When you right-click a link in Chrome and select Open link in a new tab--or if you point to the link and click the wheel rather than one of the buttons--the browser will open that link in a new tab.
But the browser's focus will remain on the tab you're already in.
Chrome itself offers no way to change this, but Abarth's Tabs to the front extension will make the change. Just install it, and the new tab will come out on top.
To change things back, browse to chrome://extensions/, where you can disable or uninstall this and other extensions.
My thanks to Car54 for offering a solution in the original forum discussion.