Leading Xiangqi masters meet at International Stars tournament

Fifteen leading Vietnamese Xiangqi (Chinese chess) masters and five invitees from China, Malaysia and Singapore are challenging themselves in the unprecedented 2015 International Stars Tournament, taking place at The Reed Hotel in northern Ninh Binh province.

At the competition hall (Credit: tdtt.gov.vn)
At the competition hall (Credit: tdtt.gov.vn)

The event is being held for the first time in Vietnam by the Vietnam Chess Federation and the www.thanglongkydao.com Xiangqi forum, with competitors being appointed and invited by the organising board.

Vietnamese participants are members of the national team with outstanding international achievements, including Trenh A Sang, Lai Ly Huynh, Ton That Nhat Tan, Nguyen Hoang Lam and Diep Khai Nguyen. Meanwhile, five international invitees are top players, namely Li Jiaqing and Wong WanHeng (Malaysia); Liu Yi Hao and Lai Junjie (Singapore); and Liu Zongzhe (China).

The tournament features two phases, beginning with a group-stage round robin competition, followed by direct meetings for classifications. Defending national champion Trenh A Sang surprisingly lost to his younger compatriot Nguyen Minh Nhat Quang in their opening match, while Vietnam’s Pham Quoc Huong succumbed to famous Liu Zongzhe.

Hoang Dinh Hong, coach of the national Xiangqi team, hailed the International Stars as an international tournament of the best quality held in Vietnam in recent years, with participants of the same level, promising an interesting race to the VND30 million overall title.

Since its debut in 2010, www.thanglongkydao.com has become the biggest chess forum in Vietnam, offering an exchange platform for hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese chess lovers. Over the past five years, the forum has directly organised or given media patronage to many Xiangqi and chess tournaments, contributing actively to promoting the chess movement throughout the country.