10/05/2018 11:24 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Young Xiangqi master

Inspired by her brother, Cao Phuong Thanh played Xiangqi (Chinese chess) when she was a little girl. She is now a national Xiangqi master with outstanding records and has won national and international tournaments. Calmness, resolution and confidence are Thanh’s biggest gains from having a sportsperson’s mind.
The Xiangqi player from Ho Chi Minh City never forgot the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing in 2008 when she lost the silver medal to her Australian rival. “Because I had the advantage, I took the opponent’s pawn, resulting in my failure later,” Thanh remembered how her hunger for success defeated her. This became an unforgettable lesson in her career.

Learning from failures and practicing hard, Phuong Thanh made great progress under the tutoring of head coach of the national Xiangqi team, Hoang Dinh Hong. Thanh learnt from Hong playing tactics and competing psychology. She also practiced by playing online matches and studied chess moves online.



 Beautiful Xiangqi player Cao Phuong Thanh. Photo: Thong Hai/VNP


Cao Phuong Thanh (left) competes with a Chinese player in SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing in 2012.
Photo: Files



 Cao Phuong Thanh (yellow T-shirt) at the 2017 Mind Sports Festival in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Files


 She concurrently competes with 10 players at the 2017 Mind Sports Festival. Photo: Files


 She worked as an umpire at the open Xiangqi tournament of Vietnam New Agency in 2017.
Photo: Son Nghia/VNP



 Thanh also works as Xiangqi coach and umpire. Photo: Son Nghia/VNP


 She practices through online chess matches. Photo: Thong Hai/VNP


 Phuong Thanh plays with a Xiangqi fan. Photo: Thong Hai/VNP


 Thanh is also a good pianist. Photo: Thong Hai/VNP
 
    
In SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing in 2012, Cao Phuong Thanh won the silver medal in the women's category of Xiangqi.

“Thanh is a good-natured girl who is calm in competitions and in life. With her aptitude which has been supported by her family since she was little, Thanh can further develop her career and target high achievements at national and international tournaments,” Hong said.

Thanh graduated with a degree in banking, however, she became a professional Xiangqi player. She also works as a coach for teen players at the Xiangqi club of District 1 and as a national umpire in kids’ tournaments and competitions.

    

 Cao Phuong Thanh won the silver medal in SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, in 2012. Photo: Files


 She got the third prize in the National Xiangqi Championship of Strong Players in 2017. Photo: Files




 Thanh's collection of medals.
 

In the long run, Thanh plans to become a professional Xiangqi coach.  

At the age of 27, Cao Phuong Thanh has won over 100 medals in many categories, including:
• Gold medal at National Phu Dong Sports Festival in 2004
• National Team Xiangqi Champion in 2009
• National Xiangqi Champion in 2012
• Gold medal at the National Xiangqi Championship of Strong Players in 2016
• Silver medal in SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing in 2012

Story: Son Nghia - Photos: Son Nghia, Thong Hai & Files