The event, which will offer a biggest-ever bonus of USD 45,000, will take place on March 12-17 in Ho Chi Minh City with the participation of 230 players from 24 countries and territories. They will be divided into two groups: Masters and Challenge.
Vietnam’s top chess player Le Quang Liem will compete in the HDBank Cup International Open Chess tournament 2017.
“We decided to raise the prize money to encourage chess players to compete better,” said Le Thanh 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.
Liem, who won a silver medal at the Asian Chess Championships in 2016, is the biggest hope of Vietnam in this year’s event. He won the tournament in 2013 and 2015.
The 25-year-old Liem, 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, Liem 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 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Elo 2629) is also expected to make a strong showing for Vietnam chess. Son won this event in 2014, although he wasn’t the top seed.
The 26-year-old Son grabbed a silver medal at the Zone 3.3 Chess Championships 2017, which closed in the Philippines on March 5 and earned a ticket to compete in the World Cup to be organized 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 Pham Le Thao Nguyen, Vo Thi Kim Phung and Nguyen Thi Mai Hung absolutely make a shock as Nguyen took the title last year,” said Dang Tat Thang, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Chess Federation.