HA NOI — Viet Nam is expecting to win a silver medal in the women's Chinese chess (xiangqi) at the 16th Asian Games (ASIAD) in Guangzhou, China, in November, said coach Hoang Dinh Hong.
Master stroke: National senior Chinese chess master Ngo Lan Huong takes part in the National Championships. Huong will represent Viet Nam at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, on November 11-27. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
Hong also hopes the men will take home at least a bronze medal.
Eleven chess masters have been undergoing intensive training in HCM City for the tournament, which includes Chinese chess for the first time – since early May. They have been competing with teams from Dong Thap and Khanh Hoa provinces.
Their final test will be at the National Sports Meet in Da Nang city next month.
National senior master Ngo Lan Huong, who is the Asian Indoor Games defending champion, is favourite to take the Asian Games' women's berth.
Masters Nguyen Thanh Bao, Lai Ly Huynh, Trenh A Sang and Nguyen Hoang Lam will be vying for the two slots in the men's team.
"This year ASIAD only features women's and men's individual events. Unfortunately, that puts Viet Nam at a disadvantage because we have the strongest team in the world," Hong said.
At this year's ASIAD, Viet Nam's main rival will be China.
"Our difficulty is not the quality of our players but their lack of competition experience. Chinese players regularly attend at least 10 events a year, while our players attend just a handful," the team coach said.
Lan Huong's chief rivals will be Wang Lin Na, the China national champion, and Yang Dan.
Hong said that despite their youth, the two Chinese masters are more talented than former world champion Yu Yungquin, also from China, whom Lan Huong has met several times.
Kao Yiping, from Chinese Taipei, is also a major threat. She took the silver medal at the Asian championship.
On the men's side, chief rivals will be China's national champion Hsu Yinchuan and Hsiang Chuan, who has the highest elo rating; Wu Kueilin of Chinese Taipei, who came fifth at the world championship; and Singapore's Wo Zonghan, the world No 6. — VNS