Vietnam’s top chess grandmaster turned to Canada when he wanted to improve his game

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One of the world’s top chess grandmasters credits a Toronto player for giving him a deeper understanding and appreciation of the game.

Liem Le is currently ranked 21st in the world and is also a former world blitz champion. Earlier this year he defeated Magnus Carlsen on the World Champion‘s home turf in Oslo, Norway.

But Le says when he was a young player looking to improve his game, he turned to Evgeny Bareev, the top-ranked player in Canada.

Le grew up in Vietnam and became a grandmaster at the age of 15, the best achievement of any player in his country. While he received strong support from the government and sports authorities in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam, he needed an extra boost.

“At that point, no one could tell me how to improve my rating,” he said. He twice invited Bareev to Vietnam for training and insights. “I learned a lot from him.”

Le’s rating gradually improved to the proud level of 2728, making him one of the strongest players in the world. He spends most of his time coaching players at Webster University in St. Louis and says he still owes a debt of gratitude to his Canadian mentor.

Liem Le vs David Anton Guijarro, Skilling Online, 2020

How does Le break through as White?

Le played 30.f5 and after gxf5 31.Bxf5 Qh6 32.Bg6+ Black resigned.

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