Wed, 14 May 2003

RI chess team vies for three golds at SEAG

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With the number of members increasing from 12 to 20 athletes, the Indonesian chess team heading to the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam is now aiming to win three gold medals.

The chess body Percasi initially planned to send six men and six women and was hoping to secure at least two of the eight golds on offer.

"The three golds we will be vying are in the men's team and individual classic and rapid chess games," Hendry Djamal, one of the four trainers in charge of the athletes, told The Jakarta Post here on Monday.

Classic chess allows 90 minutes of thinking time per game compared to 25 minutes per game in rapid chess.

Percasi will begin the national workout with 30 players: 18 men and 12 women. The majority of the candidates have been included in the short list based on tournaments this year.

The Telkom tournament in Bandung, West Java, currently underway, and the next National Championship in Semarang, Central Java, in June, will provide two nominees each.

Some will be short-listed based on their individual performances in a number of tournaments and their rankings.

Percasi has also awarded automatic berths to Grand Master (GM) Utut Adianto and GM Cerdas Barus in the men's team and Women's International Master (WIM) Upi Darmayana Tamin and Evie Lindiawati in the women's.

A fixed team of 10 men and 10 women will be known in August, after which the team will enter another phase of training under supervision of Russian coach GM Evgeny Sveshnikov.

"We will stick to the initial plan that he will train the team for a month. However, an extension of two or three months remains a likely option conditional on the progress of the partnership," Percasi's Executive Director Eka Putra Wirya said.

Sveshnikov, renowned in the chess world for his Sveshnikov variation, will be paid US$3,500 per month plus expenses.