Eight qualifiers emerged from a pool of 160 players to contest the “King” of Khmer chess (okchatrang) competition at Angkor Songkran 2017 in Siem Reap during the Khmer New Year Celebrations.
The players were split into four groups of 40 each, with the top two moving into the final round of the competition to be held in front of the world famous Angkor Wat from April 14 to 16.
One of the shocks of the qualifying stage was the elimination of last year’s Songkran winner Hoy Souna.
The eight qualifiers are:
Pool A: Boon Kia Seng (Kratie), Ros Rithiva (Phnom Penh)
Pool B: Cheav Bora (Phnom Penh), Lim Phala (Pailin)
Pool C: Kang Heng (Battambang), Mey Keonimith (Phnom Penh)
Pool D: Chhoi Vira, Heng Saody (both Phnom Penh).
Secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Vath Chamroeun presided over the closing ceremony.
He congratulated the qualifiers and called on them to uphold the best traditions of Khmer chess and through their brilliance on the board preserve its centuries-old cultural values.