The Rise of the “Asian Dragons,” Part 2

GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son. Photo by Quang Huy.

No… this is not an article about the southeast Asian economies (e.g., Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan). It is an article about the rise of chess in the Asian region. Over the last 20 years, Asian has begun to assert itself and is producing a massive wave of talent. This talent will certainly produce a dominating presence in international circuit.

Seven years ago, we ran an article about the rise of China and India. Well besides these two nations leading the charge, Vietnam and the Philippines are in tow. With Russian dominance fading and Asia rising, sheer numbers and inertia will create a new renaissance and the chess world will shall be transformed in the next 10-20 years.

Photo of Vietnam’s GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son by Quang Huy.

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  1. Just got my New in Chess today. Chinese Grandmaster Wang Yue is on the cover and appears throughout (e.g., Sochi Grand Prix). There are still disbelievers in the skills of the Chinese. During the NH Chess Tournament, Viktor Korchnoi stated in his game against Wang,

    “It is not easy to understand where Wang’s skill has come from – obviously, he has just memorized everything that the computer say and recommends. Not much profundity, but who cares?”

    The last comment has probably meant to disqualify his earlier ridiculous statement. No one can make 2700 by simply memorizing lines. He also made other condescending comments about Wang (with strange references to Chinese Chess). Many have not accepted that the Chinese are legitimately strong. He also made comments about young players dependence on computers. I read Anatoly Karpov saying the same thing about Viswanathan Anand during the current championship match.

    There is an interesting essay on a Rudolph L. Sze a Chinese-American chess player in the early 20th century. It recounts some very interesting allegories about the challenges of being Asian during those time. Stereotypes were commonplace and there was a thought that an Asian could not approach mastery of chess. It is interesting to hear of this trailblazer and to notice the recognition that Chinese are not getting… long overdue.

    In the same issue, they highlight World Junior champions Abhijeet Gupta (male) and Dronavali Harika (female).

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