Le Quang Liem received a scholarship from the Webster University’s
representatives after the SPICE Cup 2012.
Could you tell us about the scholarship that you have just received from the Webster University?
- It is a full scholarship for 4 years, with a value of about $ 35,000 per year, including school fees, living costs, health insurance, accommodations, etc. I only have to pay for the airfare. If nothing changes, I will be enrolled in August 2013.
- Do you know anything about this university before receiving the scholarship? What will you study there?
- I do not know much about the quality of training but the Webster University is the university with the most powerful chess team in the US, which hosts the SPICE Cup in the past two years. I will enroll for the financial faculty to nurture the dream to become a businessman. I’m studying finance and banking at the University of Saigon.
- Was it difficult for you and your family to come to the decision to study abroad?
- Actually, it is also time for me to seriously think about my studies. I have reserved three years at the University of Saigon and it will expire next year. Now I have to choose to continue to study at home or abroad. So when the Webster University granted me the scholarships, I agreed.
- What do you like about this school?
Oh, it is sure--their chess team. With the presence of two great grandmasters George Meier (Germany) and Wesley So (Philippines), Webster's chess team is No. 1 in the U.S. and its qualifications is equivalent to a world-class chess team. Being a student of Webster, I will be facilitated to play in big chess tournaments.
Furthermore there is a library with many books, articles and materials on chess, collected by Susan Polga. For professional chess players like me it is really very valuable materials for self-learning chess.
- And what are you afraid of?
- I will not be able to drop out of school or reserve to play chess anymore. Therefore, I am compelled to reduce the intensity of playing chess. I will give priority to competing at chess tournaments in the summer holidays or big competitions such as the Olympiad and the Chess World Cup.
- You have set a very high goal for yourself: entering the world's top 20 and even the top 10. Will your goal change if you have to focus on studies?
- No, chess is my passion for life, there is no reason that I give it up. Learning will surely prevent me from attending so many competitions but I will arrange time to balance between studies and playing chess. Just as Wesley So, Geroge Meier, they study and play chess at the same time. Moreover in the first year at Webster, I will surely have time to study chess.
- Recently you played pretty well in the SPICE Cup 2012, what is your schedule from now until the end of the year?
- From now until the end of the year I will only attend the world championship of cities held in Al Ain, UAE from December 21 to 29. I was invited to the Open Kolkota in India in early December but I refused because there was not enough time to get a visa to attend two important events in January. It is the 3.3 regional qualifier round in the Philippines, from January 3 to 11 to compete for the card to the Chess Olympiads 2013. Then, I'm going to England to attend the largest chess tournament in the world - Gilbrantar.
Liem is not the only athlete who receives a scholarship at an American university. Previously, the top female tennis player of Vietnam Huynh Phuong Dai Trang got a full scholarship from the Clemson University (South Carolina). Like Liem, if Trang studies at Clemson, she will play for this school’s tennis team.
Webster University was founded in 1915, based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. According to the ranking of universities in the United States, Webster is ranked 24th in the Midwest region of the United States. This is the university with the second highest percentage of foreign students with students from 50 states of the US and from 148 countries around the world.
Compiled by S. Tung