«16th Bangkok CC оpen». Compensation time

A year ago at the «Bangkok CC оpen-2015» Surya Ganguly beat Wang Hao to jump into first place, but missed out on tie-break. This year it was time to banish the memory, and "all" he had to do was defeat the hitherto unbeaten Loek Van Wely. 

Ganguly-Van Wely

It was time to activate the passive bishop with 33…Bg5. Surely then White would have nothing? But Loek suddenly gave his opponent a breather. 33…Rf1 34.Rg6 Rb1 35.Kd3 Bf6 36.Rf2 Bg5 – Too late! The cordon round the d6-pawn falls and the white e-pawn becomes extremely dangerous. 37.Rxf8 Kxf8 38.Rxd6 Rd1 39.Ke2 Rh1 40.Kf3 Rxh5 41.Rxa6 Rh1 42.e5 Re1?! – Driving the e-pawn to where it wants to go anyway.  43.e6 – with great pleasure!

43…g6 – What else to do? The threat was nothing more or less than mate in one.  44.b3 h5 45.a4 bxa4 46.bxa4 Kg7 47.a5 h4 48.Rb6 Rf1 49.Kg2 Rd1 50.e7 Re1 51.Rb8 Bxe7 52.Rb7 – and the rest of the game was of no interest. White won (1:0).

Slightly earlier, one of the Indian's colleagues in joint first had been decided. To recover his honour after a poor tournament, the ex-world championship challenger needed to win and, it must be admitted, he made the first steps towards this quite confidently. Having played the opening in non-standard fashion and gone into the middlegame, he looked to have his opponent Vallejo laid out on the operating table.  

Short - Vallejo

The young Nigel of 1985-6 would probably have had no doubt and would have taken on f7 with his knight. Thirty years later Sir Nigel chose a more conservative path and...was mistaken! 23.b4 Ra8 24.Rhh1 Bc8 – And here the sacrifice guaranteed a draw, but that result did not enter Short's plan at all. 25.Rhf1 Nf6 26.Rf2 Qd8 27.Rdf1 a5 28.Bc1 Ra6 – «Tal, sacrifice!»  29.Bd1 – Again no! Maybe Short was not in the mood in this morning game? 29…Bg4 30.Bc2 0-0 31.a3 Nh7 32.Nfh3 Bxh3 33.gxh3 Nxg5 34.hxg5 Qa8 35.h4 Re8 36.Bd1 Bf8 37.Be2 Bg7 – The patient has woken up and seized the scalpel from the surgeon. 

38.Kc2? Re7 39.Qh3 axb4 40.cxb4 Rea7 41.Rf3 Nxf3 42.Rxf3 Qe8 43.Rf4 – and without waiting for the obvious  43…Qe5, White resigned (0:1). Francisco also obtained moral (and material) compensation. Unlike Ganguly, in last year's «Bangkok CC оpen» he lost to Dragoun in the last round and finished well outside the main prizes.

Ildar Khairullin spent the whole game sitting in the trenches. Benjamin Bok very much wanted to win and at one moment seemed close to doing so, but the Russian's defences just held.

There were 10 main prizes, but the main winners were known. This time Bucholz did not cheat Ganguly. We congratulate Suriya! 

Local player Pitirotjirathon lost to Sophie… This win enabled the former to win the women's prize and score the same points total as her earlier opponent in the Thai boxing ring. Fate! 

Gustafsson - Smirnov (1:0). Anton could not hold against his more experienced opponent in the last round, but he has no reason to hang his head. At 15 years old, everything lies ahead for him! 

And so we say goodbye to you from Bangkok. Thailand awaits its guests next year. See you at  «Bangkok CC оpen-2017»!

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