Australian Zhao Zong-Yuan wins Thailand Open chess title

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In a multinational field of over 300 players Australian number one, Grandmaster Zhao Zong-Yuan, edged out the other big name favorites to win the Thailand Open 2013 chess tournament held at the Dusit Thani Pattaya resort from April 14-21. 

GM Zhao had a rating performance of just under 2,700 overall, including a dramatic win over GM Nigel Short in the eighth round.  He finished with 7.5 points from nine rounds to claim the 100,000 baht first prize.

China’s Xu Ruoying is presented with the Female Challenger trophy by Dusit Thani General Manager Chatchawal Supachayanont (right).China’s Xu Ruoying is presented with the Female Challenger trophy by Dusit Thani General Manager Chatchawal Supachayanont (right).

Following Zhao Zong-Yuan were six players on seven points.  On tie-breaks, IM Wan Yunguo took second place and a GM norm.  GM Jan Gustafsson from Germany, who admitted that he was here “just on holiday” when asked about the tournament, finished in third place.

The top seed GM Nigel Short, a familiar and welcome presence at the Thailand Open, played fighting chess throughout the tournament making a decisive result in all but one game.  He struggled at times though, pushing too hard for wins.

Meanwhile, the world’s third highest rated female player, GM Humpy Koneru, had a solid tournament and remained unbeaten.

Top prize for best Thai player went to FM Jirapak Pitirotjirathon, who performed well above his rating.  He has long been dedicated to improving the quality of chess in Thailand and sets a fine example for Thai juniors aspiring to titles.

Congratulations also to IM Roy Saptarshi of India for achieving his second GM norm with a win over Nigel Short.  Receiving IM norms were Ma Zhonghan of China, Hamed Nouri of Philippines and Sardana Rishi of India, currently rated only 2,232.

Australia’s Zhao Zong-Yuan (center) holds up the champion’s trophy after winning the 2013 Thailand Open chess title at the Dusit Thani Pattaya resort, Sunday, April 21.Australia’s Zhao Zong-Yuan (center) holds up the champion’s trophy after winning the 2013 Thailand Open chess title at the Dusit Thani Pattaya resort, Sunday, April 21.

Germany’s Jan Gustafsson (left) cools off in the sea with Grandmaster Irine Sukandar of Indonesia.Germany’s Jan Gustafsson (left) cools off in the sea with Grandmaster Irine Sukandar of Indonesia.