Sun, 02 Feb 2003

Awam Wahono draws final match to win 2003 Pusam Cup

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Samarinda, East Kalimantan

FIDE Master (FM) Awam Wahono drew with Grand Master (GM) Edhi Handoko in 16 moves to win the Pusam Cup chess tournament here on Saturday.

Also during the final round, GM Cerdas Barus and International Master (IM) Ivan Situru agreed to a draw after just 11 moves, each player leaving the board with a half a point.

The play was also indifferent in the matches between Hasian Panggabean and GM Ardiansyah; Aris T.L.S. and Antung Selamet; Taufiqurachman and FM Nurdin Askali; and Yangdi Said and Johan Gunawan. All four pairings ended their matches in under 15 moves.

Cerdas finished the tournament in second place, followed by Edhi in third. All three collected 7.5 points with six wins and three draws in the nine rounds, but Awam outscored Cerdas on the Progressive Score (PS) system, and Cerdas outscored Edhi.

Edhi and Awam were both agreeable to a quick draw, with the pair saying they were drained from playing two rounds a day since Monday.

"I did not need to push myself for a win. I'm satisfied with where I am. If I became too ambitious in trying to secure a win, I could have ended up with a defeat. I did not have the stamina," said the 43-year-old Edhi, who finished in fourth place at last year's tournament.

As soon as the draw was agreed to, Awam looked pleased with the result. His pleasure only increased a few minutes later when he learned the Ivan-Cerdas match also had ended in a draw, ensuring Awam first place and the top prize of Rp 7.5 million (US$833) from the total of Rp 37 million on offer.

"I ran out of energy, too," Awam said of his game with Edhi.

"So when he offered me a draw I gladly accepted it," Awam, who represented Indonesia at the 1990 and 2002 Chess Olympiad, said.

Susanto Megaranto, the 2002 champion and top seed at this year's tournament, had to be content with fourth place, half a point behind the top three finishers. The 16-year-old beat fellow West Java native Denny Sonjaya in a game that extended to 70 moves.

In nine rounds, Susanto posted seven wins and two losses, against Cerdas and Junaid Pamungkas.

His teammates on the junior team, Taufik Halay and Tirta Chandra, also represented themselves well at the tournament, with Taufik taking 6.5 points and Tirta 6 points.

Any of the some 160 participants from 12 provinces taking part in the tournament who finished with at least 6 points automatically received a National Master (NM) title.

Among the newly crowned National Masters were local players Taufiqurachman and Eko Rusyanto.

Next year, the tournament, which began in 2002, could see an improvement in the level of competition, with the organizing committee saying it is considering inviting foreign players.