15-Year-Old Chessable Author Huy Wins Vietnam Chess Championship
Huy (second from the left) also finished fifth at the 2023 Asian Youth Championships. Photo: Vietnam Chess Federation/Facebook.

15-Year-Old Chessable Author Huy Wins Vietnam Chess Championship

| 23 | Chess Event Coverage

FM Banh Gia Huy has booked his spot at the 2024 FIDE Chess Olympiad for team Vietnam after winning the country's national championship in March. Huy has since crossed the 2400 FIDE rating threshold, leaving him one norm shy of the coveted IM title.

Huy has focused almost exclusively on classical chess. Image: FIDE.

Held in the nation's capital of Hanoi, the Vietnam Championship attracted 56 of the country's top players, including three GMs and four IMs. However, Huy rose above them all to finish =1st on 7.5/9, eclipsing GMs Nguyen Duc Hoa and Tran Tuan Minh on tiebreaks. 

Rank Name FED RtgI Pts. TB1
1 FM Banh Gia Huy 2390 7.5 1.5
2 GM Nguyen Duc Hoa 2340 7.5 1
3 GM Tran Tuan Minh 2465 7.5 0.5
4 CM Dinh Nho Kiet 2187 6.5 0
5 GM Nguyen Van Huy 2356 6 0
6 IM Tran Minh Thang 2336 6 0
7 Dang Anh Minh 2064 5.5 0
8 FM Dang Hoang Son 2333 5.5 0
9 IM Dao Minh Nhat 2268 5.5 0
10 CM Pham Xuan Dat 2160 5.5 0
11 Nguyen Tung Quan 1823 5.5 0
12 FM Hoang Canh Huan 2361 5.5 0
13 IM To Nhat Minh 2331 5.5 0
14 Nguyen Nam Kiet 1997 5.5 0
15 Nguyen Dinh Trung 1947 5.5 0
16 Nguyen Hoang Duc 2027 5 0
17 IM Pham Chuong 2332 5 0
18 CM Nguyen Phuoc Tam 2179 5 0
19 Nguyen Huynh Tuan Hai 2106 5 0
20 FM Tran Ngoc Lan 2115 5 0

A first-round draw against 1951-rated Duong Vu Anh was a suboptimal start for the 15-year-old. However, after this, Huy was virtually unstoppable. A scintillating 26-move win over Nguyen Tung Quan in the ninth and final round where he uncorked a devastating sacrifice 25.Rxg7+!! showcased his attacking aptitude. 

Hailing from a country with evidence to support it being one of the most underrated in the world, Huy's rise to the 10th spot in his country has required sacrifice, resilience, and over 250 FIDE-rated games over the last four years. Yet, while training and playing tournaments, Huy has also found the time to author two Chessable courses, the first of which was published in 2021 when Huy was just 12 years old, titled "Huy's Original Repertoire: Spielmann-Indian."

Huy's course was a finalist in the "Create Your Own Course Challenge." Image:

The course, which has been hailed as "an underrated gem of a course," includes over 100,000 words of analysis on the Spielmann-Indian Defense with special attention paid to an improved version of the Benko Gambit with 3...b5!

In his most recent course (which was released in February), Huy joined forces with power user "Makkapakka" and presented "Outfox The French: The Horwitz Attack For White" which recommends the following setup for White against the popular opening: 1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2.

Huy's courses read as though he has a lifetime of playing experience. Image:

While Huy's achievements bode well for the young maestro, they also paint a positive picture of Vietnam's chess future, and two other players born in 2009 or later—FM Pham Tran Gia Phuc and FM Dinh Nho Kiet—join Huy in the top-10 list. For reference, none of these talents can remember anyone but GM Magnus Carlsen atop the FIDE rating list.

Huy was a one-year-old when Carlsen became the world number-one for the first time.

As stipulated by Vietnam's Olympiad selection regulations, Huy has earned a spot on the national team that will compete in Budapest at the 2024 Chess Olympiad in September alongside GMs Le Quang Liem, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, and Minh. With double GM norms on offer at Olympiads, Huy will no doubt put his best foot forward for his country.

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