Nigel Short Wins Second Thai Open Title Despite Early Loss

Nigel Short Wins Second Thai Open Title Despite Early Loss

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Nigel Short won the Thai Open on Sunday after a nerve-wracking final round where top seeds GM Wang Hao and GM Paco Vallejo both lost. Short edged out GM Surya Ganguly and GM Dragun Kamil on tiebreak.

In this report we look at the final four rounds of the tournament. After round five, GMs Francisco Vallejo Pons, Wang Hao, Jozsef Horvath, Jan Gustafsson and IM Oliver Dimakiling topped the standings with 4.5 points.

On Thursday the top two boards ended in draws: Vallejo vs Wang and Horvath vs Gustafsson. As a result, no less than twelve players were tied for first place with 5.0/6. 

One of them was GM Surya Ganguly, who won in spectacular fashion:

A wonderful attacking win by Ganguly. | Photo courtesy of the Thai Open.

Only two players from that logjam won their games to break away from the rest of the pack: GM Wang Hao and GM Jan Gustafsson. It was the Chinese grandmaster, the top seed in Pattaya, who decided their mutual game in round eight in his favor:

As the only player on 7.0/8, GM Wang Hao was the clear favorite to win the Thai Open. It wasn't meant to be.

The Chinese GM chose the Petroff and might have been happy with a draw. GM Surya Ganguly's choice of 5.Qe2, which quickly leads to a queenless middlegame, was slightly surprising perhaps.

Eventually the players only had seven pawns and two bishops each, and White's edge seemed minimal. However, the end Indian GM ground down his opponent showing excellent edgame skills:

Earlier the two contenders had enjoyed a nice boat trip together! | Photo courtesy of the Thai Open.

GM Paco Vallejo then also lost his game, against the rather unknown player GM Kamil Dragun of Poland. Black lost a pawn and then another one, still had some positional compensation but eventually Dragun decided the game in a rook ending:

GM Nigel Short joined Ganguly and Dragun in first place by winning a long game against Indian IM Diptayan Ghosh:

Short enjoyed the same boat trip with some crabs — and Jessica Bengtsson of Sweden — playing chess.

As it turned out, Short had the best tiebreak and was declared the winner. After losing to Oliver Barbosa in the third round and drawing to IM Max Illingworth in round seven he probably didn't expect that!

The top three players shared 220,000 Baht and earned about 2,100 Euros (U.S. $2265) each. Short also won the Thai Open three years ago in Bangkok. 

Dragun, Short, Ganguly all won cups... | Photo courtesy of the Thai Open.
...but Nigel got the biggest! | Photo courtesy of the Thai Open.

2015 Thai Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name Fed RtgI Pts. TB2 TB3 rtg+/-
1 3 GM Short Nigel D ENG 2678 7,5 52 42,25 1,5
2 6 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2619 7,5 51 42,25 6,8
3 7 GM Dragun Kamil POL 2576 7,5 47 39 5,2
4 1 GM Wang Hao CHN 2713 7 55 41 1,2
5 2 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2696 6,5 55,5 38 -1,9
6 8 GM Horvath Jozsef HUN 2522 6,5 55 37,5 16,1
7 15 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2477 6,5 52,5 36,5 6,4
8 13 GM Barbosa Oliver PHI 2489 6,5 52 35,75 11,3
9 10 IM Ghosh Diptayan IND 2512 6,5 51 35,5 8,2
10 4 GM Gustafsson Jan GER 2639 6,5 51 34,25 1
11 16 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IND 2475 6,5 50,5 33,5 11,6
12 17 IM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan IND 2464 6,5 50 35,5 -2,6
13 9 GM Gomez John Paul PHI 2520 6,5 48,5 34 -8
14 25 IM Himanshu Sharma IND 2416 6,5 47,5 33 8,9
15 14 IM Illingworth Max AUS 2489 6,5 47,5 32,75 6,2
16 21 IM Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 2446 6,5 47,5 32,75 3,9
17 11 GM Rasmussen Allan Stig DEN 2507 6,5 47,5 31,5 -1,4
18 22 IM Karthikeyan P. IND 2443 6,5 44,5 30,25 -3
19 51 FM Lorparizangeneh Shahin IRI 2319 6 52,5 33,25 40,8
20 18 GM Torre Eugenio PHI 2460 6 51,5 33 -1,6

(Full standings here.)

The tournament took place in the Dusit Thani Resport in the Thai Beach resort of Pattaya. Close to 300 players from 42 countries played in two groups. Next month the World Schools Individual Championship will be held in the same location.

Previous report:

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