Mouth-watering clash: Short vs Gustafsson in Bangkok

by Shahid Ahmed
4/12/2019 – The 19th edition of the Bangkok Open 2019 has reached its pinnacle of excitement. After six rounds, we have two leaders: top seed Nigel Short and second seed Jan Gustafsson. Both of them on 5½/6. They have set up the top board clash in round seven. In this article, SHAHID AHMED, reporting from Bangkok, takes us through some of the most interesting games that have been played by Short and Gustafsson in this tournament.

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A Short prelude

Before I start my report I would like to share this video with you. To all those who thought a game of chess does not have emotions and excitement showcased by the players, here's a video that has been loved by chess fans all over the world:

The Bangkok Blitz event had many such exciting battles. I will come to some of them at the end of the article, but for now, let's focus on the classical event — the Bangkok Open 2019.

Nigel Short was held to an early draw, but recovered nicely. After six rounds at the Bangkok Open 2019, here's how things stand:

Standings after round six (top 15)

Rk. Name Pts.
1 Gustafsson Jan 5,5
2 Short Nigel D 5,5
3 Lalith Babu M R 5,0
4 Zhao Zong-Yuan 5,0
5 Sengupta Deep 5,0
6 Sauravh Khherdekar 5,0
7 Schebler Gerhard 5,0
8 Lou Yiping 5,0
9 Duong The Anh 5,0
10 Karthik Venkataraman 4,5
11 Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman 4,5
12 Kunte Abhijit 4,5
13 Horvath Jozsef 4,5
14 Susilodinata Andrean 4,5
15 Sriram Jha 4,5

...201 players

Top seed Nigel Short and second seed Jan Gustafsson are leading the tournament and are paired in round seven | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

The clash between Short and Gustafsson might well decide who wins the 19th Bangkok Open 2019. While both of them are on 5½/6, the road that both of them have taken to reach this score has been quite different. While Nigel Short has played shaky, yet brilliant chess in some games, Gustafsson has been super solid. Let's have a look at the interesting moments in their games so far.

Fiery Nigel

Short, up against the talented Philippine player Nouri Alekhine, made quite a funny quip, though surely he's not the first to invoke the name of the fourth World Champion upon discovering his pairing.


Short vs Alekhine | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

In round four, Nigel had the black pieces against John Langreck, and played a fine combination to beat his opponent. Langreck played the Smith-Morra Gambit and this is what Nigel thinks about the opening — "I abandoned the Morra Gambit — which I had the grave misfortune to be inflicted upon me by my coach — after losing to Karpov in a clock simul in 1977. I never comprehended what crime Black was supposed to have committed to justify White gratuitously tossing away a valuable pawn."

The finish of the game was quite pretty. 


Nigel Short was recently in India where he was the hosted by Abhijit Kunte, the Indian GM known for his solidity — but in round four Nigel was in control | Photo: Shahid Ahmed


Nigel found the most logical move in the position, which seemed tactically flawed. But the British GM had seen farther than his opponent and went on to win the game.


In round six, Nigel beat FM from Indonesia Andrean Susilodinata | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

The calm and composed Jan Gustafsson

Jan Gustafsson was the sole leader of the tournament with 5.0/5. He drew his sixth round game against Lalith Babu and allowed Nigel short to join him in the lead.

Gustafsson's only draw in the tournament vs Lalith | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Here's Jan's win over the talented Indian GM Karthik Venkatraman.


In round four, Jan beat Gerhard Schebler. He played the game with some extra space out of the opening and before his opponent knew it, they were in the endgame and Jan converted it into a win.


Round 7 LIVE

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GM Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder wins 19th Bangkok Blitz

GM Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder of Chile won 19th Bangkok Chess Club Open Blitz by scoring 12.0/15 — a Rolling Trophy and 12000 Baht as prize | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Former National Blitz Champion of India, IM Prantik Roy scored 11½/15 and was declared as the 1st runner-up | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

"I like to play Blitz too much" —GM Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder

Chess can often be quite stressful!


Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.


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