Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Lê Quang Liêm, Việt Nam’s top chess player, will compete in the seventh HDBank Cup International Open Chess tournament 2017, the event’s organising board has announced.
The event, which will offer a biggest-ever bonus of US$45,000, will take place on March 12-17 in HCM City with the participation of 230 players from 24 countries and territories. They will be divided into two groups: Masters and Challenge.
“We decided to raise the prize money to encourage chess players to compete better,” said Lê Thành Trung, vice general director of HDBank.
“Besides, the organizing board will give awards for runners-up in order to matches will be more interesting. The tournament will be managed by international referees,” Trung added.
Liêm, who won a silver medal at the Asian Chess Championships last year, is the biggest hope of Việt Nam in this year’s event. He won the tournament in 2013 and 2015.
The 25-year-old Liêm, with an Elo rating of 2712, is No 2 seed at the event. He will battle against top seed Wei Yi of China (Elo 2725) for the title. (The Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in competitor-versus-competitor games).
Besides Yi, Liêm will have to try his best to beat other strong rivals including Bu Xiangzhi (Elo 2711), Ivan Cheparinov (Elo 2698) and defending champion Wang Hao (Elo 2683).
Vietnamese representative Nguyễn Ngọc Trường Sơn (Elo 2629) is also expected to make a strong showing for Việt Nam chess. Sơn won this event in 2014, although he wasn’t the top seed.
The 26-year-old Sơn grabbed a silver medal at the Zone 3.3 Chess Championships 2017, which closed in the Philippines on Sunday and earned a ticket to compete in the World Cup to be organised in September in Georgia.
“We are very glad that besides male chess players at high level, the tournament also attracts leading female players such as Lei Tingjie of China and four-time world champion Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan. They are candidates for the women’s title, however Vietnamese players such as Phạm Lê Thảo Nguyên, Võ Thị Kim Phụng and Nguyễn Thị Mai Hưng absolutely make a shock as Nguyên took the title last year,” said Đặng Tất Thắng, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Chess Federation. — VNS