Le Quang Liem, the number one chess player in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the International Chess Federation.
Grandmaster Le Quang Liem has been appointed the new coach of the Webster University in Missouri starting this June.
Liem will take over the position from Susan Polgar, former women’s World Champion, who has decided to retire after nine years on the job, citing health reasons and wanting to spend more time with her family in Florida.
Polgar and husband, a former Wesbter coach-assistant, have helped the university win eight out of nine most recent national chess competitions.
The Vietnamese GM used to be a team captain when he was a student at the university. He helped the team win four inter-school championships before graduating in 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in finance and management.
“Studying at Webster is one of the best decisions of my life,” Quang Liem wrote on his personal page on April 9.
“Susan and Paul consider me family. I have learned a lot from them, both in terms of chess expertise and real life. I am honored to accept this position, and begin working with students from Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE).
He said that his new assignment will not affect his dedication to Vietnamese chess.
“I will balance my schedule. For important and official tournaments like SEA Games, World Chess Cup and the Chess Olympiad, I will still be a Vietnamese representative.”
Quang Liem had been invited to the Tepe Sigeman chess tournament at the end of this month, where he could have competed with chess legend Anatoly Karpov. But the tournament in Sweden was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the latest International Chess Federation (FIDE) ranking, Liem is 31st in the world with an Elo rating of 2,709.