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Elite GM Wang Hao supreme at HDBank International Chess Tournament 2019



Wang Hao (China, elo 2718) reached 7,5 points through 9 rounds to become the champion of HDBank International Chess Tournament 2019, Master category. This afternoon, in Ho Chi Minh City, New Chairman of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), Mr. Arkady Dvorkovich handed the Champion Cup to Elite GM Wang Hao.

Wang Hao, born in 1989, the winner of HDBank International Chess Tournament 2016 one again become the champion of HDBank International Chess Tournament 2019 after 9 games in a tought race.

In the first round, Wang Hao played against Grandmaster Miciano John Marvin. Unexpected results happens when Elite Grandmaster Wang Hao has to share a point with the opponent. This is not a good start for No.1 seed but shows the appeal of the tournament right from the start. After that match, Wang Hao strongly come back with 4 successive victories before the Internationgal Master Duong The Anh (elo 2,301) in the second round, Internationgal Master Nguyen Van Huy (elo 2,428 ) in the third round, Internationgal Master Nguyen Anh Khoi (elo 2.484) in round 4, Grandmaster Megaranto Susanto (Indonesia, elo 2,526) in the fifth round. This impressive series of victories brought Wang Hao to the top leader after 5 rounds along with Eduardo (Venezuela, elo 2,639), Stanislav (Ukraine, elo 2,536).

The draw with Grandmaster Eduardo in the sixth game made Wang Hao temporarily stay behind with a distance of 0.5 points from Grandmaster Stanislav. At the sprint stage of the race to the throne, Wang Hao showed the bravery, the level of the Elite Grandmaster who has elo over 2,700. He had 2 successive victories in the 7th game against Van Wely Loek (Netherlands, elo 2,612), in the 8th game Stanislav (Ukraine, elo 2,536) and became the sole leader. In the final match that took place today, Wang Hao played against Wen Yang (elo 2,599). Many assumptions have been made: If he win against Wen Yang, Wang Hao will be the champion. If the match against Wen Yang was a draw, Wang Hao still be the champion because his competitor Stanislav had won the last game by the same point but only ranked second because he lost the tiebreak factor. Elite Grandmaster from China has chosen a safty solution with a draw after only 11 moves in the final round. At the next table, Stanilav only shared a point with Predke (Russia), thus winning the championship and the prize went to Wang Hao.

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The best women belongs to the WIM Nandhidhaa (India, elo 2,240). This is considered a big surprise because Nandhidhaa only came in 13th place on elo standing, inferior to many WGM like former world champion Stefanova Antoaneta (Bulgaria, elo 2,493), Grandmaster Gulrukhbegim (Uzbekistan, elo 2,434)..

In Challengers category, FIDE Master Villanueva Nelson (Philippines, elo 2,083) crowned with a record of 7.5 points with 6 wins, 3 draws. This is also an unexpected result because Nelson Villanueva is the No. 4 seed. Pham Minh Hieu from the host played impressively, with 7.5 points but accepted second place because he lost the tiebreak factor. However, Minh Hieu was also awarded $ 2,000.

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In the afternoon of March 13, 2019, HCMC, the Organizing Committee conducted the Award Ceremony and honored the best players. The Masters category, the Organizing Committee awarded 26 prizes to top players; 6 prizes for the best female players and 2 prizes for the outstanding young and excellent seniors. Challengers category, Organizing Committee awarded 6 prizes for top players; 3 prizes for the best female players and 2 prizes for the outstanding young and excellent seniors. With excellent performance in the HDBank International Chess Tournament 2019, there were three players who have gained the Grandmaster norm : Xu Minghui (China), Liu Guanchu (China) and Gukesh D (India ).

Thus, after 1 week of competition, the HDBank 2019 International Chess Tournament ended successfully. The highlight of the season this year comes from the number of participating players increased dramatically, the highest prize quality through the organization seasons, especially the interest of the Chairman of the World Chess Federation. On March 13, 2019, in the framework of the Asian tour, in an effort to promote chess, Mr. Arkady Dvorkovich, New President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) came to Ho Chi Minh City and attend the Awarding Ceremony to personally hand the cup to the champion of HDBank Chess Tournament 2019.

Along with the development of Vietnam Sports, HDBank will commit to the Vietnam Chess Federation to continue organize the HDBank International Chess Tournament in the following seasons and at the same time HDBank is also a Donors for Vietnam chess team.

Speaking at the tournament, Mr. Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the World Chess Federation, said that "Vietnamese chess has ranked 10th in the Olympiad in 2018 and contributed to the world chess of many high ranking players. The HDBank international chess has a history of nearly a decade of organization and has always received the attention of the World Chess Federation and the association of FIDE Chairman.The tournament is a connection between Viet Nam and the world and will be a good opportunity for Vietnam to host the Olympiad. I hope that Viet Nam will meet international standards to host the Olympiad and compare with other great chess nations"

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Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao - Permanent Vice Chairman of HDBank Board on behalf of the organizers, congratulated the players, congratulated the champion and cordially sent the most sincere thanks to the World Chess Federation, Bank Vietnamese State, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism - General Department of Sports and Physical Training, Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, Vietnam Chess Federation, especially players from all over the world and news agencies attended, supported and accompanied HDBank. Ms. Phuong Thao also appreciates the presence of Mr. Arkady Dvorkovich. His presence is a great encouragement for the Organizing Committee as well as the participating players, in an effort to contribute intellectual sports to the goal of economic development, culture, education and construction, build a progressive civilized community for a better world.

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