Vietnam chess players switch to online competitions as pandemic hits events

By Xuan Binh   April 14, 2020 | 12:59 am PT
Vietnam chess players switch to online competitions as pandemic hits events
Chess Grandmaster Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son competes in an online chess event from home. Photo courtesy of Pham Le Thao Nguyen.
With chess tournaments being canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Vietnamese players are forced to play in online events with little prize money.

Husband and wife duo Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Pham Le Thao Nguyen have not played in any tournament this year. They are training as usual on computers, but the only difference now is they also play in tournaments on their computers instead of flying around the world for it.

Son said: "Our playing plans have been greatly affected because all the tournaments have either been postponed or canceled. We will have to wait until the situation gets better to compete again. Fortunately, online tournaments have surfaced recently and we can take part in these events for our income."

Other players like Tran Tuan Minh, Dang Hoang Son and Vo Thi Kim Phung are teaching young players chess online.

Phung, Vietnam’s number two woman player, said: "All tournaments that I intended to participate were postponed. So I've decided to compete in online events."

A few tournaments moved online instead of being canceled: Qatar recently hosted a tournament on with a top prize of $800. Abu Dhabi is set to host a Blitz event on with a top prize of $5,000.

The online events mainly focus on Blitz chess, with each player getting four to five minutes for a match instead of the several hours in classical events.

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