HDBank int’l chess tournament kicks off in Hanoi

Saturday, 2018-03-10 10:10:07
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At the opening ceremony of the HDBank Open International Chess Tournament 2018.
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NDO – The HDBank International Open Chess Tournament 2018, the eighth edition of its kind, officially commenced in Hanoi on March 10, in the presence of Kirsan llyumzhiov, President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

At the opening ceremony, the FIDE chief played the first chess move with Nguyen Dong Tien, President of the Vietnam Chess Federation, to kick-start the six-day competition, which has gathered more than 270 chess masters from 21 countries and territories all around the world.

Vietnam’s no. 1 player, Le Quang Liem, has been named as the top seed for his Elo rating of 2,736. His ambition to defend the crown won last year will be challenged by the Chinese no. 2 seed, Wang Hao (Elo 2,713).

Other title favourites include third seeded Sethuraman of India (Elo 2,646), Mareco Sandro (Argentina, Elo 2,635), Gordievsky Dmitry (Russia, Elo 2,630), 2014 champion Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vietnam, Elo 2,630), Aravindh Chithambaram (India, Elo 2,617), and Wen Yang (China, Elo 2,608).

FIDE President Kirsan llyumzhiov presents souvenir flags to the competitors.

This year’s event sees the presence of competitors from six additional delegations: Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Spain, Hong Kong (China) and Lithuania, compared to the previous tournament.

In addition to Le Quang Liem and Truong Son, host country Vietnam is represented by many of its most popular chess faces, namely Tran Minh Tuan, Nguyen Anh Dung, Le Tuan Minh, Dao Thien Hai, Nguyen Duc Hoa, Vo Thi Kim Phung, Pham Le Thao Nguyen, and Nguyen Thi Mai Hung.

The participants are battling it out in two sections, including the Masters (for men rated 2,100 or above, and women rated 2,000 or above) and the Challengers category (for those rated below 2,100). The top male scorer in the Masters category will receive a cash prize of US$15,000, while the best female player will get US$5,000.