Dao Thien Hai and Nguyen Thi Thanh An, both from Ho Chi Minh City, finished atop the men’s and women’s events at the recent 2013 National Masters Chess Championships.

The annual tournament, which took place in Ho Chi Minh City from November 19-25, featured competition from 18 male and 23 female players in nine rounds of play according to the Swiss system.

Hai claimed top honours on the men’s side with 6.5 points won from nine games, finishing half a point above his pursuers.

An took the women's title with seven points after nine rounds.

World U-10 champion Nguyen Anh Khoi made an extremely impressive debut at the event, finishing runner-up with six points overall. He also made tournament history as the youngest player to make the podium, at 11 years of age.

Khoi continued to confound experts with his chess prowess, winning silver at the tournament. He won four and drew three matches, scoring six points, 0.5 less than champion Hai.

Already hailed as a prodigy, Khoi defeated Asian blitz chess silver medallist Nguyen Van Huy of Hanoi and senior Vo Thanh Ninh from Kien Giang in the last two rounds.

"What he has done is unique. Not many players at his age can do that. His family and I were only hoping he could enter the top 10. However he has surprised everybody," said coach Lam Minh Chau.

It is the first time the under-10 world champion had taken part in the annual tournament and he also made history as the youngest chess master to end up in the top three at a national event.

Khoi will be one of Vietnam's representatives at the coming World Youth Chess Championships in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Last year Khoi took the U-10 title. This year he will compete in the U-12 category.-VNA