Le Quang Liem dominates Superbet Blitz
While Anton Korobov clinched the Superbet Rapid title unbeaten, the blitz section of the tournament is now being dominated by another wild card, namely Le Quang Liem. The 28-year-old Vietnamese managed to beat the five-time World Champion Vishy Anand in the final rapid round of the event and emboldened by that victory went on to rampage through the first day of blitz rounds finishing a stunning 1.5 points ahead of the field. Levon Aronian and Sergey Karjakin were the next best performers of the day who finished with 5.5/9 and 5.0/9 points respectively. The Madras Tiger Vishy Anand and Anton Korobov too didn't disappoint and pulled off a decent 4.5/9 points each. In this report we bring you the details of first nine blitz rounds of the event.
Le Quang Liem dominated the first day of Superbet Blitz by finishing with an astonishing score of 7.0/9 at the end of nine rounds. The top-ranked Vietnamese Grandmaster started his triumphant campaign by taking down leader Anton Korobov in the very first round itself and then rampaged through the rest of the field beating Vishy Anand, Vladislav Artemiev, Wesley So, and Anish Giri. He did find himself in some trouble against Fabiano Caruana though but defended exceptionally well in a long rook endgame to ultimately force the split of point. Let us have a look at Le's game against Anish Giri where the Dutchman had the black pieces and found himself completely at loss playing the Sicilian Dragon.
Le Quang Liem - Anish Giri, Round 7
Vishy Anand had a mixed outing on the first day of blitz. He started with a loss against Fabiano Caruana in the first round but registered emphatic wins against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Anton Korobov, and Vladislav Artemiev. After nine rounds, the Madras Tiger finished with a decent score of 4.5/9 and is now placed joint fifth on the rank list along with Mamedyarov and Giri.
Vishy Anand - Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Round 2
The weakness of this idea was revealed soon after 40.Nxf3 Rd1+ 41.Ke2 Rxc1 with the move 42. Ne1! which renders the rook on c1 out of play. Vishy converted the game from here on without much difficulty and won a piece on move 50. The game was resigned only six moves later.
In the following game with White against Wesley So, Aronian sacrificed a pawn in the opening to open up lines and then built a remarkable attack on the kingside. Black however ended up blundering and losing a whole rook. The game was resigned after 30 moves.