Chess Grand Master (GM) Le Quang Liem on Tuesday played games against 20 fans at the same time to warm up for the international HD Bank Cup chess competition set to start next Tuesday (January 4, 2011).
During a 90-minute match up at the HD Bank headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, 19-year-old Liem, ranked 44th in the world with Elo 2689, beat 19 and drew with one competitor.
Tran Anh Liem had asked for a day off school for his two sons and took them to the competition. One of his sons, Tran Phan Anh Khoi, is just six years old.
He was held to a surprise draw by eight-year-old Nguyen Anh Khoi.
After the match, GM Liem said, "Although it was a game against fans, I was very happy to participate in it. Most of the competitors are very young but they were tough and were not afraid during the game.
"I hope some of them will practice more and become Vietnam's leading chess players and go for international contests."
After the warm-up game, the organizers gave five awards to the participating fans. The awards were for the youngest contestant (six-year-old Tran Phan Anh Khoi), player with the best game (Ngo Quang Nhat), fair play (Tran Vuong Mai Khanh), potential contestant (Nguyen Cong Tai) and player with best results (Nguyen Anh Khoi).
The upcoming HD Bank Cup, now affiliated to the World Chess Federation (FIDE), will run from January 4 till 9, 2011 at the HD Bank headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City.
The event is organized by Vietnam Chess Federation in cooperation with Ho Chi Minh City Chess Federation. It will welcome 67 participants from India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Ukraine, the Philippines and hosts Vietnam.
It has a total cash prize of US$25,000 with the champion getting $6,000.