Viet Nam checkmates women’s champs

Vietnamese chess masters got off to a good start at the Asian Women’s Individual Chess Championships when they nearly all clinched opening wins in Tehran yesterday.

International Grand Masters Hoang Thi Bao Tram and Nguyen Thi Thanh An started off the winning streak when Tram checkmated host Hakimifard Chazal and An outplayed another host rival Tajik Sareh.

FIDE Master Le Thanh Tu and International Master Le Kieu Thien Kim followed their teammates’ successes, claiming victories over Iranian Bayat Shohreh and Chinese Zhang Jing, respectively.

FIDE Master Pham Bich Ngoc was the o­nly master who did not claim a win. She and host Pourkashiyan Atousa drew in their opener yesterday.

The National First Class Chess Championship bronze medalist, Hoang Thi Nhu Y, lost to her more experienced opponent from India, Gate Swati Suresh.

The US$10,000 tournament features the region’s top women competing in a nine-round Swiss System. The top three players will qualify for the world women championships, with the winner earning $1,600.