Chessable Masters winner praised the performance of runner-up Le Quang Liem in the online chess tournament of the prestigious Champions Chess Tour system.
“My previous Champions Tour finals were against Carlsen,” So told Chess24 after the second final day. “Of course Carlsen is the hardest opponent for me, but I think Quang Liem is close to Carlsen’s level. Today’s match was not easy for me, every game was difficult. I don’t think I’m in my form yet. At the highest level, I made a few mistakes. There was a time when I thought I had to tie-break the chess. Like in the third game I played with nothing to lose, holding black but attacking. I’ll be mentally ready for the tie-break today I’m under a lot of pressure today and maybe that’s the reason for the bad result but I still want to congratulate Quang Liem for his excellent performance, future Elo is close to 2,900. This is the best tournament of his career. When he is in high form, he plays wonderfully.”
On the first day of the finals on the night of August 7, Quang Liem lost both games with black pieces and lost after only three games. The number one player in Vietnam played much better on the second day, when he won the first game. He lost the third game and was equalized, before missing his chance in the final game. The result on the second day was a draw, meaning So won the final and received $ 30,000. Quang Liem finished second, receiving $15,000. This is one of the biggest rewards in the career of Ho Chi Minh City players.
Through eight stages of the Champions Tour, So has won three times. The Filipino-American player is highly appreciated for the format at the tournament, which is fast chess and knockout. In the previous three finals, So has met Carlsen, and won two and lost one.
Champions Tour is an online chess tournament system with a prize fund of 1.5 million USD, initiated by Chess King Carlsen. Champions Tour 2021 has gathered all 10 top 10 players in the world. At Chessable Masters, Carlsen was absent for the first time because he was busy competing in the World Cup – where he won third place with a prize of $ 60,000. But, Chessable Masters still welcomes many top 20 players in the world such as So, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, or Alireza Firouzja. On the way to the final, Quang Liem defeated Firouzja and Aronian.
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