Tue, 18 Mar 2003

Japfa Chess Tournament attracts 400 participants

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Some 400 participants will feature at the Japfa Chess Tournament, which is the first chess event to be participated in by various levels of the community.

The competition, which is providing Rp 50 million (US$5,555) in cash prizes, will run from March 19 through March 24 at the headquarters of the National Sports Council (KONI) in Central Jakarta.

The competition is divided into groups of master, nonmaster, women's master, junior U-20, junior U-14 and celebrity.

A number of top national players make up the lineup for the master competition. Among others are Grand Master (GM) Ardiansyah, GM Edhi Handoko, GM Cerdas Barus, International Master (IM) Danny Yuswanto, IM Ivan Situru, IM Dede Liu, IM Salor Sitanggang, FIDE Master (FM) Irwanto, FM Maksum Firdaus, FM Kasmiran and rising star Susanto Megaranto.

The women's master competition will see Evie Lindiawati, Irene Sukandar, Norasa Verdiana, Amalia Andra and Stefani Dian, the five being members of the national junior female team.

The celebrity event, which will be played as an entertaining exhibition, lists 12 public figures.

The list includes former KONI secretary-general Rudolf Warouw, official of the Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi) Cholid Ghozali, TV presenter Sonny Tulung, soccer commentator Andi Darussalam, former soccer player Iswadi Idris, TV presenters Djoni Irawan and David Chalik, Minister of Mines and Energy Purnomo Yusgiantoro and former student activist Hariman Siregar.

"We have yet to get confirmation from singer Tommy J. Pisa, actor Roy Marten, composer Rinto Harahap and drummer Jelly Tobing," Eka Putra Wirya, the chairman of the organizing committee, said at a media conference here on Monday.

Except for the celebrity event, the competition will be played in nine rounds with the control time of one and a half hours.

"For the celebrity group, time is not strict. They do not have to play every day. They can play at will as long as they have the time," Eka said.

The master competition, both in men's and women's categories, will shortlist two in each group for the national team selection ahead of the next Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam in December.

Percasi, which plans to send a six-strong team in each category to Vietnam, has already had two men's and four women's players on its initial list of candidates taken from the recent tournaments.

GM Utut Adianto, GM Cerdas Barus, WIM Upi Darmayana Tamin and Evie Lindiawati have been awarded automatic berths on the team.

The competition also provides a National Master (NM) title for a player who can win at least six points.