When and Where?

We’re getting many questions about the dates for the next BCC Open. While we intend to organise for the same holiday period in Thailand (Songkran), we cannot confirm anything until arrangements have been made. We will try to announce the dates earlier to give people more lead time to arrange holidays and bookings, but until an announcement is made on Facebook and here on our website, we cannot give any information.

Thank you for your continued interest.

Final round – All good things…

The 21st edition of the Bangkok Chess Club Open has concluded with the victory of the top seed, Ukrainian Grandmaster Vitaliy Bernadskiy, who capped his stay in Hua Hin with a solid performance featuring six wins and three draws.  

He is joined on 7,5/9 by fellow GM Mitrabha, who successfully repelled a vicious, if unsound, attack from young FM Manon.  The player from Bangladesh will find solace knowing that his fine performance is crowned by an IM norm as well as the top spot in the junior category.  Another IM norm goes to untitled Chinese player Cao, who lost steam in the final three rounds after an astounding initial week, which saw him fight consistently on the top boards.  

With 5.5/9, James Constance of the UK and Guy West from Australia top the ranking of the Senior category, while the Ladies’ awards are split in a three-way tie between Eesha Karavade, Pattnaik Sherali (both from India) and Mongolian GM Altman-Ulzii Enkhtuul.

The Challenger tournament was won outright by Lorenzo Cantela with 7,5/9 ahead of a quartet on 7 points.  Of note is the fact that five of the top six finishers hail from the Philippines.  

This concludes our coverage of this year’s Bangkok Chess Club Open Tournament at the Sheraton Spa and Resort in Hua Hin.  We hope to see you all in Thailand at our next event.  Bye for now!

Games from top boards: chess.com/events/2024-bangkok-chess-open

Round 8 – the longest day?

The Bangkok Chess Club Open entered its final stretch this Saturday, with what proved to be an intense afternoon.  The thing is, many chess masters are late sleepers, and therefore reluctant to pin all their hopes on a decisive result at a Sunday morning game that begins at the ungodly hour of 9:00am.  Much better to score big today and make do with a draw tomorrow, if at all possible.  Much better for one’s sleep quality, too.  

This appears to having been the approach of top seed Bernadskiy, who defeated his GM colleague Zhao on board one following a fine positional display to bag a crucial 7th point.  Other important wins were scored on boards 2 and 4 with the white pieces by GMs Mitrabha and Makhnev respectively.  GM norm hopeful Cao suffered a second successive defeat at the hands of Australian IM Morris, who had the looser shirt but the more compact position. 

The first and second prizes for competitors playing under the Thai flag have been all but awarded today, with co-leaders Wisuwat and Prin facing each other at board 31 in a dynamic Open Sicilian.  The young IM outlasted his veteran teammate with the black pieces with a string of sacrifices culminating in unusual material and positional imbalances.  

Meanwhile, uncertainty surrounds the overall ranking.  Three leaders on 6/7 and no less than fifteen pursuers on 5.5 before the start of the round remain in the scrap for the first prize of 100.000 baht.  

As the whale-shaped glass chandeliers of the Open tournament hall were chiming delicately, a tsunami overran board 10 when a glass of water was spilled accidentally, interrupting the live transmission.  Play resumed shortly after on the other side of the hall, with both contestants safe and dry, including FM Sek.  Games, hence with the exception of this particular one, are available at chess.com/events/2024-bangkok-chess-open.

Round 7 – of GM norms, curses and Thai chess 

Some are in it for the holidays, others for the money and to boost their rating.  And then a few leave the Bangkok Chess Club Open tournament with a much-coveted IM or GM norm.  The latter must be on the mind of Chinese junior Cao Qingfeng.  With a score of 5.5/6 and a performance towering above 2700, solid play is all he needs over the remaining three games in order to cap his first participation in the BCC Open with a spectacular first grandmaster norm.  Not too shabby for a 16 year old who entered the tournament seeded 96th with a rating just over 2000.  

Facing Australian GM Zhao with the black pieces is not likely to be a mere formality, though.  The other two co-leaders met on the adjoining table, with the game between IM Karazayev from Kazakhstan and top seed Ukrainian GM Bernadskiy petering out into one of the quickest draws of the round (chess.com/events/2024-bangkok-chess-open).

Meanwhile, battle rages in the Challenger section of the tournament, where we are being told that the top board is afflicted with a strange kind of curse.  Indeed, it would appear that no one manages to stay there longer than a day before diving back into the depths of the pairings.  Good thing chess players aren’t superstitious.  

And then all lights went out in both playing halls for a good ten minutes, following some unexplained power cut.  Last time we mess around with the spirits in Hua Hin, promise.  You don’t want that again in the middle of time pressure now, do you? 

Earlier today, the indefatigable instructors of the Makruk Association organised a Thai chess tournament in which 11 players took part, including BCC Open chief arbiter Maung Maung Lwin as well as several titled players.  Jan Emmanuel Garcia emerged first, ahead of his fellow IM and compatriot Paulo Bersamina.  A similar event is scheduled this Saturday morning so there is still an opportunity to ‘go native’, should you so wish.