Reports | October 27, 2011 9:13

Le Quang Liem wins 5th SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Texas

Le Quang Liem wins 5th SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Texas

Le Quang Liem won the 5th SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Texas. The Vietnamese grandmaster defeated Leinier Dominuez of Cuba in the last round and finished on 17 points (in the football score, which was used in Texas) or 6.5/10 (in the traditional score).

Susan Polgar hands the cup to Le Quang Liem

Event 5th SPICE Cup | PGN via TWIC
Dates October 15th-25nd, 2011
Location Lubbock, Texas, USA
System 6-player double round robin
Players Le Quang Liem, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Georg Meier, Ray Robson, Sebastien Feller and Yuri Shulman
Rate of play

90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1

The 5th SPICE Cup, hosted by the Texas Tech University and the Susan Polgar Foundation, took place October 15-25 in Lubbock, Texas. 'SPICE' stands for 'Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence' at the Texas Tech University. This year’s festival had three closed groups (round robins), a FIDE Open, a Scholastic Championship, and an Invitational Blitz.

The A group was a 6-player double round robin with an average rating of 2656 FIDE, which meant it was the highest rated robin ever held in the USA. There were some special rules in effect: no draw offers were allowed before move 30, and the football score was used, with 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw.

After nine rounds, Dominguez (Cuba) was leading the field with 15 points, followed by Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) and Meier (Germany) with 14 each. In the final round, the two top seeded players from Cuba and Vietnam faced each other while Meier, who played Feller with Black, still had a chance to win the tournament outright as well. The Frechman and the German drew, but Le Quang Liem won a spectacular game to clinch tournament victory.

This crucial game was in fact treated in issue #147 of ChessVibes Openings, which we published yesterday (yes, our magazine always deals with the most important theoretical developments of the past week). We'll give the analysis and theoretical explanation by IMs Merijn van Delft & Robert Ris as an occasional freebee, and hope that this might get you interested in subscribing! :-)

PGN string

SPICE Cup 2011 | Group A | Round 10 (Final) Standings

1. Le, Quang Liem g VIE 2717 * * 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 17 2753
2. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2710 1 0 * * ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 15 2716
3. Meier, Georg g GER 2648 0 ½ ½ ½ * * ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 15 2729
4. Robson, Ray g USA 2583 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 * * 1 ½ ½ 1 11 2634
5. Feller, Sebastien g FRA 2668 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ * * 0 1 9 2581
6. Shulman, Yuri g USA 2608 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 0 * * 7 2516

The other two invitational groups were 10-player, single round robins. The B group was won by GM Anatoly Bykhovsky from Israel, who scored an undefeated 6.5 out of 9. IM Roberto Morgranzini of Italy came second and scored his first GM norm. GM Ben Finegold won the C group, also with 6.5 of 9.

It's remarkable that after five editions there still doesn't seem to be an official website. However, you might find more information on Susan Polgar's blog.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Bert de Bruut's picture

The choice to pick Feller as a replacement supposedly should be seen as a statement. But of what exactly? Though the ban is on judicial-formal grounds not in effect for the moment, I suppose 99% of chessplayers consider Feller guilty anyway, considering the evidence given by the French Federation (mass SMS texting). Anyone knows what Susan Polgar's take is on the issue?

jo's picture

how do you suppose 99% of blah blah blah and is it important in your supposition whether Polgar is one of your imagined 99% or imagined 1%

Thomas's picture

Indeed, (as TWIC had mentioned) Feller was a late replacement for Onischuk who had to drop out due to family reasons. I am not so sure that it was a _deliberate_ statement, maybe he just happened to be (the only one) available at short notice? Makes sense from his point of view to play whenever and wherever he's still welcome.

On the other hand, it may still have been viewed as a "statement" - and the prize they paid was that the event was relatively ignored by major chess websites while it was underway? Only German Chessbase mentioned it, certainly because Georg Meier was participating and doing rather well.

Peter Doggers's picture

Missed that Feller was a replacement, so that certainly wasn't the reason I didn't report about the event earlier. :-) I must say things get a lot easier when tournaments have a proper site and send the occasional press release...

Thomas's picture

IMO it would have been worse, and a clearer "statement" if Feller had been part of the field from the very beginning. It could also imply that he, like Georg Meier, might attend university in the USA in the near future. This is what I had actually assumed until TWIC mentioned that Feller was a late replacement.

As to lack of website and press releases: I guess this was Susan Polgar's attempt to create extra web traffic for her personal blog ... .

Everlasting Patzer's picture

Double round-robin system is the best system to match the player's strengths.

Anonymous's picture

Grand Master Le is steadily making a good name for himself. Congrat's.

PP (nl)'s picture

"The A group was a 6-player double round robin with an average rating of 2656 FIDE, which meant it was the highest rated robin ever held in the USA."

How is this possible? The USA! The promised land! Here in the Netherlands we have several of these tournaments every year. Is it so bad for chess over there?

Juan's picture

Excluding China and India (probably missing another) chess isn't a very popular sport outside Europe.

Alex Wohl's picture

You are missing the Philippines, Indonesia, Cuba, former Soviet countries and probably several others.

Juan's picture

Oh right, Cuba is a good example, I have never heard about chess being famous on Philippines and Indonesia, good to know it... and about Soviet countries I thought all of them were inside Europe.

Addi's picture

Asia's first chess grandmaster came from the Phlippines, he is GM Eugenio Torre.. In fact when Anand stayed in the Philippines when he was a boy, he used to solve chess puzzles aired from a local radio. That is how popular chess in the Philippines.

Clifford's picture

Actually, it was a daily television show which was watched by Anand, Chess Today, hosted by Campomanes.

best sports books's picture

Kudos to Le Quang Liem wins 5th SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Texas.

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