All the best local players, including top seed GM Le Quang Liem (incoming Webster University freshman in the Fall of 2013) and fourth seed GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, will try to keep the trophy in Vietnam after being defeated by foreign players in 2011 and 2012.
Local players, however, are expected to have their work cut out for them when the biggest chess competition in Vietnam this year attracts many world-class players from the leading countries in chess, including China, Hungary and India.
The most formidable obstacle for Liem, who has an Elo of 2709, and Son (2647) are the three-time Hungarian champion Ferenc Berkes (2702) and Berkes’ countryman Papp Gabor (former member of SPICE) (2582).
China also poses a big challenge for local players with its strong team, especially Yu Yangyi (2696), who are on a level equal to Liem and Son.
Pham Le Thao Nguyen, Nguyen Thi Thanh An and Shen Yang and Wang Jue of China are the well-known female names in the tournament.
India has also sent a good team with Ashwin Jayaram being considered as a dark horse in the competition. It is Indian’s first participation in the tournament.
The tournament, the biggest of its kind in Vietnam , will kick off at Raman Hotel in district 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
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– GM Susan Polgar