Le Quang Liem won the Biel Chess International Tournament 2022 in Switzerland after drawing with Russian GM Andrey Esipenko Friday.
Esipenko, who played white, had to win to go past Liem and win the title. Though he got a minor advantage in the middle game, Liem defended well and never looked like losing. At one point Esipenko spent 50 minutes on a move but still could not find a winning one.
After 42 moves Liem offered a draw and Esipenko accepted.
The players stayed back for 10 minutes and discussed the key moments of the game.
The draw helped Liem finish with 35.5 out of a possible 56 to win the title. Esipenko finished second with 32.5 followed by India’s Gukesh Dommaraju with 29.5.
Liem also won the rapid chess event but the blitz title eluded his grasp.
This is Liem’s first individual title since 2019 when he won the Asian Chess Championship, Summer Chess Classic and World Open.
He came close several times, finishing runner-up at the 2021 Chessable Masters, 2022 Oslo Esports Cup, SEA Games 31, and 2022 Prague Masters.
The win fetched him 5.7 Elo points, which takes him to 2,728 and 21st in the standard chess world ranking. Those in the rarefied world of 2,700 points and above are dubbed super grandmasters.
This is also Liem’s highest ranking ever, matching his 2017 achievement.