The national chess championships tournament officially began in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on Mar. 19, with 66 competitors from all over the nation.

The tournament this year has attracted many famous names in chess circles, such as Dao Thien Hai and Tu Hoang Thong of Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Anh Dung from Quang Ninh, Cao Sang from Lam Dong and Bui Vinh from Hanoi.

However, two strong world players, Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, who are currently abroad, are absent.

Participants will vie for two main categories of male and female champion and winners will be decided through a total of three rounds.

The Vietnam National Chess Tournament 2012, which will run until March 30, is an annual event held by the Vietnam Chess Federation, aiming to find the most outstanding players to send to world and regional competitions./.