Gustafsson bags Bangkok Open

by ChessBase
4/15/2019 – GM Jan Gustafsson (pictured left) won the 19th Bangkok Open for the second time (he also took the title in 2011), after a critical eighth round win over Vietnam’s The Anh Duong, and a quick draw in the final round gave him an edge on tiebreak score over GM Deep Sengupta (pictured right) of India. IM SAGAR SHAH annotates the key games. | Press release and photos: Bangkok Chess Club

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Press release

Gustafsson and Sengupta both finish 7½/9

Germany’s Jan Gustafsson has won his second Bangkok Chess Club Open title, on a tiebreaker over Deep Sengupta of India.

Both Gustafsson and Sengupta were undefeated in the nine round event, winning six games and conceding three draws each against fellow Grandmasters. However, Gustafsson’s opponents scored slightly better than those of Sengupta, giving him the coveted BCC Open title, though the two shared 170,000 Baht [about USD $5,360] in prize money.

Gustafsson, well-known as a tournament commentator and a ‘second’ for World Champion Magnus Carlsen, is a popular winner in Thailand, having competed in almost every BCC Open for a decade. His previous title win came eight years ago in Pattaya. At the end of his winner’s speech at the spectacular closing ceremony, Gustafsson said that the Bangkok CC Open was: “In my opinion by far the best tournament in the world — venue, playing conditions, everything.”

Gustafsson's favourite tournament

Adding another Bangkok t-shirt to his collection | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club

Gustafsson’s co-leader going in to the penultimate round, Nigel Short, saw his chances of a fourth BCC Open title disappear when he was outplayed by Sengupta. The top seed, who caused a worldwide sensation at the 2015 BCC Open when he gave a series of interviews claiming that men were hardwired to play better chess than women, sacrificed a piece, as he has done in almost every game in this tournament. However, his opponent’s extra knight proved decisive after 58 moves and more than four hours play. The Indian Grandmaster, 30, has never finished in the top 3 of a BCC Open.

Annotations by IM Sagar Shah

Sengupta vs Short

Sengupta beat the top seeded Nigel Short | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club

Gustafsson won a spectacular eighth round game against Vietnam’s The Anh Duong giving the, 39-year-old German a half point lead heading into the final round.


Gustafsson vs Duong

Gustafsson vs Duong | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club

The final round started at the Centara Grand ballroom with Jan Gustafsson taking an early draw against Indian Grandmaster Dhopade Swapnil, waiting to see if either Filipino International Master Haridas Pascua or Sengupta could catch him. Sengupta soon took control of their game, though only after four hours was Pascua forced to concede defeat.


Pascua vs Sengupta

Pascua vs Sengupta was the key game of the final round | Photo: Bangkok Chess Club

It soon became clear that, although Sengupta had defeated the top seed Nigel Short, Gustafsson was just ahead on tiebreak and he took home the BCC Open trophy.

Thailand enjoyed a deserved success in the Challengers division when Theemathas Chirananthavat, considered one of our best minds and playing his first tournament for four years, finished tied for first place. However, the Challengers title went on tiebreak to Ric Portugalera of the Philippines, who he had beaten in the previous round.

Final standings (top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.
1 Gustafsson Jan 7,5
2 Sengupta Deep 7,5
3 Karthik Venkataraman 7,0
4 Zhao Zong-Yuan 7,0
5 Swapnil S. Dhopade 7,0
6 Stella Andrea 7,0
7 Duong The Anh 6,5
8 Short Nigel D 6,5
9 Lalith Babu M R 6,5
10 Ly Moulthun 6,5
11 Sriram Jha 6,5
12 Lou Yiping 6,5
13 Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman 6,5
14 Susilodinata Andrean 6,5
15 Pascua Haridas 6,5
16 Sauravh Khherdekar 6,5
17 Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 6,5
18 Razali Muhd Syukur 6,5
19 Menkinoski Riste 6,5
20 Schebler Gerhard 6,0

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