Always put a towel under the chain when taking the master link out. I realize you probably already know that but just in case
I use a small stub flat head screwdriver to take the masterlink apart. From the intake side of the car put your left hand under the chain and with the right hand put the flat head on the open end of the master link and pull it towards you. The open end always goes towards the exhaust side. The bolt on the front of the head that locks the tensioner in doesn't have to be gorilla tight, just tight. There are a lot of these little things that will help you enjoy the process and have a motor you can be proud of.
Uhhh. The chain accelerates toward the exhaust side when the throttle is pushed. Therefore the open end of the link should go to the INTAKE side.
One of us is wrong. If it's me, it won't be the first mistake today, but I think I'm right. IF not, why?
BTW - I always put a wire thru each side of the chain before removing the link - it only took dropping the chain into the engine once to understand why. Towel - yes, me too. And I stick a big magnet on the chain too, so no loose part goes anywhere. I learned this according to Rule One.
[Rule One - we never learn from success!]