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 chess24.com, 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 chess24.com.
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