Dao Thien Hai was for many years the leader of Vietnam chess. His country’s first GM, he began playing international competitions from 1984 when he was just 6 years old. For over 20 years now Dao has been the player every young Vietnamese chess player has aspired to become.
With the emergence of super talents Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Dao has in recent years been content to share his vast experience and taking a supporting role in the national team where his contributions are often still critical to the Vietnam team’s success.
Kristanius Liem: Welcome back to Indonesia! You are not a stranger to PERCASI (All Indonesian Chess Federation) and a good friend of all of us!
Dao Tien Hai: Thank you. Its always a pleasure to come to Indonesia. I have been here so many times I cannot remember how many but it is at least 4 times but I think much more.
KL: Last year was the first Indonesian Open and you finished in 18th place. This year you are seeded 22nd in another very strong field and how do you hope to do this time?
DTH: I will try to finish in the top ten and who knows what might happen?
KL: We have a large delegation from Vietnam. In fact your entire Olympiad team except for Le and with Cao Sang is here. Not to forget your number 1 woman player Pham Le Thao Nguyen.
DTH: Yes, Indonesia is a good friend to Vietnam and we also very much enjoy your beautiful country and like very much to come here.
KL: Everyone knows your big role in the development of chess in Vietnam for over 20 years now. You were your country’s first GM and still a big part of the national team.
DTH: Now I combine teaching young players together with playing for national team as I have a lot of experience which I can share and which can help others develop.
KL: You are still a young player, just 34 years of age. What are your ambitions and what would you like to achieve further in chess.
DTH: I still enjoy every much to play but I think my future is in becoming a top coach and I feel I will have the same or even better results than when I played my best chess.
KL: Thank you for your time and very interesting interview.
DTH: You are welcome!