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|Quang Liem (left) plays black and only manages to secure a draw in the second leg.|
Despite playing white in the first leg, Liem (Elo 2,739) could not convert that advantage into a victory, losing to Vidit (Elo 2,702) after 70 moves.
The loss put an end to Liem’s 59-match unbeaten streak in the standard chess category, which started with a win over British player Stephen Jessel at the Chess Olympiad 2016 held in Baku, Azerbaijan last September.
The first-leg failure meant that the Vietnamese star had to claim the second leg if he wanted to foster hopes of advancing (through tiebreaks).
However, regardless of his concerted efforts for a resurgence, Liem only managed to play out a draw with the Indian competitor at the 40th move, which also meant his bye to this year’s tournament.
Earlier in the first round, Liem easily handled Russian Vitaly Kunin (2.531) with a score of 1.5-0.5 to advance.
By making the second round, Liem walked away with a cash bonus of US$10,000.
Liem’s best achievement at the World Cup arena was his progress into the fourth round of the 2013 competition in Norway.
Another Vietnamese representative, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, left the Chess World Cup with US$6,000 after losing his opening-round match to Adhiban Baskaran of India.