International Grand Master (IGM) Le Quang Liem has agreed to compete for Germany's Bremen chess club from next month, Liem's father Le Quynh confirmed yesterday.

Liem, 20, will leave for Germany for March 18-19 following the signing of a two-month contract with the Bremen club, allowing Liem to compete in the German Chess tournament.

The HCM City-born grandmaster will receive payment from 700-1,400 USD for each game he plays, excluding win bonuses, accommodation and air tickets.

"Liem was offered a contract by a Spanish chess club after he won the Russian International Chess Festival – Aeroflot Open in Moscow last week, but he previously signed with Bremen and French team Evry Grand Roque. Chinese Qingdao Yucai also invited Liem to play in the China's Chess League Division A, however, the agreement has yet to finalised," Quynh told Vietnam News on Feb. 22.

As the German Chess tournament is played monthly, the HCM City's player can travel forth and back between Vietnam and Germany according to the German fixtures.

The 20-year-old will also play for the Evry Grand Roque Club in the French Chess League Top 16 this June when athletes will finish their match in a nine-game format over two weeks.

The International Grand Master is the first player to win the Aeroflot Open twice in a row, which has earned him an elo rate of 2,689 in March's World Chess Federation (FIDE) rankings and a place in the world top 50.

"It's not the first time a Vietnamese player has competed abroad. Over the past years, Vietnamese players have played for Chinese teams on short-term contracts," said the Vietnam Chess Federation (VCF)'s vice chairman and general secretary Dang Tat Thang.

"A clutch of top athletes including Le Thanh Tu, Hoang Thi Bao Tram, Dao Thien Hai and Pham Le Thao Nguyen have played for Chinese teams. They both improved their skills and income from competitions abroad," Thang said.

He also added the federation always gave the green light to chess players wanting to compete for foreign clubs.

Liem was conferred the International Grand Master title following the Chess Olympiad in Turin in 2006.

The IGM said he had to overcome the pressure of his new found success to improve his world rankings at international tournaments this year.

Liem, who is a first year student at the Finance and Bank faculty of HCM City University, has to arrange time between his college studies and competitions.

Last year, Liem grabbed a silver medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China./.