players with seven points as the Dubai Open 2019 wrapped up. With auxiliaries taken into account, Vietnam’s no. 1 chess player ended up in third place overall, behind the champion Matlakov Maxim of Russia and the runner-up Nodirbek of Uzbekistan.
More importantly, the triumphant results in the last two rounds of play have helped Quang Liem accumulated 5.8 Elo points and return to the group of International Super Grandmasters with an Elo rating of 2703.
Young Vietnamese talent Nguyen Anh Khoi (Elo 2484) brilliantly beat Hedman Erik of Sweden (Elo 2385) in the last round to finish his Dubai Open campaign in 20th position with six points. The 17-year-old player accumulated 4.3 additional Elo points after the tournament but has yet to finalise the goal of attaining an additional standard for the International Grandmaster title.