Liem finishes second at HD Bank Open

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Vietnam's chess ace Le Quang Liem and top seed finished second at the HD Bank International Open Chess Tournament 2012 that ended in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

The men's championship and cash prize of US$10,000 was won by Chinese player Ni Hua who had seven wins and two draws, one of which was against Liem in the sixth round and the other against Vietnam's No.2 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son in the final round.

With three draws, Grandmaster Liem, aged 20, came in second with 7.5 points and took a cash prize of $5,000. The third place with a cash prize of $3,000 was shared by second-seeded Truong Son and Chinese player Wan Yunguo, each with 6.5 points.

The 47th-ranked player in the world with an elo of 2698, Liem said, "Ni Hua played excellently and deserved to be the champion. Despite a lower elo [than me], Ni Hua [aged 28] used to be among the world's top 20.

"Though I came second, I am happy with my performance at the tournament. My achievement at this event earned me four more elo to take me back to the group of super grandmasters of the world."

"The men's championship didn't go to a Vietnamese player but the Vietnamese players displayed great performances at the event," said the Vietnamese chess team coach Lam Minh Chau.

The women's championship with a cash prize of $5,000 was taken by Pham Le Thao Nguyen who earned a total of six points. The second and third places went to Vietnam's Thanh An and Thien Kim respectively.

At last year's contest, the women's championship was also won by Vietnamese player Nguyen Thi Mai Hung.

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