The 12th Bangkok Chess Club under way

4/16/2012 – Why is Women's World Champion Hou Yifan pouring water over a statuette? She is celebrating Thailand's joyous and rowdy Songkran Festival, that's why. After five rounds Indian IM M.R. Venkatesh, fifth seed in this tournament, is leading with a clean score of 5.0/5 points. Games and results are coming through somewhat sporadically, but we have put together a round five report.

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The 12th Bangkok Chess Club (BCC) Open is taking place from April 13th-19th, with top seeds GMs Nigel Short, rated 2697, Jan Gustafsson, 2642, Hou Yifan, 2639, and Farrukh Amonatov 2604. The next highest ranked player, IM M.R. Venkatesh, is almost a hundred points lower on the rating scale – although we have counted eight GMs behind him in the starting list. The time controls are 90 minutes for the game plus 30 seconds per move. No zero tolerance rule here: five minutes before the games start, the Chief Arbiter shall make the announcement accordingly. If any player is not present within an hour after the game is started, he shall lose by default. Classic and sensible.


Panoramic view of the playing hall with a round under way

Before the start of the event Hou Yifan, who is the star of the event, met with a great number of VIPs and aspiring chess talents. In the Blue Room of Thailand’s Government House and under the watchful eyes of chess enthusiasts, Ms. Yifan met with Thailand’s Prime Minister Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, China’s Ambassador to Thailand Mr. Guan Mu, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Kittirat Na Ranong, Minister for the Office of the Prime Minister Ms. Nalinee Taweesin, Deputy Governor of Bank of Thailand Dr. Krirk Vanikul, and Petri Deryng, founder of PYN Fund Management and a valuable sponsor of the tournament.


Women's World Champion Hou Yifan celebrating Thailand's traditional Songkran festival

Thailand is celebrating its joyous and rowdy Songkran Festival when Thais and tourists throng in the streets and splash each other with water to cool off from the fierce summer heat. A popular location to “play Songkran” is Bangkok’s Silom District where the Dusit Thani Hotel is hosting the 12th Bangkok Chess Club Open 2012.

The first round saw no upsets at the six top boards where Gustafsson, Amonatov and Xiu Deshun with the white pieces, and Short, Hou Yifan and Venkatesh with black won their games within a couple of hours against strong club players. Short and Amonatov in particular played aggressively as they quickly converted positional advantages into material gains and solid wins.

Round two saw top seeds GMs Nigel Short, Hou Yifan, Jan Gustafsson and Farrukh Amonatov winning their games in convincing fashion. Surprises included draws between Chinese GM Xiu Deshun (champion 2008 and 2009) and Burmese Sie Thu, as well as German GM Gerhard Schebler and Thai FM Boonsueb Saeheng.

Surprise results on the top boards in round three were Sander Severino (PHI) 1/2-1/2 GM Nigel Short (ENG), GM Jan Gustafsson (GER) 1/2-1/2, IM Daniel Contin (ITA), GM Shojaat Ghane (IRA) 0-1 GM Hou Yifan (CHN), GM Farrukh Amonatov (TJK) 1-0 IM Nisha Mohota (IND).

[Event "12th BCC Open"] [Site "Bangkok THA"] [Date "2012.04.14"] [Round "3"] [White "Ghane, Shojaat"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E32"] [WhiteElo "2339"] [BlackElo "2639"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2012.04.13"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Qe8 7. Nf3 b6 8. e3 Bb7 9. Be2 d6 10. O-O Nbd7 11. b3 Ne4 12. Qc2 f5 13. Ne1 Rf6 14. f3 Ng5 15. e4 f4 16. Nd3 e5 17. d5 {Closing the center allowed Hou Yifan to push on the kingside.} Qh5 18. Nf2 Rg6 19. Qd3 Nf6 20. Rd1 Bc8 21. Ra2 {The rook was supposed to protect the second row, but it was soon lost.} Rh6 22. h3 {A sacrifice is in the air...} Bxh3 $1 {And there it is!} 23. gxh3 Nxh3+ 24. Nxh3 Qxh3 25. Bf1 Qh1+ 26. Kf2 Rh2+ 27. Ke1 Rxa2 0-1

German GM Jan Gustafsson, who has traveled to Thailand to defend his title as the winner of last year’s tournament, suffered a painful defeat in a fiery round five game.

[Event "12th BCC Open"] [Site "Bangkok THA"] [Date "2012.04.15"] [Round "5"] [White "Gustafsson, Jan"] [Black "Venkatesh, M.R."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2642"] [BlackElo "2509"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2012.04.13"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. e3 c5 8. dxc5 Qa5 9. Rc1 O-O 10. a3 Bxc3+ 11. Rxc3 Ne4 12. b4 Nxc3 13. Qa1 Qa4 14. Qxc3 a5 15. b5 Nxc5 16. Qxc5 Bf5 17. Be2 Rac8 18. Qd4 Rc1+ 19. Bd1 Qxb5 20. Qd2 Rfc8 21. Nd4 Qb1 22. Ne2 R1c2 23. Qxa5 b6 {White is doing okay, with two minor pieces for a rook. The black attack can be parried.} 24. Qa6 ({Why not simply} 24. Qxd5) 24... h6 25. O-O $6 {Tempting but not so good.} hxg5 26. Bxc2 $2 { Just a miscalculation.} Qxc2 27. Nd4 Bd3 28. Nxc2 Bxa6 {Did "Gusti" overlook this?!} 29. Nb4 Bxf1 30. Kxf1 {Now Black is going to win.} Rc5 31. Ke2 Kf8 32. Kd3 Ke7 33. h3 Kd6 34. Nc2 Rc8 35. Nd4 Rc1 36. Ke2 Ra1 37. Nc2 Rc1 38. Kd2 Rf1 39. Ke2 Rb1 40. Kd2 Kc5 41. Ne1 Kc4 42. Nf3 Rb2+ 0-1

Full results and standings after round five to be provided shortly...

Round five results on the top six boards:

  1. GM Gustafsson (GER) 0-1 IM Venkatesh M. R. (IND)
  2. IM Liu Qingnan (CHN) 0-1 GM Short (ENG)
  3. Wan Yunguo (CHN) ½ -½ GM Hou Yifan (CHN)
  4. GM Amonatov (TJK) ½ -½ GM Sriram Jha (IND)
  5. GM Xiu Deshun (CHN) ½ -½ Stany G. A. (IND)
  6. IM Nguyen Duc Hoa (VIE) ½ -½ IM Nguyen Van Huy (VIE)

After five rounds IM Venkatesh is the sole leader with 5.0/5 points, followed by GM Nigel Short with 4.5 and 16 others at 4.0 points.


The Bangkol Chess Club

The Bangkok Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening at Roadhouse Barbecue on the corner of Surawong and Rama IV Roads, near the Sala Daeng skytrain station (walk through Thaniya Plaza to Surawong Road and turn right), and the Silom MRT station. Players begin to arrive from 6:30pm and tournaments usually begin at about 8:00pm. With over 200 active players of every standard from beginners to masters, you are bound to find players to give you a good game – all are welcome. And it is free – though nobody would object if you bought the organiser a drink ;-). The Bangkok Chess Club also meets every Friday evening at the Queen Victoria Pub and Restaurant in Sukhumvit Soi 23 – a short stroll up Soi 23 or through Soi Cowboy from Sukhumvit MRT and Asoke BTS.

Incidentally that is their choice of picture, on the BCC info page. We include it with a twinge of misgiving.


Links

The 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 a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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