Vietnamese chess ace selected to carry Olympic flame

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GM Le Quang Liem so far has been the only Vietnamese selected to carry the 2012 London Olympics torch in Manchester, England, in June.

Last year was a successful year for Vietnam's No.1 chess player.

The 21-year-old Liem successfully defended his Aeroflot title in Russia, won the SPICE Cup championship in the United States, finished second at the Super GM contest in Dortmund, Germany, and was runner-up at the Capablanca competition in Cuba.

Those achievements helped Liem join the world's top 30. Liem was awarded the Labor Medal Class 2 and finished in third place among Vietnam's best athletes in 2011.

Liem won two gold medals at the South East Asian Games in Indonesia in November 2011 but those two championships did not earn him points for his world ranking.

With elo 2714, Liem has slid one place to 29th in the latest world chess federation FIDE rankings.

Liem said he would be very busy this year. First, he will fly to the United Kingdom on January 22 to compete at the Gibratar contest against other top players like the world No.13 player Russian Peter Svidler, the 14th-ranked Azerbaijani shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and the 43rd-ranked Armenian Sergei Movsesian.

Liem will then defend his title at the Aeroflot event in Russia from February 6-18; compete at the Asian Continental Championships in Vietnam from May 4-13; and play in the World Chess Olympiad 2012 in Istabul, Turkey, from August 27 until September 10.

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