Thai Open: Short takes and loses the sole lead

4/15/2011 – After six rounds English GM Nigel Short was in the sole lead in the Thailand Open 2011, half a point ahead of five players. One of them, German GM Jan Gustafsson, played Short in round seven and downed him with the black pieces. That put Gustafsson in shared first place with top seed Paco Vallejo. The two will meet in a much-awaited penultimate round encounter on Saturday. Pictorial report.

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Thailand Open 2011

The Bangkok Chess Club and Thailand Chess Association are staging this event from 11th to 17th April 2011 in Pattaya, Thailand.

Round five

The two leaders, top seeds Nigel Short and Paco Vallejo (picture above), played safe and drew their game in just nine moves. They were caught by the chasing pack of players, including Burmese Grandmaster Zaw Win Lay and GM Abhijit Kunte of India. Another ten players, including three grandmasters, were just half a point behind. 15-year-old Warot Kananub delighted Thai fans with his giant-killing run, defeating Indian International Master Rahul Shetty. Kananub remained undefeated in five games against far higher ranked opposition and could be on his way to becoming Thailand's first International Master.

Round six

English GM Nigel Short defeated Zaw Win Lay (above left) to become the clear leader, moving clear of the field after his main rival, Spain's Paco Vallejo, was held to a draw by Abhijit Kunte, the highest raned of the 21-strong Indian contingent at the Thai Open. Vallejo joined a pack of five players half a point behind Short. Local fans were disappointed when their two best performers, Jiripak Pitirojirathon and Warot Kananub both suffered defeats, when a victory would have placed them only a point behind Short. Here are the top rankings and performances after six rounds.

Rk 
Ti. Name
Pts.
Rtng
Perf
1
GM Short Nigel D
5.5
2676
2768
2
GM Vallejo Pons Francisco
5.0
2707
2659
3
GM Kunte Abhijit
5.0
2587
2552
4
GM Gustafsson Jan
5.0
2647
2563
5
GM Sriram Jha
5.0
2442
2520

Round seven

German GM Jan Gustafsson (above right) threw the 2011 Thai Chess Open in Pattaya wide open by defeating tournament leader Nigel Short in the seventh round. Gustafsson, seeded third, now shares the lead with top seed Paco Vallejo and the two will meet in a much-awaited penultimate round encounter on Saturday. Vallejo joined Gustafsson at the top of the standings with a tough win over Chinese IM Yang Kaiqi, with Short and four other players half a point off the pace. 2010 Thai Open Champion Sune Berg Hansen is not among them and has no chance of retining his titled after the Danish GM was forced to lower his colours to unfancied Dutchman Pieter Hopman. Meanwhile Thailand's top player Wisuwat Teerapabpaisit moved into prize money contention with an upset win over Russian IM Alexey Romanov. Teerapabpaisit is now only a point behind the two leaders. 15-year-old Warot Kananub also continued to impress and retains chances for his first IM result.

Top standings after seven rounds

Rk. Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2707 6.0
2 GM Gustafsson Jan GER 2647 6.0
3 GM Short Nigel D ENG 2676 5.5
4 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2526 5.5
5 GM Sriram Jha IND 2442 5.5
6 FM Stokke Kjetil NOR 2407 5.5
7 Hopman Pieter NED 2365 5.5
8 GM Zaw Win Lay MYA 2382 5.0
9 Mariano Nelson III PHI 2197 5.0
10 IM Morris James AUS 2227 5.0
11 GM Schebler Gerhard GER 2460 5.0
12 GM Murshed Niaz BAN 2455 5.0
13 FM Illner Achim GER 2353 5.0
14 FM Sklyarov Dmitry V. RUS 2415 5.0
15 WGM L'Ami Alina ROU 2297 5.0
16 IM Saptarshi Roy IND 2395 5.0
17 FM Voigt Martin GER 2325 5.0
18 IM Willemze Thomas NED 2390 5.0
19 IM Yang Kaiqi CHN 2399 5.0
20 IM Myo Naing MYA 2317 5.0
21 Neubronner Jarred SIN 2262 5.0
22 FM Teerapabpaisit Wisuwat THA 2310 5.0
23 FM Sauravh Khherdekar IND 2325 5.0
24 Sanjay N. IND 2335 5.0
25 FM Kojima Shinya JPN 2329 4.5
WGM Swathi Ghate IND 2307 4.5
27 FM Illingworth Max AUS 2345 4.5
28 GM Hansen Sune Berg DEN 2603 4.5
29 FM Pitirojirathon Jirapak THA 2278 4.5
30 Tuomala Timo FIN 2231 4.5
31 GM Bakre Tejas IND 2530 4.5
32 FM Reilly Tim AUS 2271 4.5
33 IM Palit Somak IND 2378 4.5
34 IM West Guy AUS 2360 4.5
35 FM Saeheng Boonsueb THA 2253 4.5

Performances of the top five players in the first seven rounds

Rk 
Ti. Name
Pts.
Rtng
Perf
1
GM Vallejo Pons Francisco
6.0
2707
2693
2
GM Gustafsson Jan
6.0
2647
2650
3
GM Short Nigel D
5.5
2676
2620
4
GM Kunte Abhijit
5.5
2526
2552
5
GM Sriram Jha
5.5
2442
2507

Pattaya picture parade


Pattaya is located on the the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok


The tournament is being held in the five star Dusit Thani Resort and Spa


Beachside view of the hotel resort


Our northern European freezing bodies long for this kind of weather


Street vendors with their shoulder what-you-may-call-ums


The Songkran Festival celebrates the Thai New Year from 13 to 15 April

Songkran falls in the hottest time of the year in Thailand, at the end of the dry season. It is celebrated with the throwing of water. Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby.


Links

A few games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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