India’s Surya Ganguly is the 2016 Bangkok Chess Club Open Champion, having won one a tiebreaker by the narrowest of margins over Spain’s Paco Vallejo,
Thailand’s strongest-ever tournament was decided only after five hours play, when long-time leader Loek van Wely resigned for the first time in the tournament to a determined Ganguly, 33.
Ganguly’s tiebreak win made up for the heart-break of 2015 when he defeated leader Wang Hao in the final round only to see Nigel Short edge him out on a tiebreaker.
The final round of the Bangkok CC Open began early on Sunday morning at the Dusit Thani Hotel with five possible winners, all highly ranked Grandmasters. Benjamin Bok and Ildar Khairulin of Russia knew that only a win would be enough to have a chance for the title but Dutchman Bok could not break through Khairullin’s defences and the game was drawn, leaving the two players half a point away from first place.
Top seeded Vallejo was paired against English veteran Nigel Short, half a point behind the leaders. Short, who insisted on playing with the UK flag rather than the English flag, attacked early but Vallejo crashed through on the counter-attack to become the first player to reach 7.5 points. Then the Spaniard had a nervous wait to see if Ganguly or Bok could equal his score, and Ganguly managed to do so.
The tiebreaker went in Ganguly’s favour because his opponents had scored more points than Vallejo’s so he claimed the coveted BCC trophy for the first time. (The two players shared the first and second prizes of 100,000 and 70,000 Baht.)
The top Thai player for the tournament was Jirapak Pitirotjirathon who finished equal with Wisuwat Teerapabpaisit, Thanadon Kulpruethanon, Thoetsak Wongsawan and Jarunpol Sajjapornthep but had a superior tiebreak score.
A record 331 players from 43 countries competed in the Open, Challengers and Blitz tournaments, including 13 Grandmasters.
Russian Grandmaster Ildar Khairullin defeated long-time leader Jan Gustafsson to reach the tie for first place after the penultimate round of the 16th Bangkok Chess Club Open, Thailand’s strongest-ever tournament.
Khairullin became one of the tournament’s five pace-setters after the top two boards in the eighth round ended in draws.
Spanish top seed Paco Vallejo missed a golden opportunity to take the tournament’s outright lead when he had Indian Grandmaster Surya Ganguly on the ropes, but Ganguly’s exceptional knowledge of technical rook endgames enabled him to scramble a draw.
The two Dutch Grandmasters at the top of the table, Loek van Wely and Benjamin Bok, had a less eventful game, seemingly exhausted from their earlier violent Thai chessboxing battle, won by van Wely with his battle cry of “If he dies, he dies!”.
So going into the final round, Vallejo, van Wely, Bok, Ganguly and Khairullin are all tied for first place on 6.5 points from a possible 8. Since the tournament title is decided on tiebreak, van Wely and Vallejo are best placed to take out the coveted Bangkok CC Open title, should they win the final round.
The race to become the best Thai player has also heated up, with Wisuwat Teerapabpaisit, Jirapak Pitirotjirathon and Thanadon Kulpruethanon all tied on 5 points.
325 players from 43 countries, including 13 Grandmasters, are competing in the Bangkok Open tournament, held in the centre of Bangkok at the Dusit Thani Hotel, with admission free for spectators. The final round of the Bangkok CC Open begins at 9am on Sunday.
With two rounds to play, five Grandmasters remain in contention for the 100,000 Baht first prize after Friday’s seventh round of the 16th Bangkok Chess Club Open, South-East Asia’s strongest tournament of 2016.
The tournament leaders Grandmasters Jan Gustafsson and Loek van Wely could not make any progress in their head-to-head encounter, leaving the door open for other to join the tournament lead on six points.
Spanish top seed Paco Vallejo made the most of his chances, demolishing Myanmar’s Wynn Zaw Htun with one of the most spectacular games ever played on Thai soil. After thinking for half an hour over his 18th move, Vallejo found a brilliant new plan, which involved sacrificing his knight and then his rook for a crushing attack. Wynn resigned on move 29 when defeat was inevitable.
Two more Grandmasters joined the tie at the top: Surya Ganguly positionally outplaying his Indian compatriot Sharma Himanshu, while Dutchman Benjamin Bok outlasted Indonesian FIDE Master Ervan Mohamad.
Boonsueb Saeheng moved to the top of the Thai leader board by defeating Germany’s Andre Kienitz but Saeheng remains a point and a half from the leading bunch and it is now clear that there will not be a local winner of Thaliand’s premier event.
In Thursday evening’s final of the Bangkok CC Blitz Championship, Indian Grandmaster Dhopade Swapnil defeated van Wely in a dramatic Armageddon playoff where, after a seesawing game the Dutch Grandmaster was winning on the board but lost on time.
325 players from 43 countries, including 13 Grandmasters, are competing in the Bangkok Open tournament, held in the centre of Bangkok at the Dusit Thani Hotel.
Round 8 of the Bangkok CC Open begins on Saturday at 2pm at the Dusit Thani Hotel. Admittance is free for spectators.
The competition concludes on April 17.
German Grandmaster Jan Gustafsson caught leader Dutchman Loek van Wely to be joint pacesetter after Thursday’s sixth round of the 16th Bangkok Chess Club Open, South-East Asia’s strongest tournament of 2016.
Top seed, Spanish Grandmaster Paco Vallejo made a valiant effort to take down van Wely but a wild struggle ended in perpetual check and a draw.
This gave Gustafsson the opportunity to move up should he defeat Chinese teenager Nie Yinyang and the German Grandmaster made no mistake to reach five and a half points.
Van Wely’s compatriot Benjamin Bok had a chance to reach the tie for first but failed to convert his advantage after heroic defence by India’s Dhopade Swapnil in a marathon game which lasted for 78 moves.
Former world title challenger Nigel Short will not retain his Bangkok CC Open title after a shock sixth round loss to Myanmar’s Wynn Zaw Htun. This was Short’s second match of the day, after losing a Thai chess-boxing contest against France’s Sophie Milliet earlier in the day. Certainly Short’s play against Htun showed clear signs of possible concussion from the earlier bout.
Two Thai players moved to within a point and a half of the tournament lead. Wisuwat Teerapabpaisit defeated Australia’s Alain Pardoen while 21-year-old Thanadon Kulpruethanon outpointed Dominique Lourain.
325 players from 43 countries are competing in the Bangkok Open tournament, held in the centre of Bangkok at the Dusit Thani Hotel.
Round 7 of the Bangkok CC Open begins on Friday at 2pm at the Dusit Thani Hotel. Admittance is free for spectators.
The competition concludes on April 17.
7-time Dutch Champion Loek van Wely has become the sole leader of the Bangkok Chess Club Open, the strongest tournament ever held in Thailand.
On Wednesday – the first day of Thailand’s famous Songkran Festival – the 43-year-old father-to-be secured his fifth win in five games by outplaying India’s prodigious 17-year-old Grandmaster Narayanan Sunilduth.
Van Wely, a keen cyclist, moved ahead of the peleton because top seeded Spaniard Paco Vallejo was held to a draw by van Wely’s compatriot Benjamin Bok in a less-than-riveting 15 move encounter.
Vallejo and Bok join a pack of five players just half a point behind van Wely, including fellow Grandmasters Jan Gustafsson and Dhopade Swapnil as well as little-known Chinese giant-killer Nie Xinyang. 15-year-old Nie, who had defeated Grandmaster Gerhard Schebler in the previous round, continued his good form with a convincing win over Australian 13th seed Anton Smirnov.
Thai hopes were riding on the shoulders of Boonsueb Saeheng but the Bangkok veteran saw his title hopes dented when he erred badly against another veteran, former world title challenger Nigel Short.
Over 300 players from more than 40 countries are competing in the Bangkok Open and Challengers tournaments, held in the centre of Bangkok at the Dusit Thani Hotel.
Round 6 of the Bangkok CC Open begins on Thursday at 2pm at the Dusit Thani Hotel and offers free entry to spectators.
The competition concludes on April 17.