Vallejo, Short, Van Wely Top Seeds In Bangkok

Vallejo, Short, Van Wely Top Seeds In Bangkok

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

The 16th Bangkok Open is underway in the Thai capital. Francisco Vallejo Pons, Nigel Short and Loek van Wely are the top seeds.

The traditional open tournament in Thailand has reached its 16th edition already, but it seems to be getting stronger and stronger. Besides regular guests — semi-retired GMs such as Paco Vallejo (Spain), Nigel Short (United Kingdom, the winner of last year), Loek van Wely (Netherlands) and Jan Gustafsson (Germany) — and the many Australian and Asian players hoping to score a norm, a bunch of open tournament tigers are playing as well this year, such as Surya Ganguly (India), Ildar Khairullin (Russia), and Benjamin Bok (Netherlands).

The tournament is also bigger than ever with 324 players from more than 40 countries. There's a total of 17 grandmasters. The venue is the Dusit Thani Hotel at the heart of Bangkok, in itself an important reason for people to keep coming back as it offers five stars and fantastic food for very decent prices.

The first round saw few upsets, but top seed Vallejo had to work hard for his first point. After five hours he emerged as the winner, but Malaysian youngster Kim Yew Chan could have drawn the game at one point.

The effect of Nigel Short's gender column in New In Chess, now more than a year ago, can still be felt. He was paired against a lady (Helen Milligan of New-Zealand) in the first round, and the tournament report couldn't resist mentioning that the English grandmaster's brain was “hard-wired differently” (and that he was playing an astro-physicist).

Nigel Short playing WFM Helen Milligan. | Photo courtey Bangkok CC Open.

Short won, as he did in round two. However, from the top seeds he was the only one to become victim of the dreaded double round (two rounds on the same day). He seemed to be on his way to score another smooth point, but then things went hopelessly wrong against Vietnamese 21-year-old Hoang Son Dang.

Nigel Short vs Hoang Son Dang. | Photo courtey Bangkok CC Open.

This second round saw another big upset: English grandmaster Stephen Gordon lost to Indonesian 25-year-old Jenius Hakiki. The press report explains what happened. 

In a position where he was the only player pushing for a win, Gordon lost on time, just one move before the time control. “I just forgot about my clock,” admitted Gordon. “I had 45 seconds on the clock and then when I looked again it had all gone. It has never happened to me before and I hope never again.”

Stephen Gordon forgot about his clock. It can happen
to anyone. | Photo courtey Bangkok CC Open.

After three rounds, 11 players are tied for first place with 3.0/3. Vallejo is one of them after winning two more long games. Thus far he needed 215 moves in three rounds, an average of almost 72 moves per game!

Mostly busy as a commentator for Chess24, GM Jan Gustafsson seems to be playing only one tournament a year. In the third round he was the first player to draw his game, as Black against India's 13-year-old rising star Kalyan Arjun (rated 2299). Playing the Marshall might not be the best way to play for a win in the 21st century, where everybody knows a fair amount of theory.


The top boards in the playing hall. | Photo courtey Bangkok CC Open.

The fourth round of the Bangkok Chess Club Open will be played on Tuesday. The top board has the interesting clash between Vallejo and America's rising star Awonder Liang. The tournament runs until April 17.

2016 Bangkok Chess Club Open | Round 3 Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name Typ Fed Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 3 GM Van Wely Loek NED 2654 3 0 5,5 5,5
4 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2647 3 0 5,5 5,5
7 GM Bok Benjamin NED 2604 3 0 5,5 5,5
11 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 2499 3 0 5,5 5,5
5 1 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2691 3 0 5 5
16 IM Liang Awonder U18 USA 2410 3 0 5 5
20 FM Yeoh Li Tian U18 MAS 2400 3 0 5 5
25 IM Stokke Kjetil NOR 2354 3 0 5 5
29 FM Dang Hoang Son VIE 2325 3 0 5 5
10 10 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan U18 IND 2501 3 0 4,5 4,5
22 IM Himanshu Sharma IND 2384 3 0 4,5 4,5
12 17 IM Ahlander Bjorn SWE 2407 2,5 0 6,5 5,25
23 IM Dimakiling Oliver PHI 2372 2,5 0 6,5 5,25
14 36 FM Saeheng Boonsueb THA 2292 2,5 0 6 4,75
15 5 GM Gustafsson Jan GER 2629 2,5 0 5,5 4,25
8 GM Halkias Stelios GRE 2553 2,5 0 5,5 4,25
13 IM Smirnov Anton U18 AUS 2479 2,5 0 5,5 4,25
43 Abhishek Das IND 2241 2,5 0 5,5 4,25
19 53 FM Pitirotjirathon Jirapak THA 2218 2,5 0 5,5 4,25
150 Ocido Michael PHI 1813 2,5 0 5,5 4,25

(Full standings here.)

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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