Vietnamese chess player beats former world champion in disability cup

By Xuan Binh   November 24, 2020 | 02:05 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese chess player beats former world champion in disability cup
Nguyen Van Quan (R) during the HDBank Cup International Open Chess tournament in March 2018 in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the event organizer.
Nguyen Van Quan defeated India's Shashikant Kutwal, World Disabled Champion 2017, in the first Online Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities.

Quan (Elo 1,783) beat Shashikant (2,182) on Monday night in the 54th move. The Indian player dominated in the beginning, forcing his opponent to spend more time on counter moves. But the Kien Giang Province native patiently waited for the moment his rival made a mistake to attack and win the match.

"I admit I was a bit worried after learning my opponent is an International Master (IM)," Quan said.

Quan, 32, is a disabled chess player with the highest Elo in Vietnam.

At the age of three, he contracted paralytic polio, resulting in paralysis of his legs and weakness in his left arm. He has been passionate about chess since fourth grade, winning first prize in the commune tournament in the southern Kien Giang.

In 2009, he first attended a chess tournament for the disabled in Saigon's Go Vap District.

He has previously beaten FIDE grandmaster Le Minh Hoang in Ho Chi Minh City Championship.

Shashikant, 41, was crowned World Disabled Champion in 2017 and thereby earned the IM title. Before, he won all three IM standards in 2009, but never exceeded the Elo 2,400. He developed polio at 18 months, leaving one leg growing slower than the other.

Despite Quan's victory, the other Vietnam team members failed to beat their Indian counterparts in the third group game.

The team had previously defeated Kazakhstan and Romania.

After three rounds, Vietnam finished 14th with four points. The team will face Colombia in its fourth game, which will commence Tuesday at 9 p.m., Hanoi time.

There are 396 players of 61 teams from 45 countries and territories competing in the first Online Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities organized by International Chess Federation (FIDE), scheduled to conclude next Wednesday.

According to the tournament format, the time control in all stages is 25 minutes + 10 seconds.

The first phase will feature the seven round Swiss system to determine the top four teams, using the double-round during semifinals and the final.

 
 
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