Top chess tourney in Vietnam gets underway with 300 contestants

By Hoang Nguyen   March 7, 2019 | 06:03 am PT
Top chess tourney in Vietnam gets underway with 300 contestants
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, the champion of HDBank International in 2014. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh
The HDBank International chess Tournament 2019, which began in Saigon Thursday, has attracted 300 professionals from 30 countries.

The tournament carries a total prize money of VND1.4 billion ($60,000) this year, up $5,000 compared to last year.

The tournament is a chance for players to increase their Elo ratings, which is a standard measure for evaluating a player’s strength in chess, in the system of World Chess Federation (FIDE).

HDBank International is the most prestigious chess tournament in Vietnam, held annually since 2010. A total of over 1,400 professionals from 36 countries in five continents have participated in the tournament thus far.

This year, the one-week tournament will take place at the Rex Hotel, 114 Nguyen Hue Street, District 1.

Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem has won the tournament three times thus far. He is the player with most wins at the tournament as he took the title three times. Last year’s champion, Argentina’s Mareco Sandro, has returned to defend his title.

Women’s world champion in 2004, Anoaneta Stefanova, will also compete in the tournament for the second time, following her debut appearance in 2017.

Vietnamese professional chess players have achieved significant successes recently. Le Quang Liem won the U.S. Bay Area International chess tournament in January and earlier in 2018, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son won goal medal at the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Georgia, U.S.

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