VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese female chess player Vo Thi Kim Phung now takes the lead at the Asian U20 Championship in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after five rounds.
Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (red) lost her first place to Vo Thi Kim Phung after
the losing game in the fifth round. Photo: Vietnam chess.
The tournament is held from March 30 to April 7 in Sharjah, the UAE, with the participation of 34 male players and 36 female players from 16 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Maldives, Nepal, Palestine, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.
The Vietnamese team in the UAE consists of four players – Tran Tuan Minh, Nguyen Thi Mai Hung, Hoang Thi Nhu Y and Vo Thi Kim Phung. Nguyen Thi Mai Hung is the No. 1 seed of the tournament, with the highest Elo 2271.
Continuously taking the lead in the first four rounds, Nguyen Thi Mai Hung was defeated in the fifth round by her teammate Vo Thi Kim Phung on April 2. She dropped to the fifth in the rankings, with 3.5 points (3 wins, one draw, one loss).
Defeating Mai Hung, Vo Thi Kim Phung occupies the top spot, with 4.5 points after four wins and one draw. Kim Phung easily beat three weaker opponents, a very strong rival – Mai Hung and drew a very strong competitor – Rucha Pujari (India) in the first half of the tournament.
Three years ago, at the age of 17, Kim Phung was the champion of the Asia U20 Champs in India. This year was the last time she attended the tournament. Compared with three years ago, the tournament has larger scale with the number of participating countries doubles.
In the sixth round, Kim Phung will face Ghazal Hakimifard (Elo 2250) and Nguyen Thi Mai Hung will meet Ivana Maria Furtado (Elo 2065). If they win the game, the two Vietnamese players will rank in the topw two.
The rankings after the fifth round: 1 – Vo Thi Kim Phung (Elo 2193, 4.5 points); 2 – Ghazal Hakimifard (Elo 2250, 4 points); 3 – Ivana Maria Furtado (Elo 2065, 4 points ); 4 – Rucha Pujari (Elo 2121, 3.5 points); 5 – Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (Elo 2271, 3.5 points); 6 – Saranya J (Elo 2152, 3, 5); 7 – Hoang Thi Nhu Y (Elo 2250; 3, 5).