Gustafsson Wins 19th Bangkok Chess Club Open
Nigel Short and Jan Gustafsson during a photo shoot at the start of the Songkran Festival. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

Gustafsson Wins 19th Bangkok Chess Club Open

| 24 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Jan Gustafsson (Germany) edged out GM Deep Sengupta (India) on tiebreak to win the Bangkok Chess Club Open. It was the second victory in Thailand for the 39-year-old German grandmaster.

Both Gustafsson and Sengupta finished on an undefeated 7.5/9 and shared 170,000 Baht, earning U.S. $2,676 (€2365) each.

Gustafsson had also won the tournament in 2011. Although he spends more time as a chess commentator these days than on playing, he keeps on returning to Thailand each year.

"In my opinion, by far the best tournament in the world -- venue, playing conditions, everything," Gustafsson said at the closing ceremony.

Gustafsson 2019 Bangkok Chess Club Open
Gustafsson with the winner's trophy. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

Starting with five out of five, "Gusti" was the sole leader at that point. Tournaments are rarely won without a tad of luck, and that was also the case here as the German GM was given a nice present in that fifth round after a not very successful opening.

Playing hall 2019 Bangkok Chess Club Open
The playing hall. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

After a solid draw with Indian GM Lalith Babu, Gustafsson's next opponent was former world championship contender and FIDE vice president Nigel Short—another regular guest at the Bangkok Open.

Short had started his tournament with a very pretty combination. Can you find it?

However, as early as round two Short dropped half a point. He blew a winning position and then escaped with a draw against FM Poompong Wiwatanadate, rated 2025, who was still working as an arbiter at the Bangkok Chess Club Open in 2016.

Wiwatanadate Short 2019 Bangkok Chess Club Open
Wiwatanadate vs Short. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

The English grandmaster recovered well with four straight wins, the first being against a 13-year-old Filipino rising star named Alekhine (!) Nouri. Short said that he had played 13 world champions in his career but that he wasn't sure if a win against Alekhine meant that he had played a 14th!

Short Nouri Alekhine Bangkok Chess Club Open 2019
Short vs the reincarnation of Alekhine. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

Before the game between Gustafsson and Short, in round seven, the two players did a photo shoot as part of the Songkran Festival celebrations (see top image). Held each year April 13-15, it was originally a new year celebration but is now mostly a spiritual celebration for washing away bad moves and bad luck.

Later in the day, the players drew a short but spectacular game. It's probably all theory, though:

Short Gustafsson 2019 Bangkok Chess Club Open
Short vs Gustafsson: short but sweet. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

Gustafsson crushed Vietnamese IM Duong The Anh the next day, after which a quick draw in the final round turned out to be just enough for tournament victory.

Gustafsson Duong 2019 Bangkok Chess Club Open
Gustafsson shakes hands with Duong before the game. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

Short's Waterloo came in round eight. He had sacrificed pieces throughout the tournament, but this time it looked more like panic, and Deep Sengupta had no trouble converting the extra material. The Indian GM eventually came second in the tournament having a slightly worse tiebreak than Gustafsson.

Deep Sengupta Short 2019 Bangkok Chess Club Open
Deep Sengupta tied for first with Short as his biggest scalp. | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club.

2019 Bangkok Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo FED Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 2 GM Gustafsson Jan 2633 7,5 0,0 54,0 44,00
2 4 GM Sengupta Deep 2551 7,5 0,0 52,5 43,25
3 7 GM Karthik Venkataraman 2505 7,0 0,0 56,0 42,00
4 5 GM Zhao Zong-Yuan 2529 7,0 0,0 53,5 40,50
5 9 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2488 7,0 0,0 51,0 39,00
6 6 GM Stella Andrea 2512 7,0 0,0 50,5 38,00
7 24 IM Duong The Anh 2302 6,5 0,0 55,0 37,25
8 1 GM Short Nigel D 2636 6,5 0,0 54,0 37,25
9 3 GM Lalith Babu M R 2577 6,5 0,0 52,5 36,25
10 8 GM Ly Moulthun 2490 6,5 0,0 52,0 36,25
11 18 GM Sriram Jha 2381 6,5 0,0 52,0 36,25
12 12 IM Lou Yiping 2482 6,5 0,0 51,0 36,00
13 20 IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman 2345 6,5 0,0 50,5 34,25
14 25 FM Susilodinata Andrean 2296 6,5 0,0 48,5 33,50
15 14 IM Pascua Haridas 2426 6,5 0,0 48,5 33,25
16 30 FM Sauravh Khherdekar 2247 6,5 0,0 48,5 31,50
17 10 GM Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 2487 6,5 0,0 48,0 34,25
18 112 Razali Muhd Syukur 1792 6,5 0,0 47,5 32,00
19 22 FM Menkinoski Riste 2306 6,5 0,0 46,5 31,25
20 17 GM Schebler Gerhard 2385 6,0 0,0 55,0 33,50

(Full final standings here.)

The Bangkok Chess Club Open was held for the 19th time. It took place April 6-14 in the Centara Grand ballroom of the Centara Grand Hotel in Central Plaza, Ladprao, Bangkok.

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