Vietnam's women to compete at Chess Olympiad in India hinh anh 1Masters Vo Thi Kim Phuung (left) and Hoaang Thi Bao Tram seen competing at the 31st SEA Games in May in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam has sent a team of five female competitors to at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Mahabalipuram, Chennai, India from July 28 to August 10.

This is the first time in 30 years that Vietnam will not have any male competitors in the Open Division as all of them, including Grandmaster Le Quang Liem who just triumphed at the Biel Grandmaster 2022 last week, are busy with personal reasons.

Five Vietnamese masters are Vo Thi Kim Phung, Hoang Thi Bao Tram, Nguyen Thi Mai Hung, Bach Ngoc Thuy Duong and Nguyen Thien Ngan. No 1 player Pham Le Thao Nguyen, two-time winner at the recent 31st SEA Games, is also absent.

It is the second international tournament that Vietnamese masters are to take part in.

At the 31st Games, Phung secured silver in the team rapid chess; Hung claimed a bronze in the team blitz; and Tram and Hung pocketed their bronze individual standard and rapid chess events, respectively.

Vietnam rank No 24 among 162 teams in the tournament's ranking based on their average Elo rating (2,259). In the last Olympiad in 2018, they finished 15th. The winning team was China, Ukraine was second and Georgia was third.

This year, the top three seeding teams are hosts India (2,486), Ukraine (2,478) and Georgia (2,475).

The Open Group sees 187 teams with the USA bringing their powerful Grandmasters to be the No 1 title favourite (average Elo rating 2,771). India (2,696) is second and Norway (2,692) is third.

Vietnam finished seventh in the 2018 edition. The winners were China, followed by the USA and Russia.

Players will compete in 11 standard chess matches, starting from Friday. They will have one day break after the first six games on August 4. The final round and victory ceremonies will be held on August 10.

The 44th Olympiad hits the record with the highest number of participating countries and teams, breaking the record set at the 43rd event at Batumi, Georgia in 2018.

Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams representing nations of the world compete. The first official Olympiad was held in 1927 in London with 16 countries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online Chess Olympiads were held in 2020 and 2021.

In other news, the Hanoi Chess Federation is hosting two international chess events.

The first one is ongoing at the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Centre until July 30. The second one will be from August 1-5.

Athletes from the UK, India, Myanmar, Ukraine and Vietnam will compete in three different categories of International Master, FIDE Master and Candidate Master.

At the tournaments which are recognised by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), athletes will receive their rating points to get their titles while arbiters are recognised by international officials./.