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Watto
24-12-2009, 02:13 PM
For those of you who are interested in booking flights (I am about to :)), the dates for this popular tournament have now been confirmed. It's running from the 14th to 20th of April 2010 (just after the SIO.)

From the tournament website: “The tournament will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Century Park Hotel, a 4 star hotel in Bangkok. We hope to attract more than 250 players from 50 countries to a tournament which is expected to be the biggest and strongest ever held in Thailand.”

Here's a link to the Bangkok Chess Club website and official tournament page: http://bangkokchess.com/?page_id=349

Garvinator
25-12-2009, 06:28 PM
For those of you who are interested in booking flights (I am about to :)),
What route and who with are you planning to go?

Watto
25-12-2009, 07:44 PM
What route and who with are you planning to go?
In the end Jetstar offered the cheapest flight (although there might be something I missed of course). The flight Guy and I are on leaves from Melbourne in the early afternoon and flies direct to Bangkok.
I've had a quick check and it seems that Jetstar flights from Sydney to Bangkok go via Melbourne as do the Brisbane to Bangkok flights...

Garvinator
25-12-2009, 07:54 PM
In the end Jetstar offered the cheapest flight (although there might be something I missed of course). The flight Guy and I are on leaves from Melbourne in the early afternoon and flies direct to Bangkok.
I've had a quick check and it seems that Jetstar flights from Sydney to Bangkok go via Melbourne as do the Brisbane to Bangkok flights...
In a not very detailed search, I was able to find Brisbane to Bangkok via Brunei for about $800, leaving on the 12th (arrives 13th April in Bangkok) and leaves 21st from Bangkok.

In the search, I did find flights by Qantas/Jetstar for Bris to Bangkok, but they all went via Sydney or Melbourne. Was not keen on the option of having to go 2000kms South to go North. I was even more surprised that I could not find anything direct from Brisbane to Bangkok for any dates near the tournament :hmm:

Watto
25-12-2009, 09:06 PM
In a not very detailed search, I was able to find Brisbane to Bangkok via Brunei for about $800, leaving on the 12th (arrives 13th April in Bangkok) and leaves 21st from Bangkok.

That sounds a good return ticket price to me compared to others I've found. Jetstar from Melbourne to Bangkok return is about $850. We've chosen to arrive on the evening of the 11th to have a bit of time to catch up with friends and settle in before the tournament begins.

Watto
26-12-2009, 01:05 PM
That sounds a good return ticket price to me compared to others I've found. Jetstar from Melbourne to Bangkok return is about $850.
Well, rather annoyingly the exact same Jetstar return flight I've paid for has now been turned into a 'sale fare' so instead of $839 return it is now $648!

Anyway, in case anyone else can take advantage of it, the 'sale fare' flight is the one which leaves Bangkok on the 20th at 10 pm.

Watto
29-03-2010, 09:34 AM
With about 2 weeks to go, there are 132 players entered into the Open and 77 in the Challengers event. Should be great.

Garvinator
29-03-2010, 02:03 PM
With about 2 weeks to go, there are 132 players entered into the Open and 77 in the Challengers event. Should be great.I thought you might abandon your trip with all the protesting going on at the moment.

Watto
29-03-2010, 03:20 PM
I thought you might abandon your trip with all the protesting going on at the moment.
No, we’ve paid for our tickets and hotel accommodation and we’re really looking forward to catching up with good friends. It seems worth it for what seems to me to be a fairly small risk. Maybe one day I’ll wish I hadn’t gone somewhere but I prefer not to be ruled by caution when it comes to travel, especially when the money has been spent. Once I’m there, I try not to invite problems.

I do appreciate your concern though, gg - thanks.

Garvinator
29-03-2010, 07:01 PM
No, weíve paid for our tickets and hotel accommodation and weíre really looking forward to catching up with good friends. It seems worth it for what seems to me to be a fairly small risk. Maybe one day Iíll wish I hadnít gone somewhere but I prefer not to be ruled by caution when it comes to travel, especially when the money has been spent. Once Iím there, I try not to invite problems.

I do appreciate your concern though, gg - thanks.
Ok, then avoid wearing anything red ;)

Watto
18-04-2010, 01:52 PM
I'm in an internet cafe just a hundred metres or so from Century Park Hotel here in Bangkok. Very warm and humid here but I'm finally getting used to it- I've been enjoying the hotel pool - like a warm bath so not quite refreshing but very relaxing.

It's a very interesting time to be here in Thailand with all the protests. Very sad last Saturday.

From a personal point of view it's fortunate that foreigners are really not of any interest to either the red shirts or pro government supporters. Our hotel is near Victory Monument and trucks of red shirts who were on their way to a demonstration just waved and cheered at us as we walked by - one got Guy in the ear with a water pistol (it's Songkran Festival time here.) A bit unsettling given recent events but better than the alternative.

As far as the chess goes, the Aussies are really not setting the world on fire. I've been happy with my play though - in 3 of my games, I should have at least drawn them and they were very tough struggles. Only one game was over fairly quickly, in the first round.

Guy has a terrible headache (suspected food poisoning) so may not play today. :(

Other than that, all is well and it's a great tournament to attend.

Garrett
18-04-2010, 02:10 PM
thanks for the update Watto !

Hope Guy gets better quickly and you both win some more games.

Best wishes for a safe trip back to Australia.

cheers
Garrett.

Garvinator
18-04-2010, 04:48 PM
Have you been avoiding wearing a red shirt Watto ;)

Watto
22-04-2010, 01:35 PM
thanks for the update Watto !

Hope Guy gets better quickly and you both win some more games.

Best wishes for a safe trip back to Australia.

cheers
Garrett.
Thanks Garrett. We had a very interesting time and I’d say pretty much everything was good apart from the chess [EDIT: the tournament was great apart from our playing. A superb venue and outstanding organisation, friendly and efficient. Also a very interesting mix of players and nationalities.]
I loved Thailand. I really liked the Thais I met, loved the food, found many aspects of the city and culture intriguing, also found the political situation fascinating. I was quite interested that despite the current political crisis and recent bloodshed, Thailand seemed not to be very obviously militarised – no security guards or soldiers in most areas I visited which included those near red shirt bases - but then again I’m used to multiple guards wielding powerful weapons in general areas like airports and shopping malls from my South African days. I am also a convert to Thai massages. :)

As far as the chess goes, I think it’s fair to say that our little band of six had a shocker of a tournament – all performed below rating with all sorts of reversals (except for me in that I performed above rating but I was coming from a very low base so it doesn’t mean anything really. Also, I had such bad reversals in my lengthy, hard fought games I felt the opposite of satisfied by the end of it: I lost two lengthy games from completely winning positions and lost three others from very solid hard fought positions which should have resulted in draws at least … but I blundered late in the piece, often in time trouble. :( So what I’ve learned AGAIN from this tournament is that I’ll have to do some study to get better results.)

Back to the group result, the low point, which was almost comical and you couldn’t have predicted it, was when we all lost in the second last round. Guy had already chalked up a couple of wins and draws for the group from watching the games and then watched all six of us go down one by one – just appalling. Guy told me the bad news when I got up from the board having blundered away what would have been a rare, beautiful attack on my part. The group tragedy actually cheered me up immediately… nothing like a bit of schadenfreude to help lessen personal disappointments!

Have you been avoiding wearing a red shirt Watto ;)
Indeed I did. :) There were non red shirts wearing red though (including the top seed of the event) so I'm not sure it would have mattered all that much if I had.

Garrett
22-04-2010, 03:33 PM
hey there Watto

Thanks for the report ! It sounds like you had an interesting time in Thailand. It must be a nice country, all my friends who have been there seem to like it.

It's a shame about the chess, would be nice to have come back with a whole swag of rating points to share around.

Please pass on a hello to Guy for me.

Talk soon
cheers
Garrett

Watto
22-04-2010, 04:08 PM
hey there Watto

Thanks for the report ! It sounds like you had an interesting time in Thailand. It must be a nice country, all my friends who have been there seem to like it.

It's a shame about the chess, would be nice to have come back with a whole swag of rating points to share around.

Please pass on a hello to Guy for me.

Talk soon
cheers
Garrett
Okay, I'll pass on your hello. :) Just thought I'd mention that Danish GM Sune Berg Hansen was very impressive in winning the tournament outright with 8/9 points. Two of our group played him and said that their feeling after the game was that he did very little but then proceeded to calmly beat them (with his greater precision I suppose.) My impression was that he’s a very cool customer … he kept his head in the last round to draw rather cleverly when it seemed that he had blundered. Seemed a nice guy – he was very happy after the tournament win. Nigel Short came second I think – had a very nice last round win with black (Winawer.)