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08:35 03/10/2016
Local title favourite Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son successfully won the first two matches of the sixth HDBank Cup International Open Chess 2016 - Masters Tournament yesterday (March 8) in HCM City.
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son – File photo

Grandmaster Son beat young talent Tin Jingyao of Singapore in the second round in only 37 moves at De Nhat Hotel.

Son also defeated international master To Minh Tuan of Hungary after 74 moves.

The victories kept him in second place of the event’s top group.

He will next play against Bogdanovch Stanislav of Uzbekistan.

Son became Viet Nam’s top seed after his teammate, Le Quang Liem, withdrew because of sickness.

Liem, who was expected to return home from the US to defend his title, had a fever and was hospitalised.

The reigning champion and second seed of the event, who had booked flight tickets to return to Viet Nam for the tournament, had to follow doctor’s orders and refrain from travelling long distances.

Liem’s withdrawal caused Vietnamese chess fans to invest all hope in the second-best chess player, Son.

Without Liem, No 4 seed Son, who has an Elo rating of 2,649, is now the only Vietnamese chess player among the tournament’s top 10 chess players.

Chinese GMs Wang Hao (Elo 2,707), Ni Hua (Elo 2,691) and Czech GM Laznicka Viktor (Elo 2,666) are the three top seeds, respectively.

Ni tied with Vietnamese IM Pham Duc Thang. Wang beat Vietnamese IM Le Minh Tuan while Viktor overcame FIDE master Nguyen Anh Khoi to top the ranking.

Apart from Son, other Vietnamese also pocketed wins.

Master Nguyen Thi Thanh An of the hosts continued to be a phenomenon after her draw with GM Dao Thien Hai, the secondhand national team master, of the day.

Earlier, An made a splash when she won against GM Nguyen Van Huy after only 42 moves.

Tran Le Dan Thuy defeated national team member Tran Tuan Minh.

Nearly 180 masters from 16 countries and territories have taken part in the annual tournament, which provides a total US$40,000 to the best competitors. The winner receives $13,000.

Source: VNS

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