"The [chess] federation pays for everything," Ms. Khiet says. "In my life, I never traveled on my own."
Mr. Thang says Vietnamese chess players improved after the government increased chess salaries and prizes. The stipends were raised from less than $100 to $300 per month over the past two years, while prizes for winning competitions were introduced five years ago and increased three times since, he says. Now, even children under 12 can take home as much as $500 for winning, he says. And in April, the top four male and female winners of Vietnam's national chess tournament took home a total of $13,500 in prizes, ranging from $250 to $4,000.
The Christian Science Monitor has the juice on this.