Women’s World Chess Champion Hou Yifan in Bangkok

Women’s World Chess Champion Hou Yifan in Bangkok Ready to Compete in the 12Th Bangkok Chess Club Open

Alexander J. Klemm

World Champion Hou Yifan celebrating Thailand's traditional Songkran festival
World Champion Hou Yifan celebrating Thailand's traditional Songkran festival

GM Hou Yifan (侯逸凡, CHI, Elo 2639), the 18-year-old rising star in the world of chess, arrived in Bangkok earlier this week to compete in the 12th Bangkok Chess Club Open at the Dusit Thani Hotel. While this is her first time in Thailand, many of the approximately 230 players from around the world have returned to participate in either the Open or the Challenger category. Ms. Yifan’s presence, together with that of many other world-class players, gives prestige to a chess event that in recent years has become one of Asia’s best. The women’s world champion will battle for the top spot against strong rivals, including the tournament’s highest-ranked player and longtime supporter of the BCC Open, GM Nigel Short (ENG, Elo 2697). Both GMs demonstrated their great form at last January’s Gibraltar Chess Festival when they finished first and second in a field that included 55 GMs. Other outstanding players who will have a shot at the first prize are the 2011-champion GM Jan Gustafsson (GER, Elo 2642), first-time participant GM Farrukh Amonatov (TJK, Elo 2604), as well as returning champions GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. (PHI, Elo 2557, winner 2003, 2004, 2006) and GM Deshun Xiu (CHN, Elo 2492, winner 2008, 2009). But many other players will not be brushed aside easily, such as Thailand’s hopefuls FM Wisuwat Teerapabpaisit (THA, Elo 2278), FM Nakorn Trisa-ard (THA, Elo 2265), FM Jirapak Pitirotjirathon (THA, Elo 2252) and FM Boonsueb Saeheng (THA, Elo 2207).

On Wednesday, Ms. Yifan met with a great number of VIPs and aspiring chess talents. First, at Shinawatra University’s city campus she visited the library’s chess corner and mingled with university students and young talents. For the second year in a row, SIU is a valuable sponsor of the tournament thanks to chess devotee Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Kittirat Na Ranong. She also met with representatives of SIU, most notably Acting President Assist. Prof. Dr. Prinya Tantaswadi, BCC President and Chief Organizer Kai Tuorila, Deputy Chief Arbiter IA Panupand Vijjuprabha, as well as tournament correspondent Assist. Prof. Dr. Alexander J. Klemm.

Later, in the Blue Room of Thailand’s Government House and under the watchful eyes of chess enthusiasts, Ms. Yifan met with Thailand’s Prime Minister Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, China’s Ambassador to Thailand Mr. Guan Mu, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Kittirat Na Ranong, Minister for the Office of the Prime Minister Ms. Nalinee Taweesin, Deputy Governor of Bank of Thailand Dr. Krirk Vanikul, and Petri Deryng, founder of PYN Fund Management and a valuable sponsor of the tournament. These representatives of Thailand and China honored Ms. Yifan for her outstanding achievements and thanked the young players, sponsors, and organizers for their great efforts. After a well-orchestrated photo session the champion played a chess simul against thirty children, students, and sponsors. While everyone played with passion and skill, Ms. Yifan took this as a welcomed warm-up for the main event as she brushed aside her last opponent after only two hours. The indisputable score:  Yifan 30 – grateful opponents 0. Especially for the children and their proud parents who must have been pleased with the kindness of Yifan and Thailand’s top politicians and impressed with the venue, this was a day they are unlikely to ever forget. And there is no doubt: thanks to the efforts of the BCC, the Thailand Chess Association, schools and universities, chess in Thailand is a sport rapidly on the rise.

Bangkok Chess Club at Government House

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as taken an interest in our tournament, both as a chess player herself and because of the visiting Women’s World Champion GM Hou Yifan. BCC President Kai Tuorila took the opportunity to present the PM with one of our specially created 12th BCC Open 2012 mugs, made by our sponsor Könitz.

Kai Tuorila meets Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Deputy PM/Finance Minister Kittirat

Brunei Campomanes Memorial Grandmaster Open 2012

Brunei Campomanes Memorial 2012The Brunei Chess Federation (BCF) is pleased to invite chess players from all federation to participate in the Brunei Campomanes Memorial Grandmaster Open 2012 from the 7th April 2012 (Arrival) to the 12th April 2012 (Departure). The organising committee for this tournament is the Brunei Chess Federation in collaboration with FIDE (World Chess Federation) and the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Brunei Darussalam.

The tournament will be held at the Orchid Garden Hotel, Jalan Berakas, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.

The Prize Fund is 10,000 US Dollars. Entry fees are as follows:

  1. No registration fee for chess players with international titles GM, IM, WGM and WIM
  2. For chess players with ELO rating 2400-2499 — 50 US dollars,
  3. For chess players with ELO rating 2300-2399 — 75 US dollars,
  4. For chess players with ELO rating 2200-2299 — 100 US dollars,
  5. For chess players with a rating below 2200 and unrated players — 125 US dollars,
  6. 50% discount are provided for veterans above 50 and students U16.
  7. Entry fee for BCF members are 50 US dollars.

The deadline for registration is 24th March 2012. After this, a late registration penalty of 50% will be added. However, organizers reserve the right to refuse or decline late registrations.

Interested players can REGISTER into the tournament by contacting the BCF General Secretary, Mr Leong Voon Choon via email: leongvc@live.com or Tournament Director, Pg Abd Rahman PLW Yussof via email: parwijaya@live.com


Special rates between the Brunei Chess Federation and specific hotels in Brunei Darussalam have been organized. Interested players can contact the organizers to acquire further details. Below are examples:

Tournament Format

  • The tournament will be played according to the Swiss System of 9 rounds.
  • Rate of play will be 90 minutes for the whole game + 30 seconds increment for every move played starting from the first move.
  • The latest rules and regulations of FIDE shall apply.

Download the full details here

BCC Open Press Conference

Hotel Manager Alex Willats shakes hands with Thailand Chess Association Prajuab Nimityongskul
Hotel Manager Alex Willats shakes hands with TCA President Prajuab Nimityongskul

A Press Conference was held at the Champagne Bar of the Dusit Thani Bangkok, presenting the BCC Open to the press. Speakers included representatives from organisers, sponsors and chess players; K. Prajuab, President of the Thailand Chess Association; Alex Willats, General Manager of the hotel; Kai Tuorila, Tournament Organiser and others.

You can download a copy of the press release here. For more information and pictures, please contact us through our web form here.

World Champion Hou Yifan confirms for BCC Open

Ladies World Chess Champion Grandmaster Hou Yifan

Ladies World Champion Grandmaster Hou Yifan has confirmed her participation in the 12th BCC Open tournament.

This is the first time for a reigning World Champion to play chess in Thailand, and is sure to create quite a stir here, and will be an inspiration for all juniors (GM Yifan is still only 17 years old) as well as lady players. Yifan has had an amazing run in the last year – as Leonard Barden wrote in the Guardian: “Hou Yifan’s astonishing result at Tradewise Gibraltar last week marks a highly significant break-through for women’s chess. China’s 17-year-old beat four elite grandmasters, outplayed the great tactician Alexei Shirov at his own game, and performed far above expectations.

There is no doubt that Hou is getting stronger, and she must surely be the favourite for the 12th BCC Open despite the participation of GM Nigel Short who defeated her in the playoff. It is excellent news for the BCC Open that GM Nigel Short and GM Hou Yifan,  joint winners of the strongest open tournament in history (Gibraltar), are confirmed for the tournament!

1st JCA Sunday Rating Tournament

A new tournament from Jirapak Chess Academy takes place on successive sundays at the academy in February and March. It should be the perfect way to warm up for the BCC Open in April. The format is 7 rounds swiss with a standard time control of 90 minutes plus 30s/move.

Chief Arbiter: IA Panupand Vijjuprabha

Location: Jirapak Chess Academy

Entry Fee for rated players: ฿1,250 / ฿1,000 (register before 19 February)
Entry Fee for unrated players: ฿1,500 / ฿1,250 (register before 19 February)

Prizes: 1st ฿3,000 / 2nd ฿2,000 / 3rd ฿1,000 plus trophies

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