«16th Bangkok CC оpen». Old-timers and newcomers


Bangkok is a city which has been immortalised in song, and its chess open attracts many visitors. 

According to the official site: «A record number (324!) of players from more than 40 countries have entered the «16th Bangkok CC» оpen. The organisers have every justification for claiming that the event in the capital of Thailand is the strongest in South-East Asia these days.  «Bangkok CC» is being held in the very centre of the city at the «Dusit Thani Hotel».

Last year's winner Nigel Short has returned, with great enthusiasm, to "secret Bangkok", to fight for the main prize again. The first prize is not so great, actually, at about  2,700 dollars. Evil tongues suggest that the master was delighted on his first visit by the beautiful local girls. But here he is far from alone, And foreign players, especially those from the West, are especially enchanted by the exotic and ancient oriental culture of the country and the unique Thai cuisine. In the starting list, by the way, the 1993 world championship challenger is only second seed, behind Vallejo Pons. In all, there are 17 GMs and a group of strong IMs, mainly young players who are here not only for new experiences, but also in search of title norms. One who is attracting attention is the talented Australian Anton Smirnov. 

As usual, the first round threw up few surprises. Short, Ganguly, Khairullin (White) Vallejo, van Wely and Gustafsson (Black) all beat significantly lower-rated opposition. 

Admittedly, Vallejo had to fight for five hours against the Malaysian Kim U Chen, who, if the official site is to be believed, even missed a draw at move 54. 

The star of the day was the local veteran  Poompat Sivara, who drew easily with GM Kunte of India. Despite a rating difference of 500 points, the GM landed in a difficult position straight from the opening and was lucky that Sivara decided to repeat moves, when the win was already close. 

In round two, the surprise results increased, and in round three there was a veritable senstion. Sir Nigel with White was forced to resign in a game against the unknown Vietnamese  Dang Hoang Son (Elo-2325).

Short-Dang Hoang Son

Class is class. White has outplayed his opponent and is ready to collect the fruits of his excellent work. But now a miracle started to happen: 30…Ra5 31.Nd3 Nh7 32.Bh6 – The most active black piece is exchanged. 32…Nxd3 33.Bxd3 Bxh6 34.Qxh6 – Why doesn't he resign? 34…Qf6 35.Nd1?! («The silicon oracle» recommends the cold-blooded 35.Kd2) 35…Be8 36.b6 Bf7 37.f4 Ra1 38.e5?! – It seems the GM is worried!  38…dxe5 39.Bxg6 – Missing the last chance to turn the game in his favour by taking with the rook… 39…Bg8 40.f5 Qxb6 and now a tragic finish:

41.Qxh5? Qb4 42.Kf1 Qd2 White resigns (0:1)

After three rounds, the tip of the iceberg looks as follows: 

Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Text: Sergey Kim