Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Saody finally crowned ‘king’ of Khmer chess




Saody finally crowned ‘king’ of Khmer chess

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Heng Saody took top honours at the Angkor Songkran chess championships. Photo supplied

Saody finally crowned ‘king’ of Khmer chess

After two unsuccessful bids in the past, Heng Saody outwitted his rivals this year in the Angkor Songkran Oukchatrong Championships to be crowned the “king” of Khmer chess in Siem Reap last week.

The unassuming Saody scored a technical win in the final over Bun Kaiseng, a veteran of many battles, as the eight-player event drew to a close at the Angkor Wat temple complex, adding an exciting element to the New Year festivities.

In keeping with tradition, the finalists wore Angkor-era costumes that symbolised this ancient game’s historical perspective. Oukchatrong is an offshoot of chaturang, an ancient strategy game that originated in India and spread to many parts of the world centuries ago, evolving into the international chess that is played and followed today in as many as 170 countries in the world.

Apart from the much-coveted title, Saody received a cash prize of 12 million riel from the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia for his triumph and an additional 20 million riel as a personal reward from Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is a big supporter of Cambodian sports in general and oukchatrong in particular.

Runner-up Kaiseng was richer by 20 million riel, 8 million from the NOCC and 12 million from the premier.Chhoi Vira created a sensation by beating two-time winner Chheav Bora in the contest for third place.

The winner in 2011, Vira had repeatedly failed in his subsequent attempts but recovered his winning touch to finish as high as third best among the eight contestants who qualified for this final showdown from a pre-Songkran event held at the NOCC last month in which 160 players took part.

For his effort Vira was rewarded with 4 million riel from the NOCC and double that from the prime minister.

Chheav Bora got 7 million riel in all. Ros Rithya, Lim Phala, My Keonimith and Kang Heng were ranked fifth to eighth, each receiving 2 million riel from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Capital set to beef up security

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng held the first meeting of the year with heads of armed forces in the capital to review and repair the deficiencies related to gun control, drug crimes, social order disruptions due to alcohol consumption and traffic law enforcement. Municipal