HCM CITY — Vietnamese GMs Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son will be favourites in the second HD Bank International Open Chess Tournament to be held in HCM City early next month.
More than 50 local and 40 foreign players will compete for a total purse of $30,000 with the winner pocketing $10,000, and runner-up $5,000.
Liem has an Elo rating of 2,714 and Son, 2,662, the best among the competitors.
Liem, the world No 29, was not successful at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in which he played for the first time recently. He also failed to defend his Aeroflot Open in Moscow last week.
The 21year-old is hopeful: "I have not played well in two recent tournaments but I hope, with the better preparation [I had], I can do better next month."
Dang Tat Thang, vice president of the Viet Nam Chess Federation, said China's Ni Hua and Li Shilong will be the major threats to the two Vietnamese stars.
Thang also highly rated Georgians Konstantine Shavana and Merab Gagunashvili, and India's Geetha Narayanan Gopal, who all have Elo ratings of over 2,500.
The HD Bank International Open Chess Tournament has become Viet Nam's most important chess event. — VNS