Local Chess Champ

Webster University Student Liem Le Named New Coach Of Webster Chess Team, Hosts Tournament At Clayton Plaza Hotel

Webster University's Gorlok Chess Team, now coached by Chesterfield resident Liem Le, recently competed to determine the 2021 U.S. Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Individual Champions, and the 2021 U.S. Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Team Champions. 

He and Webster University recently hosted an individual tournament at Clayton Plaza Hotel, 7750 Carondelet Ave., with 32 participants from seven countries. Patricipants ranged in ages 10 to 50-plus.

Liem is considered the youngest collegiate grandmaster head coach in the U.S. Under his leadership, the Webster University team won more titles than any other participating school with three national titles: 

  • 2021 US Collegiate Individual Rapid: GM Jose Martinez and GM Lazaro Bruzon are co-champions
  • 2021 US Collegiate Individual Blitz: GM John Burke is one of the co-champions
  • 2021 US Collegiate Team Rapid: GM Jose Martinez, GM Lazaro Bruzon, GM Illia Nyzhnyk, GM Aram Hakobyan formed the winning team for Webster

Liem Le originally is from Vietnam, where he was honored by Forbes Vietnam as 30 under 30 (2015). He became a Chess Grandmaster at 15 years old and has been the No. 1 ranked chess player in Vietnam and Southeast Asia since 2009. He is currently the No. 30 ranked chess player worldwide.

Liem previously served as captain of the top-ranked Webster chess team (2015 to 2017), coached by retired Susan Polgar who founded the SPICE Institute. The Webster University chess team has been ranked No. 1 in Division I College Chess since its inception in August 2012.

“The latest success of the Webster chess program is not just another set of titles; it is a continuing story of the love for the game and a commitment of our university to create the foundation for a better future through hard work and team building,” says President Julian Schuster, Webster University. “We are proud of our chess players as they, along with other athletes, continue to compete and win while maintaining strong academic performances.”

Two students, GM Lazaro Bruzon and GM John Burke, also represented the Webster team in the October 2021 U.S. Chess Championship.


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