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Battle commences for ‘King of Chess’ crown

Players compete in the national heat of the 2017 King of Chess competition in Phnom Penh last year.
Players compete in the national heat of the 2017 King of Chess competition in Phnom Penh last year.

Battle commences for ‘King of Chess’ crown

The start of a two-month search for Cambodia’s 2018 “King of Chess” to be coronated at the Angkor Sangran Khmer New Year festival begins today as regional heats start across the Kingdom.

Cambodia’s 24 provinces and Phnom Penh are divided into seven “centres”, where contenders will battle it out across three competitive stages to see which of eight Khmer chess players will make it to Angkor Wat over the New Year festivities for the final fight for the crown.

General-secretary of the Cambodia Chess Federation Chheav Bora, himself the King of Chess in 2014 and 2015, told The Post: “This year, there are three stages – the candidates will compete in their regional centre in the first stage, before qualifying for the national competition in Phnom Penh. The eight qualifiers from this competition will progress to the final stage at Angkor Wat over the Khmer New Year celebrations.”

The current King of Chess is Sao Heng from Kandal province, who will be out to see off all pretenders to his crown when he begins his title defence this year.

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