He has not participated in any rated competition for one year since his victory at Grandmaster Triathlon in Biel (2022). But in the last ten days, he has shown that he still belongs to the chess elite: Lê Quang Liêm emerged as the winner of the Grandmaster Triathlon at the Biel International Chess Festival 2023.
The Grandmaster Triathlon was a centrepiece of the Biel Chess Festival, which also included several side events. The 8-player tournament combined three different time formats (blitz, rapid and classic), counting towards the final score. A win in a classical game was worth 4 points, with 1½ points for a draw. In the Rapid (15min+5s) segment, a victory was worth 2 points and a draw 1 point. The blitz (3+2) was played as a double round-robin with 1 point for a win and ½ points for a draw.
The event was a close race between Lê Quang Liêm, David Navara, and Vincent Keymer, who took turns on the top throughout the tournament. The final round draw against David Navara, who finished the tournament in third place, was enough for Lê to successfully defend his title.
The outcome of the tournament is bitter for Vincent Keymer, although, in his fourth showing, he achieved his best placing in the Biel Grandmaster Tournament, finishing second. A draw would have been enough for him to win the title as Vincent went into the last round as the leader – but on the final day, he suffered his only defeat in the classical games at the hands of Arjun Erigaisi, and allowed Lê Quang Liêm to leapfrog him on the finish line.
Lê, who now teaches chess for the largest part, has not played a single competitive game since the 2022 Biel tournament. Nevertheless, he proved to be the strongest player in the field in the classical games with 19 points and, thanks to this result, will most likely achieve his career high in the August 2023 FIDE rating list.
Alexey Khanabiev won the Main Tournament, while Thomas Mani triumphed in the Amateur Tournament. The Master Tournament MTO goes into a tenth and final round today with Bu Xiangzhi in the lead, a half-point ahead of Aryan Chopra.
Text and photos: official website
Official website: bielchessfestival.ch/