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Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to draw after sacking two pawns: Gustafsson tells Vallejo at Thai Chess Open R8

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

The Thailand Chess Open International 2011 is right now the strongest chess tournament in the country. It had an exciting penultimate round leaving three players in the lead - strong grandmasters all: Nigel Short, Paco Vallejo and Jan Gustafsson.
In the seventh round, Gustafsson had beaten Short to take away the lead and draw parallel with Paco Vallejo - the other leader. In the eighth round while Gustafsson sacked two pawns and still managed to draw, Nigel Short caught up after notching up a nice win over Indian Grandmaster Srinath Jha. The joke about the eight round going around was that Gustafsson told Vallejo about the game: "You should have watched my DVD - that's where I proposed [the new 14th move that I played]!" Vallejo, supposedly, replied: "Yes, I will download it." 

Terrace chess - Sorry, no mercy Grandmaster Nigel Short!

The final round, which begins early Sunday at 9am, will see the top three Grandmasters facing significantly lower ranked opposition, so a three-way tie for the 100,000 Baht first prize is certainly a possibility. However lower ranked players have caused so many upsets in this event that the elite Grandmasters will be taking nothing for granted.

The top standings are as follows after the eighth round:
1. Vallejo, Short, Gustafsson 6.5 points each
2. Kunte, Stokke, Murshed, Voigt, Yang, Willemze, Illner, Mariano 6 points each

The Thai Open, with a prize fund of 500,000 Baht, is being played at the Dusit Thani Pattaya Resort. You can access the official website here.  

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