Wang Hao Wins HD Bank International Chess Masters
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich awards GM Wang Hao on his victory.

Wang Hao Wins HD Bank International Chess Masters

Rakesh
IM Rakesh
|
21 | Chess Event Coverage

Top seed GM Wang Hao of China stamped his authority on the HD Bank International Masters 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to win yet another GM open in Asia.

The HD Bank International is already into its ninth edition since its inception in 2011 and has established itself as one of the strongest opens of Asia. This event was a nine-round Swiss-system for players with a 2000 rating or more and featured a staggering prize fund of USD $60,000.

The tournament was held March 6-14, 2019 at the luxurious five star Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Every year, The organizers oscillate the event between Vietnam's two biggest cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. 151 players from 23 countries participated, 109 of whom were titled, including 25 grandmasters. 

Wang Hao HD Bank Chess 2019Chinese GM Wang Hao started as the top seed and justified his top billing. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

As a participant myself, I can say that the organization was top class and the event was well marketed with banners and billboards of the tournament all across the city. The opening ceremony was a colorful affair.

Defending Champion GM Sandro Mareco of Argentina and other officials at the opening ceremony. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

They organizers left no stone unturned and were very hospitable. Apart from the conditions offered to GMs & WGMs, they also gave away two t-shirts and a jacket sporting the tournament's name. They also offered a selection of cakes, cookies, biscuits and freshly cut fruits with tea or coffee for all the rounds. This was followed by a gift and a gala dinner for the all players. 

The second day of the event was International Women's Day. As WGM Irina Bulmaga noted on her Facebook page, the organizers presented a flower and an additional gift to all the female players playing.
GM Stanislav Bogdanovich of Ukraine won the Aeroflot Open B Group last month with a similar start of 6/6 followed by three draws. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

Ukrainian GM Stanislav Bogdanovich, a man in form, stormed into an early lead with an impressive 6.5/7. He beat last year's defending champion GM Sandro Mareco of Argentina in round seven by trapping Black's queen in the middle of the board!

The all important clash featuring Wang Hao vs Stanislav Bogdanovich. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

In the last round, Wang Hao agreed to a quick draw against compatriot and good friend GM Wen Yang to assure himself of first place as he had a superior tiebreak over Bogdanovich. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich attended the closing ceremony from where he also started his long Asian tour. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess.


2019 HD Bank International Masters Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5 rtg+/-
1 1 GM Wang Hao 2718 7,5 0,0 53,5 6 2 2769 6,3
2 9 GM Wen Yang 2599 7,0 0,0 52,0 5 3 2637 4,9
3 13 GM Bogdanovich Stanislav 2536 7,0 0,0 50,5 6 3 2764 26,4
4 15 IM Gukesh D 2529 7,0 0,0 46,5 7 2 2700 19,3
5 31 IM Liu Guanchu 2445 7,0 0,0 43,0 5 2 2629 20,5
6 7 GM Van Wely Loek 2612 6,5 0,0 52,5 5 1 2631 3,4
7 11 GM Popov Ivan 2581 6,5 0,0 49,5 4 1 2607 4,3
8 20 GM Karthik Venkataraman 2494 6,5 0,0 48,5 5 2 2570 9,5
9 86 Xu Minghui 2293 6,5 0,0 48,0 5 2 2638 81,2
10 8 GM Predke Alexandr 2611 6,5 0,0 47,5 5 1 2545 -5,3
11 26 GM Nguyen Anh Dung 2458 6,5 0,0 45,5 5 1 2555 11,8
12 6 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2639 6,0 0,0 56,0 4 2 2633 0,5
13 53 GM Cao Sang 2385 6,0 0,0 47,5 5 2 2604 26,1
14 3 GM Demchenko Anton 2678 6,0 0,0 47,5 4 3 2533 -14,1
15 18 IM Xu Yi 2520 6,0 0,0 47,0 4 1 2584 8,0
16 5 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2647 6,0 0,0 47,0 3 1 2566 -7,5
17 24 IM Nguyen Anh Khoi 2484 6,0 0,0 45,0 3 1 2460 -2,5
18 38 IM Nguyen Van Huy 2428 6,0 0,0 44,0 5 2 2494 7,6
19 100 WIM Nandhidhaa P V 2240 6,0 0,0 44,0 4 2 2555 74,2
20 12 GM Tran Tuan Minh 2556 6,0 0,0 44,0 4 2 2528 -2,8

(Full standings here.)

The top three winners along with the #1 female finisher, WIM PV Nandhidhaa. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess


The Best women & junior prize winners. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

Every open Swiss is an ideal event for norm seekers and this one was no different. Five players scored international title norms. Chinese players IM Liu Guanchu and Xu Minghui scored GM norms while FM Azarya Jodi Setyaki made an IM norm.

Players who scored International title norms. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

The best female player, WIM PV Nandhidhaa of India, had a dream event scoring her maiden IM & WGM norm while also pocketing her highest prize money till date with $5366 for her efforts.WIM PV Nandhidhaa in action during her dream event. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

Indian prodigy Gukesh D was fortunate in some of the games but played exceptionally to finish with 7/9 and tie for second place. He scored an exact 2700 performance rating and gained 19 Elo points to his existing rating of 2529. He got his title updated to GM by FIDE on the last day of the event. It's clear Gukesh is progressing rapidly after becoming a grandmaster earlier this year!

Gukesh has his eyes set for his next target, 2600. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank ChessAlongside the masters, a challengers section was also held with 148 players. FM Nelson Villanueva of the Phillipines won with 7.5/9. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank ChessA group photo of all the players, arbiters and the officials. | Photo: HD Bank Team/HD Bank Chess

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