Liem Le Triumphs Again at Biel International Grandmaster Triathlon

Vietnamese Grandmaster (GM) Liem Le secured a remarkable victory in the Grandmaster Triathlon at the 2023 Biel International Chess Festival for the second consecutive year. His dominant performance across the classical, rapid, and blitz formats earned him the top spot, while GM Vincent Keymer displayed an impressive performance to claim second place. The festival featured various events, including masters and amateur tournaments, Chess960, and the unique “Brain Battle Chess vs. Poker.”

GM Liem Le emerged as the clear winner of the Grandmaster Triathlon at the 2023 Biel International Chess Festival, showcasing exceptional skill and consistency throughout the tournament. The Grandmaster Triathlon is an elite eight-player round-robin invitational where participants compete in classical, rapid, and blitz chess, with scores combined to determine the final standings.

Le’s journey to victory started with a strong 5/7 score and a remarkable 2853 rating performance in the classical time control. He continued his stellar performance across all three formats, accumulating a total score of 32.5 and claiming the prestigious $11,500 first prize. Notably, Le’s strategy of ensuring decisive games paid off, allowing him to maintain his pole position heading into the blitz rounds.

Despite Le’s impressive run, GM Vincent Keymer also displayed remarkable skill, securing second place and achieving a notable rating boost to 2701. Keymer’s only loss occurred in the final round, but he demonstrated resilience and determination throughout the event.

The Biel International Chess Festival, an annual celebration of chess since 1968, featured a diverse schedule with various tournaments, including masters and amateur events, Chess960, and even the intriguing “Brain Battle Chess vs. Poker.”

One of the festival’s highlights was the rapid section, where GM David Navara and Keymer both scored 5/7, showcasing exceptional performance. Navara’s impressive display included a blistering queen sacrifice against the eventual Grandmaster Triathlon winner, Liem Le.

In the blitz section, GM Arjun Erigaisi shone brightly, securing a blazing 10.5/14 score in the 3+2 time control. This exceptional performance propelled him to the number-one spot in Indian blitz chess, ahead of none other than the legendary GM Viswanathan Anand.

The battle for the Grandmaster Triathlon title culminated with the resumption of classical chess, where Le secured a crucial win against the highly-ranked GM Yu Yangyi. The event’s outcome remained uncertain until the final round, with Keymer and Navara also in contention for the top spot.

Ultimately, Liem Le’s consistent and dominant performance led to his well-deserved victory in the prestigious Grandmaster Triathlon. The Vietnamese GM’s triumph marks a return to the elite ranks of competitive chess after focusing on coaching the talented Webster University team.

The 2023 Biel International Chess Festival provided a thrilling and memorable chess spectacle, uniting seasoned players with young talents in an atmosphere of excitement and competition. With a total prize fund of approximately $32,800, the event celebrated the rich tradition and global appeal of chess.


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