AmericaChess player Le Quang Liem says that coaching at Webster has not only helped the students, but has also improved his own level.

– How does Quang Liem feel after a year and a half to play a chess tournament again?

– Playing chess is more fun than playing online, because of the higher attractiveness and drama.

– Which game are you most satisfied with, and which game do you regret the most in the recent St Louis super tournament?

– I am most satisfied with the victory over Mamedyarov in the game 3 fast chess. Unfortunately, the two games with white pieces were played with Nakamura in fast chess and blitz chess. Both of these games I had a chance to win, but in the end I only drew one and lost one game.

Quang Liem wears a mask to compete in the St Louis super tournament in August 2021.  Photo: Lennart Ootes

Quang Liem wears a mask to compete in the St Louis super tournament in August 2021. Photo: Lennart Ootes

– The first time Quang Liem wore a mask to compete, how did that affect his thinking ability?

– Wearing a mask when playing is a bit inconvenient, but everyone has to get used to this. The biggest obstacle is probably the fact that some players both wear glasses and masks, the glasses are often blurred, and the ability to think is not affected.

– Wesley So said at Chessable Masters that Quang Liem can be supported by members of the Webster chess club to practice to improve his opening. What do you think about this comment?

– My opening is good because I work often, especially with the students on the Webster chess team. These students are mostly Grandmasters with Elo over 2,600, which is stronger than the Vietnamese team. The regular exchange and sharing of chess ideas with each other helps everyone’s chess level be raised.

– Why did Quang Liem refuse to attend the Sinquefield Cup standard chess tournament in St Louis?

– I declined because this week is the start of a new semester at Webster School. I have a lot of work to do so I can’t stop playing for the tournament. A few days ago, I just welcomed new and old students back to school, helping them settle down. In addition, I also accepted the invitation to participate in the Aimchess US online fast chess tournament before, so if I receive the Sinquefield Cup, it will take nearly a month.

– What is your goal now with chess?

– When I compete, I focus on each tournament, each game, trying to do my best. And Elo is a long-term goal, I have to accumulate gradually.

Le Quang Liem is the number one chess player in Vietnam, and the number 30 in the world according to the standard chess Elo in August 2021. In April 2021, Quang Liem replaced former female world champion Susan Polgar as Director of Susan Polgar’s Excellent Chess Academy (SPICE), and Webster’s chess coach. Quang Liem’s ​​job is not only to train students in chess, but also to arrange accommodation, to open a social security card, to open a bank account, to decide on scholarship levels and regimes for new students. He once said that he would arrange time to attend important tournaments with the Vietnamese team such as SEA Games, Asiad or Chess Olympiad.

Quang Liem’s ​​next tournament is the Aimchess US online fast chess tournament, from August 28 to September 5.

Xuan Binh

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