Father of young chess champion becomes internationally certified chess referee

Nguyen Thanh Cong initially knew nothing about chess, but became an internationally certified chess referee after years of studying along with his prize-winning daughter.

Nguyen Thien Ngan, a 10th grader at Chu Van An High School in the northern province of Thai Nguyen won acclaim in 2019 for her noteworthy contribution to helping the Vietnamese delegation win first place by winning a gold medal in the Rapid & Blitz Championships at the tournament World Chess Championship organized by the International Chess Association (FIDE).

She has won nearly 190 chess medals of all kinds and recently in March 2021, carried off the First Prize wonderfully at the National Rapid Chess Championship this year, making her the first person in Thai Nguyen to be a national chess champion.

Mr. Cong, Ngan’s father, said that after his daughter discovered a fondness for chess at the age of five and her personal aptitude was noticed by teachers, he began taking his daughter to extra classes for chess practice. They then started their journey.

Học cùng con, ông bố Thái Nguyên từ số 0 được chứng nhận quốc tế

Nguyen Thanh Cong and his daughter Nguyen Thien Ngan.

Thien Ngan won first prize in the city (grade 1-3) and first prize at the provincial level, allowing her to enter the national round.

To nurture this passion, Cong knew that further chess education was of utmost importance, but Thai Nguyen 10 years ago could not provide this. So he decided to take Thien Ngan to chess practice class in Hanoi, which is 100 km from where they live, when she was in grades one to three.

"What put pep in my steps was simply how much she enjoyed those lengthy motorbike travels with her personal driver dad, much more than any car rides," said Cong. He later allowed her to take the bus herself.

Mr. Cong understands that her thinking, independence, bravery and self-discipline would all be built in along the way. What he appreciates the most about chess is that it improves children’s control of their own emotions, which he often shares with other parents whose kids are fond of chess.

"Success with chess is not always about winning a medal but simply gaining emotional control. A sane mind will enable you to learn from a failure, successfully,” Cong said.

Cong, who knew nothing about chess, has now become a coach, head of the organizing committee, and a referee at many major chess tournaments, thanks to years of accompanying his daughter. All the memorable milestones along their 10-year journey have been recorded by Cong.

A good understanding of the sport was necessary once he chose to share the journey with her. So they jointly learned from chess documents, stories and materials available on all platforms.

Học cùng con, ông bố Thái Nguyên từ số 0 được chứng nhận quốc tế

Nguyen Thien Ngan with her father, her teacher, the grandmaster Bui Vinh (rightmost) and a special supportive fan "Mr. Index" Do Hoang Son (leftmost).

Accompanying his child to competitions, taking advantage of training classes from the Vietnam Flag Federation, as well as attending the training classes of coaches and referees, after 10 years Cong became a national coach and member of the referee team at many tournaments across the country.

"Success with chess is not always about winning a medal but simply gaining emotional control. A sane mind will enable you to learn from a failure, successfully,” Cong said.

 

Cong, who knew nothing about chess, has now become a coach, head of the organizing committee, and a referee at many major chess tournaments, thanks to years of accompanying his daughter. All the memorable milestones along their 10-year journey have been recorded by Cong.

A good understanding of the sport was necessary once he chose to share the journey with her. So they jointly learned from chess documents, stories and materials available on all platforms.

Accompanying his child to competitions, taking advantage of training classes from the Vietnam Flag Federation, as well as attending the training classes of coaches and referees, after 10 years Cong became a national coach and member of the referee team at many tournaments across the country.

In 2019, he was elected a member of Thai Nguyen Chess Federation and has an arbitration certificate from the International Chess Federation. He has also been a deputy referee in all recent chess competitions of the Vietnam Chess Federation.

"I wish to learn further to support my child and contribute to developing a chess movement in Thai Nguyen," said Cong.

Thien Ngan set a goal to become an international grandmaster by the age of 20, and her father never stops improving and working towards expanding the chess movement in Thai Nguyen province.

Học cùng con, ông bố Thái Nguyên từ số 0 được chứng nhận quốc tế
Học cùng con, ông bố Thái Nguyên từ số 0 được chứng nhận quốc tế
Học cùng con, ông bố Thái Nguyên từ số 0 được chứng nhận quốc tế
Học cùng con, ông bố Thái Nguyên từ số 0 được chứng nhận quốc tế

Thanh Hung

The 200km journey of a world chess champion

The 200km journey of a world chess champion

Nguyen Thien Ngan, 10th grader at Chu Van An High School, Thai Nguyen Province, has earned people’s admiration for winning nearly 180 medals after nine years of competition.

 
 

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