Thailand Open 2011 Chess Championship under way

4/12/2011 – This event is taking place from 11th to 17th April 2011 in the five star Dusit Thani Resort and Spa in Pattaya, Thailand. More than 200 players from 40 countries are participating, making it the biggest and strongest ever held in Thailand. The first prize is 100,000 Baht (€2300 or US $3300). After the first three round two top seeds, Paco Vallejo and Nigel Short, lead with 3.0/3. Pictorial report.

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Thailand Open 2011


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

After a day of upsets, only five players, and only two of the top ten seeds, survived the first three rounds of the 2011 Thai Open unscathed. Following a smooth ride in the first round, the ten participating grandmasters found life much tougher in Tuesday's second and third rounds.

In round two the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds all failed to win. Defending 2010 Thai Open Champion Sune Berg Hansen from Denmark was held to a draw by unfancied Singapore teenager Jarred Neubronner, while Indian GMs Abhijit Kunte and Tejas Bakre were also held to draws.


Indian IM Atanu Lahiri at the start of his game against German GM Jan Gustafsson

In the third round, third seed Jan Gustafsson of Germany struggled to draw with Indian International Master Atanu Lahiri while his countryman, Gerhand Schebler, was also held, by Australia's Max Illingworth.


Nigel Short playing with Thai chess pieces (just kidding, it's a publicity shot)

Tournament favourites Paco Vallejo and Nigel Short both achieved maximum 3.0/3 scores with fine attacking wins in the third round. They are joined in the lead by two woman grandmasters, Swathi Ghate of India and Alina l'Ami of Romania, who scored a upset wins over IMs Yang Kaiqi and Roy Saptarshi respectively, as well as Burmese grandmaster Zaw Win Lay.

The stand-out first round game was between Thai number one Wisuwat Teerapabpaisit and ten-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik from Kazakhstan. The co-winner of the 2010 World U/10 Girls Championship, looked to be holding her own for much of the game but eventually dropped a pawn and experience prevailed after 63 moves and four hours play.


We’ve been framed! Some of Thailand’s junior talent, including Saru Phitchayarom, Nina Tuorila, Olympiad team member Som Chanida and Poompong Wiwatanadate (we don’t know the girl on the left).


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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