Final Spots Clinched: Le Quang Liem, Tuan Minh Le Win


GM Le Quang Liem and GM-elect Tuan Minh Le won the final two Chess.com Global Championship Play-Ins. GM’s Vladislav Kovalev and Maxim Matlakov finished second. These are the last four players who have qualified to join the incredible field of players in the Knockout Phase, including legends such as Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand.

The CGC Knockout begins on September 14, 2022.


Play-in 15

Le Quang Liem won clear first with 8.5 points, starting with a 7-0 winning streak and finishing a full point ahead of the field. In the last round, the Webster University coach defeated the eventual winner of the next Play-in, grabbing his opponent’s a-pawn early in the game and gradually leading this small edge into a winning ending.

Kovalev scored seven points, finishing third, and won the playoff by default when his opponent, GM Vugar Rasulov, didn’t show up. Kovalev won a must-win game in the last round by actively fighting off his opponent’s kingside play to win two pawns.

Rasulov won his last round against GM Sergei Azarov with clever tactical play.

By advancing, Le and Kovalev earn the chance at a minimum of $5,000 in the knockout phase along with their respective Play-in prizes of $850 and $600. Rasulov earns $400 for third place.

Play-in #15 Swiss | Final Standings (Top 10)

Number Rk Fat Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 2 GM LiemLe Le Quang Liem 2670 8.5 43.75
2 12 GM vugarrasulov Vugar Rasulov 2595 7.5 38.75
3 3 GM vladislavkovalev Vladislav Kovalev 2618 7 38
4 5 GM AlexanderL Alexander Lenderman 2618 7 37.5
5 10 FM Marco Riehle Marco Riehle 2560 7 34.5
6 50 GM Mikhail_Golubev Mikhail Golubev 2388 7 33.75
7 30 IM Coach poker Alexey Averyanov 2466 7 33.5
8 27 FM Reader777 Read Samadov 2503 7 31.5
9 22 Sattarov_Bobur Bobur Sattarov 2517 6.5 32.75
10 4 IM wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 2623 6.5 32

*Note a playoff occurs between second and third place for qualification into the Knockout Phase.

(Full final standings here.)

Play-in 16

After losing in the last round of the previous play-in, Tuan Minh Le came back in Play-in 16 and won the final round against GM Alan Pichot, finishing first with 7.5.

Matlakov and Rasulov finished in second and third, also with 7.5 points. In their first playoff game, Matlakov gained two extra pawns, but Rasulov defended actively, centralizing his pieces and creating a mating net. Matlakov had to sacrifice the exchange to escape, and the players drew.

Matlakov converted in the second game, gaining an extra pawn, a time edge, and pressure around Rasulov’s king.

In the post-match interview, Matlakov shared how he nearly withdrew from the event in the early rounds: “Today, I lost again in the second round. I wanted to throw [away] this tournament, but then I had extreme luck. In the final match, I played quite decently, but I also had lots of luck, especially in the first game when I missed this mate idea.”

By advancing, Le and Matlakov earn the chance at a minimum of $5,000 in the knockout phase along with their respective Play-In prizes of $850 and $600. Rasulov earns $400 for third place.

Play-in #16 Swiss | Final Standings (Top 10)

Number Rk Fat Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 3 IM wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 2630 7.5 42.75
2 7 GM Billie Kimbah Maxim Matlakov 2585 7.5 37
3 5 GM vugarrasulov Vugar Rasulov 2601 7.5 32
4 12 GM jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 2566 7 39.25
5 15 GM platy3 Alan Pichot 2556 7 37.25
6 1 GM ChristopherYoo Christopher Woojin Yoo 2627 7 31.5
7 38 domalchukjonasson Aleksandr Domalchuk-Jonasson 2420 7 30.5
8 20 watchdog Evaggelos Patrelakis 2486 6.5 33.75
9 45 IM Rud_Makarian Rudik Makarian 2472 6.5 32.5
10 27 FM peony rojo150 Gonzalo Navarrete 2468 6.5 32

*Note a playoff occurs between second and third place for qualification into the Knockout Phase.

(full final standings here.)


The Chess.com Global Championship is a worldwide prize event open to all Chess.com verified players. The event has a $1,000,000 prize fund and brings together players from all around the world with chess legends like GMs Alexei Shirov, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Hou Yifan, and many more. The Play-in phase consists of 16 Swiss tournaments which will award the top-two players from each event with a share of the $60,000 prize fund and a spot in the CGC Knockouts.


Previous reports:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *