Tue, 11 Apr 2000

Megawati wants chess in schools

JAKARTA (JP): Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri would like to see chess introduced as a school activity since it would be helpful for developing the minds of students.

Megawati made this point after receiving chess officials from the Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi) and an official from the Japfa Comfeed livestock company on Monday. They were accompanied by Wismoyo Arismunandar, chairman of the National Sports Council (KONI).

The Percasi officials include acting chairman Machnan Kamaluddin, Eka Putra Wirya, Grand Master Utut Adianto and Syamsir Siregar of Japfa Comfeed.

"A student can benefit a lot from chess since there are moves which require calculations. I myself am fond of chess and when I was young, I liked to play games that employed logic," Megawati said as reported by Antara news agency on Monday.

The meeting with Megawati on Monday was to inform the vice president of the Japfa Classic International Chess Tournament in Bali, from April 22 to May 2.

Machnan said that in Asia the Japfa tournament is considered high quality since it is included in category 16.

Grand Masters from various countries, including Indonesia, will compete in the 10-day tournament. Among the top grand masters are Russians Anatoly Karpov (FIDE world champion 1975- 1985 and 1995-1999) and Alexander Khalifman (FIDE world champion 1999-2000).

Indonesia will be represented by Utut and Ruben Gunawan.

Megawati stated her willingness to attend and open the chess tournament. (lnt)