The second World Cup of 2018 will start on 21 May, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A surprising number of strong European players will travel to the far east, to participate in this event. Just to name a few: Palazon and Martinez from Spain, Horn and Jaeschke from Germany, Michael and Tonny Carlsen from Denmark, Hofman and de Bruijn from the Netherlands, Capak, Uymaz, Cenet, Tasdemir, Bulut, Alp and Sayginer from Turkey, Leppens and Forthomme from Belgium, Kahofer from Austria, Kasidokostas, Balogiannis and Kokkoris from Greece.
The tournament has been on the calendar since 2015, and the first three editions had a high standard and were a great success. Thanks to the new wave of Vietnamese players and many inscriptions from South Korea, the qualification stage will be a true 3-cushion battlefield.
The UMB has seeded Caudron, Merckx, Jaspers, Zanetti, H.J. Kim, Blomdahl, Sánchez, Sidhom, Coklu, Nguyen, J.H. Heo, S.W. Choi, Bury and Polychronopoulos, according to their world ranking. The UMB wildcard went to Robinson Morales from Colombia, the two local wildcards were given to Quyet Chien Tran and Minh Cam Ma.
Three of the best-known ladies in our sport will be present in Ho Chi Minh City: Namiko Hayashi, Gülsen Degener and of course Therese Klompenhouwer. A few other qualifiers to keep your eye on: Jin Pyo Hong is a Korean player capable of high averages, and he is waiting for his breakthrough in a World Cup. The same can be said about Nguyen Duc Anh Chien, a young Vietnamese fellow who is brimming with talent. And last but certainly not least: Myung Woo Cho, perhaps a future world champion. His practice run of 32 was seen all over the world, he has been in three semifinals already and it’s a matter of time before he goes all the way.
The previous editions of the Ho Chi Minh City World Cup were won by Tayfun Tasdemir (2015), Frédéric Caudron (2016) and Eddy Merckx (2017).
The tournament favorite in 2018 can be no other than the world number one and reigning world champion: Frédéric Caudron, who is in shining form.
All matches can be seen on Kozoom. Viewing is free on the days of the qualifications, for the main tournament, a Premium Pass is required.