Vietnamese Grandmaster Le Quang Liem, for the first time, is the HDBank International Open Chess Tournament champion.
Vietnamese Grandmaster Le Quang Liem with the HDBank International Open Chess Tournament trophy in HCMC on Mar. 24 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)
The 3rd open tournament HDBank Cup 2013 took place in Ho Chi Minh City on March 19-24, joined by 105 local and foreign players.
Thirteen countries and territories sent players to the tournament, including Australia, China, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Switzerland and Vietnam. This year’s average Elo was 2256, higher than 2215 last year and 2159 in 2011.
Liem was the top seed of the $30,000 blue chip tournament, recognised by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). He secured 7.5 points after nine matches and earned $10,000 for the championship after six wins and three draws in all.
Before the last game, the Ho Chi Minh City player already secured 7 points, one point clear ahead of the group of challenging players. And he held three-time Hungarian champion Berker Ferenc, another Grandmaster, to a draw to win the annual tournament for the first time since its 2011 inception. Ferenc just came fifth with 6.5 points.
The third tournament saw the biggest number of players since its inception. China posed a big challenge for Vietnamese players with their strong team. Lu Shanglei came second to win $5,000, and his Chinese countryman Zhou Jianchao was the third. Filipino Paragua Mark came fourth ahead of three-time Hungarian champion Berker Ferenc and China’s Li Shilong. Ranking seventh to ninth were three Chinese – Yu Ruiyuan, Zeng Chongsheng and Zhou Weiqi.
Vietnamese Grandmaster Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son finished 12th after two Filipinos Paul Gomez and Oliver Barbosa.
In the women’s race, Indonesia’s Grandmaster Kharisma Sukandar took the first prize with 5.5 points. After her in order were Chinese Grandmaster Wang Jue and Vietnam’s International Master Pham Le Thao Nguyen.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, first vice chairwoman of tournament sponsor HDBank, said next year’s championships would be larger in terms of prize and the number of players.