Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Top Seeds Struggle at Thai Open

IM Atanu Lahiri draw with GM Jan Gustafsson (right) in round 3. Photo from Thai Open Press Office




After a day of upsets, only 5 players, and only 2 of thafone top 10 seeds, have survived the first three rounds of the 2011 Thai Open in Pattaya unscathed.
Following a smooth ride in the first round, the 10 participating Grandmasters found life much tougher in Tuesday's second and third rounds.
In round 2 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.

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.

Tournament favourites Paco Vallejo and Nigel Short both achieved maximum 3/3 scores with fine attacking wins in the third round. They are joined in the lead by two Woman Grandmasters, Swathi Ghane 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 Thai Open, with a first prize of 100,000 Baht, is being played at the luxurious Dusit Thani Resort and continues until Sunday, with admission for spectators gratis. Games may be followed live via http://bangkokchess.com/ with results at chess-results.com

Thai Open Press Office
April 12

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