Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — International Master Võ Thị Kim Phụng of Việt Nam won the gold medal in the women’s standard chess category of the Asian Continental Chess Championships in China on Saturday.
Women’s International Master (WIM) Phụng grabbed 7.5 points to lead the ranking table after nine rounds.
In the final round, Phụng, who is seeded No. 8 in the tournament, drew with No. 10 seed Indian Women’s Grandmaster (WGM) Mary Ann Gomes.
It was her third draw in the tournament, while she had won the other six matches.
WGM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan came second with seven points. WIM Ramesh Babu Vaishali of India was third with 6.5 points.
It is Phụng’s second title of the year, and she received a bonus of US$5,000 and 54.6 points in the world ranking which is enough to make her a Women’s Grandmaster.
Earlier, she triumphed in the Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championship in the Philippines in March, which awarded her a berth to compete in the Chess World Cup in 2018 as a representative of Zone 3.3.
Born in Huế, Phụng, 23, is now a member of Bắc Giang Province chess team and studying at the Sports College in Đà Nẵng. She has pocketed the Asian Youth Invitational Chess Championship title twice in 2010 and 2013.
She won a gold medal at the ASEAN Chess Championship’s U20 class in 2012. A year later, Phụng triumphed in the Asian U20 Championship.
With the second title of the year, Phụng will be the Asian representative at the World Cup.
She is the second Vietnamese female master who topped the continental championship after GM Hoàng Thanh Trang, who won 17 years ago. Trang is now playing for Hungary.
Other Vietnamese in the top 10 are WGM Hoàng Thị Bảo Trâm at the sixth spot and WGM Nguyễn Thị Mai Hưng at the ninth spot. Top national hope IM Phạm Lê Thảo Nguyên, who ranked first after the first five rounds, showed poor performance in the remaining matches and was placed at the 11th position.
According to Nguyễn Phước Trung, deputy president of the Việt Nam Chess Federation, Phụng could choose to join the World Cup as the Asian representative. It means that her runner-up at the Zone 3.3 event, WGM Trâm, may replace her as the Zone 3.3 competitor. Việt Nam will have two female masters at the World Cup. Vietnam will have total of four representatives as GM Lê Quang Liêm and GM Nguyễn Ngọc Trường Sơn have also qualified for the biannual event.
In the open category, Chinese GM Wang Hao claimed the title with seven points. He was followed by fellow country man GM Bu Xiangzhi and Indian GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi.
Vietnamese masters failed to enter the top 10.
No. 10 seed GM Sơn with 5.5 points had the best ranking at 14th position.
The blitz chess event was organised and completed yesterday.
WIM Vaishali took the women’s title. Iranian IM Khademalsharied Sarasadat and Indian IM Padmini Rout came second and third, respectively.
Vietnamese IM Nguyên who was the second seed finished fifth; WGM Hưng was placed eighth and WGM Trâm was ninth.
On the men’s side, Wei Yi of China was at the top position. He was followed by GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan and GM Bai Jinshi of China. — VNS