|Check it out: Organisers display a chess set made of brass that will be used during the opening game of the International Chess Tournament in HCM City. — VNS Photo Van Dat
HCM CITY (VNS)— Vietnamese world-class grandmasters Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son have a very big chance to win the international open chess tournament to be held on March 16-23 in HCM City, according to the vice president of the Southeast Asia Chess Federation.
Maung Maung Lwin, who is also president of Myanmar Chess Federation, said at a press meeting that the HDBank International Open Chess Tournament 2015 would be organised for the fifth time on Tuesday.
"In this year's tournament, I see there are many strong players with higher Elo ratings and a high ratio of chess players with grandmaster title. There are world-class Vietnamese players likes Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, who are very strong and have won many international events, even in this tournament. I do believe that Liem will do well at this tournament," he added.
Vietnamese players dominate qualifiers
Vietnamese players dominated the Zone 3.3 qualifying round of the World Chess Championships 2015 in HCM City yesterday.
After seven rounds, Grandmasters (GM) Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son lead the men's event with six points and five and a half points, respectively.
No 1 seeded Liem defeated GM Gomez John Paul of the Philippines, while No 2 seeded Son tied with International Master (IM) Wynn Zaw Htun of Myanmar in the seventh round.
No 22 seed Htun of Myanmar retained third place with five points.
Today, Liem will meet GM Laylo Darwin of the Philippines, Son faces GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore and Htun layed Viet Nam's Dao Thien Hai.
In the women's event, Pham Le Thao Nguyen and Pham Thi Thu Hien are in first and second with six and five points, respectively, while Munguntuul Batkhuyag of Mongolia is in third. — VNS
Organisers HDBank and Viet Nam Chess Federation said the tournament has attracted as many as 85 chess masters from 14 countries and territories competing for US$35,000, of which $12,000 is given to the champion.
There are 44 Vietnamese and 41 others from chess powers like Germany, India, Switzerland, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, Singapore, Russia, Ukraine, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Hungary, and China.
Vietnamese player Liem, world number 65, and Son (champion in 2014), world number 91, are among the three top seeds on the list of Elo ratings, following Li Chao from China.
Chinese grandmaster Li with an Elo rating of 2,721 will be the most serious challenger for the two Vietnamese grandmasters. Liem has an Elo ratings of 2,676 and Son, 2,659.
This year, the organisers are allowing female players to compete against male players. The female player with the highest score will win $3,000.
For the last four years the HDBank International Open Chess Tournament has attracted 450 chess masters from 22 countries from Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.
There has been a steady increase in the number of participating grandmasters, and the number of countries sending players to the tournaments.
In 2011, 60 per cent of players were grandmasters. This year, the figure is 75 per cent.
"I think this is the top chess tournament in Southeast Asia and one of the top tournaments in Asia, in addition to others in China and India. In comparison with other chess tournaments in the region, the Vietnamese event has also been highly rated in terms of organisation," Maung Maung Lwin told Viet Nam News.
HDBank and the Viet Nam Chess Federation have signed an agreement to organise a similar tournament for the next five years.
Le Thanh Trung, deputy general director of HDBank, said: "After four successful seasons of the HDBank International Open Chess Tournament, which received positive feedback from experts and fans, HDBank continues to organise the tournament as part of a commitment to help the Viet Nam Chess Federation train young talents in the country and create the most favourable conditions for international players to showcase their talents at an international chess tournament organised in Viet Nam." — VNS