HD Bank Open Vietnam 2018

by Atul Dahale
2/26/2018 – What do you look for when you choose to play in an international event? 1. Strong field, 2. A good place to visit, 3. Affordability. What if we said that all of this is possible if you play at the HD Bank Open 2018 in Vietnam. With the top seed being 2737 and close to 100 titled players expected, this is a perfect tournament for you to gain exposure/norms. Apart from this Hanoi is a beautiful city in Vietnam with a lot of tourist attractions. Ha Noi city is located on the banks of the Red River, visiting the river shore will surely be a pleasant experience! | Photo: www.tripadvisor.com

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Welcome to the 8th HD Bank Open 2018

The 8th HD Bank chess open will be held from 9th to 16th March 2018 in Ha Noi the capital city of Vietnam. HD Bank open is the strongest annual event held in Vietnam. Because of its excellent playing conditions and huge prize fund, this event has always attracted strong players from across the globe. Let's have a look at what this tournament has to offer us!

Tournament Venue

Ha Noi, located on the banks of the Red River, is one of the most ancient capitals in the world, the HD Bank open will take place in five-star Army Hotel, to play a tournament in the great place like this is always fun.

Hotel venue

The Army Hotel | Photo: Official Page.

The Schedule

Round 1 starts March 10th. There are four days with double-rounds.


Who can participate in this tournament?

There are two categories in which this tournament will be conducted, Masters and Challengers.

Master Category: For players rated above 2100 and women rated above 2000.

Challenger Category: For players rated below 2100 or unrated.

These Top guns will be firing down the shots in 2018 edition!

The Vietnamese superstar and world-class player GM Le Quang Liem (2737) will be present here to defend his title, he has already won this championship three times in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Will he be able to win it for the fourth time?

Le Quang Liem

GM Le Quang Liem with the 2017 edition's Championship Trophy | Photo: Official site

Chinese super GM Wang Hao (2712) will be the second seed of the tournament. He has many championships under his belt including strong opens like Sharjah and Al-Ain classic. He is a strong contender for the title.

Wang Hao

GM Wang Hao (2712) | Photo: Chinese chess federation

Indian contingent will be led by former national champion GM Sethuraman SP (2646).


GM Sethuraman SP | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Future of Indian chess GM Aravindh Chithambaram will be here to follow his great performance from Sunway Sitges Open 2017.

Aravindh Chithambaram

GM Aravindh Chithambaram | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The strong player from far west Argentinian GM Sandro Mereco (2632) will be the 5th seed.

Sandro Mareco

GM Mereco Sandro | Photo: Alina l'Ami


What really attracts these top grandmasters is the huge prize-money!

Fifty-five thousand US Dollars (US$55,000) will be the total prize fund, which includes 26 main prizes. Prizes shall be awarded are as follows:

Master Category

1st: $15,000; 2nd: $6,500; 3rd: $4,500; 4th: $2,500; 5th: $1,600; 6th: $1100; 7th: $1000; 8th: $900; 9th: $800; 10th: $700; 11th: $600; 12th: $500; 13th to 16th $300; 17th to 20th $250; 21st to 26th $200.

To encourage female participation and to boost women chess, organizers have declared prizes for top six women participants. The prize money is as follows:

Best women

1st: $5,000; 2nd: $2,500; 3rd: $1,500; 4th: $700; 5th: $500; 6th: $300;

Best U16 $200. Best Seniors >60 $200.

Challengers Category

Main Prizes: 1st: $1,200; 2nd: $800; 3rd: $600; 4th: $500; 5th: $350; 6th: $250.

Best women: 1st: $500; 2nd: $300; 3rd: $200.

Best U12: $150. Best Seniors >60: $150.

Excellent IM/GM norm chances

There are great chances to achieve your IM/ GM norm in this tournament as many strong players are going to play here. Last year a total of 85 titled players took part including 29 GMs, 9 WGMs, 26 IMs and 3 WIMs.

Starting list for 2018

As you can see top 20 players are above 2500 rating, a solid performance will ensure you a norm.

No. Name Rtg
1 Le Quang Liem 2737
2 Wang Hao 2712
3 Sethuraman S.P. 2646
4 Mareco Sandro 2632
5 Gordievsky Dmitry 2630
6 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2630
7 Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2617
8 Wen Yang 2608
9 Zhao Jun 2599
10 Bernadskiy Vitaliy 2588
11 Karthikeyan Murali 2585
12 Rozum Ivan 2582
13 Narayanan.S.L 2573
14 Bogdanovich Stanislav 2560
15 Pichot Alan 2552
16 Krysa Leandro 2548
17 Lei Tingjie 2541
18 Vishnu Prasanna. V 2526
19 Sivuk Vitaly 2524
20 Tran Tuan Minh 2522

Entry Fee

For all players based on March 1st, 2018 FIDE rating list, the entry fee is as follows: Registration is free for GM, IM, WGM, and players with a FIDE Rating of 2500 and above. For Master category, the entry fee is as follows:

Above 2399 $50
2350 to 2399 $75
2300 to 2349 $100
2250 to 2299 $125
2100 to 2250 $150
2000 to 2099 $200

For Challenger category: $50 for players rated from 1900 to 2100 and $75 for others.

Attractions in Ha Noi city and its surroundings

Known as the lake of the returned (or restored) sword, Hoan Keim Lake lake marks the historical centre of ancient Hanoi.

Hoan Keim Lake

Hoan Keim Lake | Photo: www.touropia.com

This is one of the temples of Confucius and home of the nation’s first university. Originally built in 1070, the temple is meant to honor all scholars.

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature | Photo: Touropia

The old quarter is a mesh of the old and the new, as antique narrow streets snake between old brick buildings, covered in modern motorbikes and street vendors.

old quarter

Ha Noi old quarter | Photo: www.ndh.vn

Arguably one of the most incredible destinations in all of Vietnam is Halong Bay. Although it is over 160 km (100 miles) east of Hanoi, it is definitely worth the journey.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay | Photo: Robert Balwin

The scenery of Tam Coc is the first thing you’ll notice.

Tam Coc

Tam Coc is just 90 minutes south of Hanoi | Photo: Vietnampackagetravel.com

Just 25 km (15 miles) outside of Ha Noi, on the other side of the Red River, is Bat Trang. The village itself is ancient, dating back more than 1,000 years, and it is known for its ceramics.

Bat Trang

Bat Trang pottery village | Photo: Dalat Trip

This story originally appeared on ChessBase India and is reproduced with permission



Atul Dahale is one of the first Internationally FIDE rated players from the small town of Parbhani in Maharashtra India. He loves the game of chess and enjoys the fact that he can travel to different places, meet people and make new friends thanks to chess.
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Alzheimer Alzheimer 2/26/2018 09:32
It is really impressive how Vietnam has recovered from infamous US-Vietnam war. Wish them great success in this very strong international tournament It is very beneficial for the promotion of chess in Asia, which will ultimately benefit all chess players around the world.
cashparov1 cashparov1 2/26/2018 11:25
My thoughts too, Ray. I often wonder myself how chess players can afford going to these international tournaments. Travel expenses, accommodation, pocket money, insurance, etc. Unless the organizers pay most of the expenses I have a hard time understanding how folks can afford traveling half way across the world just to play some chess. Especially considering that the prize fund isn't that huge. At the HD Bank Open 8th place and lower already pays under $1000. Those are peanuts.
For example the players from Ukraine. No disrespect meant to people from Ukraine, but statistically speaking folks from Ukraine aren't particularly wealthy. How can they afford a 9-round tournament in Vietnam?
RayLopez RayLopez 2/26/2018 04:11
Is staying at the five-star luxury hotel mandatory for titled players? Is it free? If they have to stay there, and it's not free, I don't see how any chess player can afford it -or even most regular people- unless chess players make a lot more money than commonly supposed. When I travel to Asia I find the five-star luxury hotels are rip-offs for super-rich western tourists, sometimes they will charge you $300 for an ordinary but nice room; you are paying for the hotel lobby artwork. In hot countries like Vietnam it would not surprise me if the hot water did not work so well either