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07/09/2018 - 09:38

The hope for Chinese chess

In August only, Hue sport showed its progress when there were two athletes joining in ASIAD 2018 and the historic medal at the World Youth Chinese Chess Championship.

Mixed emotions

That two athletes My Hanh (wrestling) and Yen Hoa (athletics) joining in ASIAD 2018 is not simple because Hue is not Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City … Even before the list of Vietnam athletes entering the continental playing ground, Mr. Ho Dac Quang, Rector of Hue College of Sports and Physical Education was worried that the college’s excellent athletes were unqualified for the very strict selection criteria.

Quynh Nhu (right) on the days of competition in the United Kingdom.

Near the opening day of ASIAD 2018, the news of Yen Hoa (athletics) injured in training got Mr. Do Van Vinh, Hue’s Head of Athletics Division to experience a couple of  anxious days. The anxiety also "transmitted" to coach Dinh Van Kien, Hue’s Head of Wrestling Division although there was nothing wrong with his pupil Nguyen Thi My Hanh.

"The problem is that if My Hanh plays against the rival from the countries far above her in competence and experience at the very early stage such as Japan, China, Mongolia and so on, it is hard for her to win medals."  As stated by coach Dinh Van Kien, for all the excellent performance over many rivals in the qualifying round, in the fight for a bronze medal, My Hanh fell 6-0 to the wrestler from Mongolia

Meanwhile, in track and field athletics, Yen Hoa also accepted to leave the ASIAD playground empty-handed when the injury made Hoa unable to promote 100% of strength against the best athletes from the continental countries.

Being empty-handed in ASIAD arena does not come as a big surprise because there is a huge gap between Hue athletes and those in some Asian countries. Despite failure in competition, Hanh’s and Hoa’s participation in the continental playground helped them accumulate experience for the next reunion and in other arenas.

Unexpectedness in Chinese chess

At the time near ASIAD 2018, the National Youth Chinese Chess Championship was held in Hue from August 6-14. At the end of the Championship, the two most successful female players of Hue Chinese chess team were   Tra My (gold medal in U20 fast chess) and Yen Ngoc (gold medal in U13 fast chess). At that time, Vo Nguyen Quynh Nhu - Tra My and Yen Ngoc’s teammate – could win only 1 silver medal in lightning chess and 1 bronze medal in U12 standard chess.

Quynh Nhu's medal collection after the time of playing Chinese chess.

Despite a modest performance vis-à-vis the seniors, soon after that, at the World Youth Championship in the United Kingdom from August 18- 22, competing in the group of up to 6 Chinese athletes, Quynh Nhu in class 7,  Thuy Chau Junior Secondary School (Huong Thuy District) resisted all the pressure to grab the silver medal in U12 standard chess  in the world-prestigious tournament  in Chinese chess after losing only 0.5 points to the gold medalists.

Worthy of mention is that Quynh Nhu is not inherently a Chinese chess player. Getting acquainted with chess since grade 1, several months later, Nhu has shown her aptitude for chess after competing with the grade 2 students and ranked 4th in the chess tournament at  Phu Đong Health Festival in  Huong Thuy Town. Also during the competition, teacher Nguyen Phu in the board of referees discovered that Nhu has attributes in chess.

Greatly encouraged and persuaded, the family allowed Nhu to take an entrance examination for the class of gifted chess players at Hue College of Sports and Physical Education. In the next 2 years, Nhu has received chess training with the talented athletes; even so, she has not given the opportunity to enter any tournament.

Also during this time, even though Nhu was practicing chess, the knotty, intellectual moves and plays of Chinese chess fascinated her.  Unconsciously, whenever the chess practice was over, Nhu and the seniors competed in Chinese chess. In grade 4, after a period of practice, the province’s Chinese chess coach Bui Thuy Nga encouraged Nhu to play in Central Vietnam’s Open Chinese Chess Tournament in Da Nang. At that time, Nhu’s family got quite a surprise because "my daughter learns chess, why is she asked to enter Chinese chess competition?”

“Honestly, at that time, partly because of my belief in Ms Nga, partly because of my daughter’s insistence, I agreed without expectation. Unexpectedly, she won 3 team bronze medals. It is beyond my imagination,” Nguyen Thi Thuy Vi, Quynh Nhu’s mother confided.

"In the past, I used to think I take my daughter to chess class by motorcycle only in my free time because our house is far away, and we are busy, so dropping off and picking up her become very difficult especially in the rainy season. However, because of her great passion, we take turns to do that so that she will not miss any class, " Vo Duc Toan added.

Encouraged by 3 bronze medals won, Nhu shifted to the class of gifted Chinese chess players. For three years in the team, Nhu has entered a lot of open youth tournaments in Central Vietnam and nationwide together with a collection of medals. And in August 2018, it was the first time she had played in the world-class tournament. Quynh Nhu satisfied the public expectations with the historic silver medal won for her and for Thua Thien Hue Chinese chess in the international arena.

The honorable medal that Nhu got at a very young age is the motivation for her to go on her path of passion. Although established for 5 years only, Thua Thien Hue’s Chinese Chess Division has shown the signs of joy with the presence of Yen Vy, Yen  Ngoc, Tra My, Minh Khoi  and so on. They assessed as promising by the professionals can, together with Quynh Nhu, score resounding victories in the national and international arena in the future.

Story: HA DANG – Photos are provided by the character

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