Wang Hao becomes winner at HDBank Masters 2019

18:14 | 14/03/2019
Chinese grandmaster Wang Hao was crowned champion at the 2019 HDBank International Chess Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City, following an amazing unbeaten run throughout nine matches (six wins and three draws).
wang hao becomes winner at hdbank masters 2019
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, standing deputy chairwoman of HDBank, and FIDE chairman Arkady Dvorkovich granted the prizes to the winners of the Masters round

On March 13, chairman of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Arkady Dvorkovich granted the trophy to Wang Hao, marking his second champion title after four times joining the tournament.

Despite being the top seed, Wang had a slow start and settled for 53rd place after the first round.

However, he then gradually narrowed the gap with his opponents before brilliantly finishing off direct title contender Stanislav Bogdanovich (Ukraine) within 84 moves in the penultimate round on Tuesday to reign on top of the standings with seven points.

The last-round saw Wang play out a tie with his compatriot Wen Yang after 11 moves, which was enough to see him lift the overall HDBank crown for the second time, following his first title in 2016, with 7.5 points after nine games, just half a point clear of the four chasers.

In general, at the Masters round, the organising board granted 26 awards for top players, six awards for best female performers and two awards for the most excellent young performer.

Regarding the female Masters round, India’s Nandhidhaa was named the best female performer with six points after nine rounds, taking the audience by surprise as she was ranked 13th by elo (2,240 points), much lower than participating grandmasters like Stefanova Antoaneta from Bulgaria (elo 2,493) and Gulrukhbegim from Uzbekistan (elo 2,434).

wang hao becomes winner at hdbank masters 2019
The winners of the Challengers round

At the Challengers round, in general, the organising board granted six prizes for top players and three prizes for the best female performers and two prizes for the most excellent young players.

Villanueva Nelson from the Philippines (elo 2,083) was the most impressive performer, ending with 7.5 points (six wins, three draws). Pham Minh Hieu from Vietnam ranked second with the same number of points but lost in sub-coefficients.

Speaking at the ceremony, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, standing deputy chairwoman of HDBank, said, “With the participation of players from numerous countries like Russia, China, the US, and Vietnam, after nine years, the HDBank International Chess Tournament is not only a sports tournament, it has recorded the growth of several players throughout their professional careers.”

“The spotlights of this year’s tournament is the record in the number of players as well as the quality of the players, and especially the joining of the chairman of FIDE, Arkady Dvorkovich, who granted trophies to the winners himself,” Thao said.

The 2019 HDBank International Chess Tournament, the most prestigious chess competition in Vietnam, officially kicked off at the Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City on March 7, bringing together more than 300 players from 28 countries and territories across the globe. HDBank will continue to accompany this prestigious tournament and sponsor the Vietnamese team.

By Dang Khoi

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