Le Quang Liem is World Blitz Chess Champion

by ChessBase
6/12/2013 – The Vietnamese GM is always good for a surprise upset. With many of the top blitz player in the world taking part Le Liem took the lead (with Ian Nepomniachtchi) on day one, and kept the lead on day two, challenged mainly by Ruslan Ponomariov. A win in the final round secured Gold for Le Liem, with Alexander Grischuk and Ponomariov settling for Bronze and Silver. Illustrated report from Khanty Mansiysk.

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The FIDE World Rapid Championship 2013 and FIDE World Blitz Championship 2013 were held in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) from June 06 to 10, 2013. The total prize fund of the championship was US $400,000, which also shows the high status of the tournament. The event took place in the Ugra Chess Academy, which is located in the city center. This unique three-level building, which has no sharp edges, was designed by the famous Dutch architect Erick Van Egeraat and constructed using modern energy conserving technologies.

Le Quang Liem is World Blitz Chess Champion 2013

Day one: the World Blitz Chess Championship saw 60 players from 18 countries fighting for the title. The format was three minutes for all the moves of a game plus two additional seconds per move. There were eight rounds (16 games) on the first day, and at the end Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) and Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) were in the lead, both with 12.0/16 points. The direct encounter between the two was won by the Vietnamese GM 1.5-0.5. Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) was in the third position, half a point behind.

Day two: Le Liem forged ahead of the other players on the second day, and managed to keep in front, with Ruslan Ponomariov in hot pursuit. A victory by the Vietnamese GM over Sergey Movsesian (Armenia) in the final round brought the gold medal to Le in the World Blitz championship. Ponomariov made a draw in the last round against Gabriel Sargissian.

The 2013 World Blitz Champion: Le Quang Liem of Vietnam

Grischuk, Nepomniachtchi and Ponomatiov finished the championship only half a point behind the winner. The silver medal went to Alexander Grischuk and the bronze to Ruslan Ponomariov.

Alexander Grischuk of Russia took Silver

Ruslan Ponomariov, Ukraine, finished with Bronze

The prize fund of the championships, 400,000 US dollars, was divided between rapid and blitz tournaments equally.

Final top standings of the 2013 World Blitz

Name Nat. Rtng Total
Le, Quang Liem VIE 2771 20.5
Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2858 20.0
Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2743 20.0
Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2813 20.0
Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2665 19.5
Mamedov, Rauf AZE 2718 19.5
Dubov, Daniil RUS 2655 18.0
Movsesian, Sergei ARM 2696 18.0
Andreikin, Dmitry RUS 2824 17.5
Tkachiev, Vladislav FRA 2657 17.0
Smirin, Ilia ISR 2650 17.0
Sargissian, Gabriel ARM 2723 17.0
Akopian, Vladimir ARM 2691 17.0
Najer, Evgeniy RUS 2633 16.5
Dreev, Aleksey RUS 2711 16.5
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2777 16.5
Kamsky, Gata USA 2734 16.5
Grachev, Boris RUS 2590 16.5
Safarli, Eltaj AZE 2597 16.0
Riazantsev, Alexander RUS 2606 16.0
Bologan, Viktor MDA 2650 16.0
Ponkratov, Pavel RUS 2565 16.0
Artemiev, Vladislav RUS 2584 16.0

At the closing ceremony the winners receive a trophy, diploma, flowers – and a traditional Khanty-Mansiysk fur hat. Above the gold medalist Le Quang Liem with all of the above.

Ruslan Ponomariov and Alexander Grischuk in their hats

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Alexander Grischuk compare their swag

A festive close to the World Rapid and Blitz Championship 2013 in Khanty-Mansiysk

Photos by Maria Emelianova and Kirill Merkuryev

View video broadcast and commentary

Blitz day one

Blitz day two


The games are being broadcast live on ugrasport.com and chesstv.com (live video), and on Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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