Rowe Duane, 39, a Jamaican contestant in the HDBank International Open Chess Tournament 2017 (HDBank 2017), arrived in Ho Chi Minh City not only to compete but also to explore the popular attractions the city has to offer.
Organized by Vietnam’s HDBank, HDBank 2017 was scheduled to run from March 12 to 17 at the De Nhat Hotel in Tan Binh District.
Over five years ago, Duane was known as a strong contender among the chess player community in Jamaica and ranked among the top 10 in the world.
After obtaining a master’s degree in sustainable development from Cambridge University in the UK, Duane decided to return to his home country and pursued his career in the field of energy.
He tries to maintain his passion for chess as regularly as possible by partaking in about three to four international tournaments a year.
His time for the sport began to decrease as work pressure started to build up.
Playing chess is just a hobby, Duane stated, adding it could not help him either earn a living or provide for his wife and children.
The Jamaican man has participated in very few international tournaments since 2014 in order to focus on his profession, causing his worldwide ranking to drop eventually.
However, he would never give up his passion, Duane asserted, adding that whenever he is free from work, he tries to think about new moves and games in chess to sharpen his skills.
Duane manages to sign up for at least one global tourney every year. For this year, it was the HDBank 2017.
The Jamaican contestant always showed up just a few minutes before his matches, hyperventilating and sweating excessively.
It turned out Duane had been spending his every second in Ho Chi Minh City visiting local attractions, including several museums, the Cu Chi Tunnels, and many others.
He considers his participation in every tournament an opportunity to travel the world, willing to empty his own pocket on his trips.
For his eight-day stay in Ho Chi Minh City, Duane had spent about US$3,000, which was not a problem according to the man, as he loves traveling and has been to some 26 countries across the globe.
The city is a wonderful place, Duane remarked, adding that he could return to Vietnam if the country hosts other international competitions in the future.