The Vietnamese national chess team, which boasts six prominent chess masters, have departed for Sharjah, UAE, to participate in the 13th Asian Continental/Individual Open and the 2014 Women’s Chess Championships taking place from April 16 to 26, the Nhan Dan (People) online newspaper reported.

The players are facing off in a nine-round Swiss System competition for a share of the 65,000 USD in total prize money. The Open champion will receive 6,000 USD and the Women’s champion will pocket 3,000 USD.

Vietnam’s three-member men’s team of Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Dao Thien Hai and Nguyen Duc Hoa are contending for honours in the Open category, which has gathered 66 chess masters from across Asia.

The team’s best finish at last year’s competition was the individual fourth place earned by International Super Grandmaster Le Quang Liem.

Nguyen Thi Thanh An, Pham Le Thao Nguyen and Nguyen Thi Mai Hung will join 32 other competitors in the Women’s championship.

At the 2013 tournament, Vietnam’s representatives - Hoang Thi Nhu Y, Nguyen Thi Bao Tram and Thanh An - finished in fifth, sixth and seventh positions respectively.

The top five from the 2014 Asian Open Championship qualify for the 2015 World Cup, while the 2014 Asian Women’s champion qualifies for the 2015 Women’s World Championship.-VNA