Bangkok Open

The Bangkok Open started on the 11th of April. We have never played but Thailand is such a lovely place, and we hope to play there in the near future.

In 2009 we had a holiday (with no chess) in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand where we rode elephants all over the countryside! Thailand is a lovely place with yummy food such as sticky mango rice as well as your typical red/green/panang e.t.c curries.

I believe this tournament in Thailand has alternated venues between the bustling city of Bangkok and the tourist destination of Pattaya.

Currently leading the field is a four-way tie with 4.5/5 between fellow Englishman Nigel Short, Spaniard Francisco Vallejo Pons, the Indian Abhijit Kunte and  Zaw Win Lay from Myanmar (all Grandmasters). I spot in the field several Aussie players including IM James Morris and FM Max Illingworth who are currently 1/2 a point behind the leaders.

The following game struck us as interesting. Paco played a line which Gawain has taught a couple of his pupils in the past. Black offers an exchange of queens as early as move two but in return he would be left with the superior structure so White does well to keep the tension. However then Black can start to create an initiative on the kingside. White tried to slow Black’s play with the odd looking 5.f4 but the Spaniard showed that his attack was still very potent and won with a wonderful attacking display.
###pgn###[Event “11th BCC Thailand Open”] [Site “Pattaya THA”] [Date “2011.04.12”] [EventDate “2011.04.11”] [Round “3”] [Result “0-1”] [White “Pieter Hopman”] [Black “Vallejo Pons, Francisco”] [ECO “A41”] [WhiteElo “2365”] [BlackElo “2707”] [PlyCount “52”] 1. d4 d6 2. c4 e5 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 f5 5. f4 Be7 6. Nh3 Nf6 7. e3 c6 8. Bd2 Be6 9. Be2 Na6 10. O-O Nc7 11. Ba5 b6 12. Be1 d5 13. b3 O-O 14. Nf2 Bf7 15. Kh1 c5 16. Bc3 Ne6 17. g4 cxd4 18. gxf5 Nxf4 19. Bxd4 Nxe2 20. Qxe2 Bh5 21. Qc2 Bf3+ 22. Kg1 Bd6 23. Nd2 Bxh2+ 24. Kxh2 Ng4+ 25. Kh3 Rxf5 26. Nxg4 Rh5+ 0-1%%%pgn%%%