Gustafsson Collects Second BCC Open Title

Republished courtesy of the Australian Chess Federation

The 19th edition of the Bangkok Chess Club Open was held at the Centara Grand  at Central Plaza Ladprao Hotel in Bangkok from 6-14 April. Two hundred and one players contested the nine-round “Open” tournament (including 13 Australians) whilst a further 103 players participated in the seven-round “Challenger” event (including another three Australians).

Thirty-nine nations were represented, their flags creating a colourful spectacle on each table throughout the well-appointed hotel ballroom.

GM Jan Gustafsson BCC Open Champion 2019 

The feature event was once again headlined by elite Grandmasters Nigel Short and Jan Gustafsson, who require no introduction to chess enthusiasts. A total of seventeen grandmasters were present, including six from India. Australia’s challenge was spearheaded by former winner GM Zong-Yuan Zhao and GM Moulthun Ly, with FM Tim Reilly and Colin Savige in support.

GM Deep Sengupta & GM Nigel Short

Round 1

Short began the tournament with a spectacular Rook and Queen sacrifice against Indian junior Ramesh Avinash.

In this position, Short shocked his opponent with 29 Rxe6!! intending to answer …Kxe6 with 30 Qxd5+ with mate to follow.

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Gustafsson Wins 19th Bangkok Chess Club Open

Germany’s Jan Gustafsson has won his second Bangkok Chess Club Open title, on a tiebreaker over Deep Sengupta of India.

Both Gustafsson and Sengupta were undefeated in the nine round event, winning six games and conceding three draws each against fellow Grandmasters. However Gustafsson’s opponents scored slightly better than those of Sengupta, giving him the coveted BCC Open title, though the two shared 170,000 Baht in prizemoney.

Gustafsson, well known as a tournament commentator and a ‘second’ for World Champion Magnus Carlsen, is a popular winner in Thailand, having competed in almost every BCC Open for a decade. His previous title win came eight years ago in Pattaya. At the end of his winner’s speech at the spectacular closing ceremony, Gustafsson said that the Bangkok CC Open was: “In my opinion by far the best tournament in the world – venue, playing conditions, everything.” 

The final round started at the Centara Grand ballroom with Jan Gustafsson taking an early draw against Indian Grandmaster Dhopade Swapnil, waiting to see if either Filipino International Master Haridas Pascua or Sengupta could catch him. Sengupta soon took control of their game, though only after four hours was Pascua forced to concede defeat.

It soon became clear that, although Sengupta had defeated the top seed Nigel Short, Gustafsson was just ahead on tiebreak and he took home the BCC Open trophy.

Thailand enjoyed a deserved success in the Challengers division when Theemathas Chirananthavat, considered one of our best minds and playing his first tournament for four years, finished tied for first place. However, the Challengers title went on tiebreak to Ric Portugalera of the Philippines, who he had beaten in the previous round.

All material in the press release may be used and photos credited to Bangkok Chess Club.

Our Twitter account is @bangkokchess

Full results may be found on

Gustafsson Moves Into Clear Lead

With only one round to play, Jan Gustafsson is just one good game away from winning his second Bangkok Chess Club Open title.

The German Grandmaster and commentator for chess web site, who has competed in the BCC Open for a decade and took the title in 2011, won a spectacular eighth round game against Vietnam’s The Anh Duong. Gustafsson, 39, now takes a half point lead into the final round, ahead of 200 other competitors at the 19th edition of Thailand’s best tournament being held at the Centara Grand Hotel in Central Plaza.

Gustafsson’s co-leader going in to the penultimate round, Nigel Short, saw his chances of a fourth BCC Open title disappear when he was outplayed by India’s Deep Sengupta. The top seed, who caused a worldwide sensation at the 2015 BCC Open when he gave a series of interviews claiming that men were hardwired to play better chess than women, sacrificed a piece, as he has done in almost every game in this tournament. However his opponent’s extra knight proved decisive after 58 moves and more than four hours play. The Indian Grandmaster, 30, has never finished in the top 3 of a BCC Open but now sits just behind Gustafsson.

Gustafsson is also being chased by Filipino International Master Haridas Pascua (who scored an upset win against Indian Grandmaster Babu Lalith), and Indian Dhopade Swapnil (who beat fellow Grandmaster Bong Villamayor of the Philippines).

Thai hopes for a grand victory in the Challengers division came to an end today when our great mind Theemathas Chirananthavat, who had won every game until today, was bested by Ric Portugalera of the Philippines.

The final round of the Bangkok Chess Club Open begins on Sunday at the Centara Grand Hotel in Ladprao at the special early time of 9.00am and will be broadcast live on

All material in the press release may be used and photos credited to Bangkok Chess Club.

Our Twitter account is @bangkokchess

For results and games, please visit

Songkran Celebrations at BCC Open

Nigel Short and Jan Gustafsson discovered the joys of Thailand’s famous Songkran Festival on Thursday at the Bangkok Chess Club Open.

On the first day of Songkran in Bangkok, Short and Gustafsson were asked by organisers to preview their game by sitting for a photo shoot in local costume in the gardens of the Centara Grand Hotel in Ladprao. However following Songkran tradition, the players were sprinkled with water and then covered in water by the spectators, which appeared to surprise both players and upset Short.

The Englishman then had revenge on his tormentors by pouring water on as many as possible – a perfectly acceptable reaction during Songkran.

Short, who as a young man played guitar in a band he described as “very, very bad”, then faced the music against Gustafsson in their real seventh round encounter on first board in the Centara Grand ballroom, and was allowed to sacrifice a knight and a rook before the players agreed to a draw by perpetual check.

The draw between the two leaders allowed Vietnamese International Master The Anh Duong to join them on six points from seven games by defeating Australian Grandmaster Zhao Zong Yuan. Duong, 32, defeated his second Grandmaster in a row and has now won more games than any other player in the tournament.

A new Thai chess talent became visible today when our own Prin Laohawirapap defeated Australian FIDE Master Tim Reilly. Laohawirapap, 12, who was one of the youngest members of Bangkok Chess Club when he first appeared, has reached four points from seven games, just two points behind Short.

Round 8 of the Bangkok Chess Club Open begins on Friday at 2.00pm and will be broadcast live on

All material in the press release may be used and photos credited to Bangkok Chess Club.

Our Twitter account is @bangkokchess

For results and games, please visit

Favourites take the lead

Nigel Short and Jan Gustafsson, the top two seeds at the 2019 Bangkok Chess Club Open, are tied for the lead with just three rounds to play.

The two top seeds, who have won four BCC Open titles between them, survived a crucial day which saw two Grandmasters lose their games to non-Grandmaster opponents.

Short once again thrilled the crowd at the Centara Grand Hotel with a slashing attack against the king of his Indonesian opponent Andrean Susilodinata. The 53-year-old, who was awarded the title of Member of the British Empire six years after finishing second in a World Championship match, has been the tournament’s greatest showman. 

Short will have a chance to again demonstrate his attacking magic in the next round against Gustafsson, who kept a share of the lead after drawing a solid game against Indian Grandmaster Babu Lalith.

The sixth round saw two big upsets, with Italian Grandmaster losing to Vietnamese rising star The Anh Duong, while Indian Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua lost to his much younger compatriot Khherdekar Sauravh..

Two local players moved to within just a point and a half of the lead. Our hero of the tournament, Poompong Wiwatanadate, as well as Saphong Hansing, both won to reach four points.

Round 7 of the Bangkok Chess Club Open, featuring a game between the two top seeds, will begin on Thursday at 2.00pm and will be broadcast live on

All material in the press release may be used and photos credited to Bangkok Chess Club.

Our Twitter account is @bangkokchess

For results and games, please visit