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|The press conference of HDBank International Chess Tournament 2019|
After nearly a decade of organizing the most popular chess tournaments in Asia, HDBank continues to bring many surprises and attractions to domestic and international chess lovers.
The ninth HDBank International Chess Season will be kicked off at Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City with the highest number of awards ever.
The event is rated as one of the highest-quality tournaments in the region, bringing together more than 300 talented players from 27 countries and territories around the world, including Super Grandmasters (GM) of the global top 100, with an average Elo of 2,314.
This year's tournament has attracted many talented players, including Wang Hao (China), Mareco Sandro (Argentina), Demchenko Anton (Russia), Cheparinov Ivan (Georgia), and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vietnam).
Talented female players include Stefanova Antoaneta (Bulgaria), Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim (Uzbekistan), Bulmaga Irina (Romania), Sukandar Irine Kharisma (Indonesia), and Pham Le Thao Nguyen (Vietnam).
Outstanding young players include Gukesh Dommaraju, a 13-year-old Indian chess prodigy, the youngest grandmaster in world chess history.
This year players from around the world will participate at both the Masters and Challengers tables, including 142 international players from chess powers like Russia, Germany, Brazil, China, India, Ukraine, Indonesia, and the Philippines, among others.
Among foreign players, the Indian delegation has the most participants, with 56 players, followed by the Philippines with 22, China with 17, and Indonesia with 10. Countries attending for the first time are Cambodia, the Netherlands, Romania, and the US.
The Vietnamese delegation has 161 players. This year, Super GM Le Quang Liem did not register (as the competition coincides with another international tournament), but talented young players like Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Tran Tuan Minh, Nguyen Anh Khoi, Pham Le Thao Nguyen, Vo Thi Kim Phung, and Hoang Thi Bao Tram are all taking part.
The chess tournament also features high-ranking players including 30 GMs, a WGM (Woman Grandmaster), 47 IMs (International Masters), a WIM (International Grandmaster), 32 FIDE Masters, a Woman FIDE Master, 20 CMs (Candidate Masters), and a WCM (Woman Candidate Master). The average Elo coefficient of the Masters board is 2,314.
The HDBank International Chess Tournament is rated as one of the highest-level professional international chess tournaments in the world. Besides the Masters Category for top-class players, this is the fourth year that has a Challengers Category.
The Masters Category has 148 players. The female players will compete with male players according to the standard chess format, with nine ranked games. However, they will be awarded a separate prize. The Men's Championship Masters prize will be $16,000, and the Women's Championship prize $5,000. If the champion is a female player, she will be awarded both prizes.
The Challengers Category is a competition of players with low Elo or no Elo score. This group has attracted 156 players. The Table Championship prize is $1,200.
The annual HDBank International Chess Tournament, which was started in 2011 and reunites chess talent around the world, goes beyond the influence of a pure sports tournament.
Along with the growth of the tournament each year, the success of a generation of chess players, and the exciting development of Vietnam and the world chess movement, the HDBank International Chess Tournament has become a meeting point of friendship and cultural and sports exchange, aimed at strengthening relationships between countries, creating economic growth, building civilised communities, and making progress for a better world.
Through the HDBank Chess Tournament and in the intellectual language of chess, it is possible to connect all ages and ethnic groups who will get to know the beautiful, peaceful, and gentle Vietnam. This will help promote Vietnam as a destination for all, not just for chess lovers. After nine seasons, the HDBank International Chess Tournament has seen 1,396 turns of players from 41 countries and territories from five continents in the world participating at the competition. Each year, the tournament has seen a growth in the number of players, attracting more participating countries and breakthroughs in professional quality.
Through the organisation of the chess tournament and the convergence of a world chess village, Vietnamese players will have more opportunities to rub against players from all over the world.
The ratio of top players in the Masters’ Category in 2011 was 60 per cent in 2011, 61 per cent in 2012, 68 per cent in 2013 and 2014, 75 per cent in 2015, 80 per cent in 2016, more than 80 per cent in 2017, 81 per cent in 2018, and 85 per cent in 2019.
The HDBank International Chess Tournament has attracted the attention of domestic and international media, with sponsorship and coverage from television stations and domestic and foreign news agencies.
Chess lovers from all over the world will soon have the opportunity to enjoy online games and engage displays with hundreds of players around the world. In 2019, the Award’s co-sponsors are Rex Hotel, Vietnam-Oman Investment JSC (VOI), Vietjet, Phu Long Real Estate JSC, and HD Consumer Finance Company SAISON. This is the second year that VOI takes part in the award.