Player Le Quang Liem fights in the quarterfinals of the online Blitz chess tournament Banter Blitz to meet Grandmaster Benjamin Bok tonight from 11pm, Hanoi time.

Quang Liem won a place in the quarterfinals after defeating Kamil Plichta, Jaime Santos Latasa and Ray Robson respectively in the qualifying round of Group B in June 2021. He reached the quarterfinals with Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Ivan Cheparinov, Adhiban Baskaran, Bok, Kirill Shevchenko and Egvenij Miroshnichenko. Eight players branched out according to the standard Elo, Quang Liem with the third highest Elo 2,709 met Bok with the sixth highest Elo 2,624.

Quang Liem hunts for tickets to the Champions Chess Tour to fight King Magnus Carlsen.  Photo: USChess

Quang Liem hunts for tickets to the Champions Chess Tour to fight King Magnus Carlsen. Image: USChess

If Bok is eliminated, Quang Liem will enter the semi-finals against Vidit (2,726) or Shevchenko (2,605). The two finalists will qualify for the next stage of the Champions Chess Tour or the San Fermin Mundial fast chess tournament. The winner of the Banter Blitz will get to choose one of these two prizes, and the runner-up will go to the other.

In each pair of Banter Blitz matches, the player plays eight games of 3+2 blitz (three minutes for the game, two more minutes after each move). The player with at least 4.5 points will move on. If they draw 4-4, they play two more games of blitz. If there is still a tie, the right to proceed is determined in Armageddon – White has five minutes, Black four minutes, no extra time after each move, Black moves on if it wins or draws.

The difference of Banter Blitz is that players need to live stream themselves when playing and comment on moves. This is the second season of Banter Blitz – the tournament run by the company Chess24 organized by Chess King Magnus Carlsen. The first season took place in September 2020 with the name Banter Series, when Quang Liem entered the semi-finals and lost to Wesley So. Despite stopping in the semi-finals at that time, Quang Liem still won a place to attend the first stage of the Champions Chess Tour 2021.

Quang Liem attended two stages of the Champions Chess Tour 2021 – a fast chess tournament system with a bonus fund of 1.5 million USD. His best performance was reaching the quarterfinals of the New in Chess Classic in April 2021, where he was eliminated by Hikaru Nakamura.

Xuan Binh

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