|Le Quang Liem (right).
HCM CITY (VNS) — Vietnamese top grandmasters are expected to face a tough challenge with contenders around the world during the sixth HDBank Cup International Open Chess Championship 2016 to be held in HCM City from March 8-13.
The annual international chess tournament gathers as many as 180 chess masters from 16 countries and territories.
This year, 133 Vietnamese chess players will compete with 47 contenders from China, Singapore, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Azerbaijan, India, Hungary, Indonesia and Myanmar.
In spite of holding the first position for two conservative years, the sixth event is a challenge for Vietnamese chess players, including Le Quang Liem (ILO 2,709) and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (ILO 2,649) as the event gathers more strong players.
The Philippines will send 17 competitors to the nine-round Swiss-style tournament.
Chinese Grandmasters Wang Hao (ILO 2,707) and Ni Hua (ILO 2,691) are expected to challenge Vietnamese grandmasters Son and Liem, who won the championship last year.
However, according to organisers, with more strong international grandmasters participating in the tournament, it is difficult to predict the winners.
Chinese experts Wang Hao and Ni Hua are especially strong players.
Other strong competitors are Laznicka Viktor (Czech Republic); Durarbayli Vasif (Azerbaijan); Ghosh Diptayan (Indonesia), Zhang Zhong (Singapore) and others.
The tournament's prizes total US$40,000, with the first prize winner receiving $13,000. — VNS