International Grandmaster Le Quang Liem took the sole lead at the Russian International Chess Festival (Aeroflot Open) after seventh round play on Feb. 15 in Moscow .

Liem has scored six points after seven matches and has remained in the top position in the tournament since the third round on Feb. 11.

The defending champion, Liem, defeated Russian Mikhail Kobalia, 32, who was European Youth Chess Champion in 1994. The victory made Liem the only competitor here not to suffer a loss in the tournament, which follows the Swiss system's nine-round format.

His two draws were against Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia and Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan . Tomashevsky triumphed at the 10th European Championships in 2009 while Kasimdzhanov shocked the chess world by winning the FIDE world chess championship title, beating a string of world-class players.

In their previous match, Liem drew with Kasimdzhanov and lost his Asian Games title to the Uzbek last December.

The HCM City-born Liem will next meet Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria who has earned five points and is among seven players on five points, very close to Liem in the ranking table.

The winner of the tournament will bring home 20,000 EUR (29,300 USD) and get the chance to participate in a round-robin super tournament in Dortmund , Germany , in late July. The final match is on Feb. 18./.