IGM Liêm Quang Lê, Vietnam (ELO 2709)

Photo by David Llada

IGM Liêm Quang Lê is Vietnam’s highest ranked chess player and the current Asian champion.

In 2003, Liêm won the Asian U-12 Championship and in 2004, he won the Asian U-14 Championship and in the same year, he shared first place in the Asian U-16 Championship. In 2006, at the age of 15, he became a grandmaster.

In 2010, he shared first place in the Moscow Open and later that year, he won the Aeroflot Open with 7 points in 9 rounds (he also won the Aeroflot Open in 2011). In 2013, Liêm won the World Blitz Chess Championship, making him the first Vietnamese person to become a world champion.

He participates in the TePe Sigeman Chess Tournament for the first time.

10 quick questions:

1) How many years have you played chess professionally?
I have played chess for 24 years.

2) At what age did you learn how to play chess?
I learned to play chess at age 6.

3) Who taught you how to play chess?
My older brother was my first chess teacher.

4) What was your first big tournament success (tournament win or similar)?
At age 10, I had my first international competition. It was Asian Youth Championship Under 10 in Bikaner, India. I won silver medal. Later that year I also achieved silver medal at World Youth Championship Under 10.

5) Do you sometimes also participate in other sports/games? If so, which and at what level?
I like going to the gym and walking for physical exercises. I sometimes watch some other sports, but am not competitive there.

6) Do you have any family members or relatives that also play chess? If so, who and at what level?
My older brother (my first chess teacher) is an International Master (IM), but he only plays chess for fun. He is also a Phd and works as a research scientist.

7) What would you be doing today, if you did not play chess professionally?
I am very interested in finance and business in general. If I did not play chess professionally, I would probably be a financial analyst now.

8) What is your main strength as a chess player?
I think I have solid understanding and experience. I am also motivated to learn more and fight hard in all my games.

9) Do you have any superstitions when you sit down at the chess board before a tournament game?
Not really a superstition, but I like to use one same pen during a tournament.

10) What do you hope to achieve in the 2021 TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament?
This will be my first appearance here. I look forward to a very competitive tournament with so many strong opponents. It will be a special honor to play former world champion Anatoly Karpov. I will try my best in every game, and hope that will be enough to win the event.