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.
I have always tied the ends of the chain in order to retrieve them but I helped Rob Mocas replace a head gasket on his race car at Watkins glen in September and he just let the ends drop. He retrieved them with a magnet and that is how I plan to do it next time.
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR
A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke