Vietnam’s top chess player Le Quang Liem walked away with US$13,000 as the overall winner of the Masters category (for participants rated above 2,100) at the 2017 HDBank International Chess Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City on March 17.
Liem managed to beat S. Bogdanovic (Ukraine) within 78 moves in the last round this morning, thereby taking the trophy with seven points after nine matches.
The victorious finish also earned Liem an additional 8.8 elo points, leading his elo rating to increase by 2,721 after this competition.
Meanwhile, other title competitors (all having six points ahead of the ninth game) only secured draws in their last matches, with top seed Wei Yi tying fellow Chinese Bu Xiangzhi and 2016 champion Wang Hao held to a draw by I. Cheparinov (Bulgaria).
Xiangzhi followed Liem in second place, ahead of Wang Hao and Wei Yi, thanks to better auxiliaries despite scoring the same 6.5 points.
Surprisingly, Hanoi player Tran Tuan Minh ended up in fifth position overall with 6.5 points, which earned him an additional 22.9 elo points. Minh recorded a convincing win over Czech opponent P. Michalik (Elo 2,578) after 31 moves in the last round of play.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Khoi received the prize for the best U16 performer, finishing 16th with 5.5 points.
The top three female performers of the Masters section saw no Vietnamese representatives, with Vo Thi Kim Phung, who has recently secured a berth at the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Championship, recording the best results among the host country’s female players, ranking fourth among female competitors and 36th in the Masters category with five points.
The tournament took place from March 12 to 17, with over 230 chess masters vying for total prize money of US$45,000.