Wed, 12 Mar 2003

Teenager Evie ends Anniswati chess tourney in triumph

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Teenager Evie Lindiawati took a clean sweep at the Anniswati Memorial Cup women's chess tournament, which ended here on Tuesday.

After winning the classic games with a convincing performance over the rest of the 14 participants on Sunday, the Indonesian chess hopeful for the next Southeast Asian (SEA) Games carried on to claim another victory in the rapid games on Tuesday.

The 16 year old could only register three draws and a win, but the additional 2.5 points collected on the second day of the rapid games competition was enough to keep her at the top of the final standings with an overall 7 points.

"I'm very happy that I won the tournament. It was tough out there. I drew in the final three rounds, which could have given the victory to someone else. Luckily I had a good point lead entering today's matches," Evie said after she was presented with the trophies and cash prizes.

Tuesday's victory rounded off Evie's domination over her senior Women's International Master (WIM) Upi Darmayana Tamin in the tournament.

The two shared the honor in the preceding two series beginning last June. The first series in June gave Evie and Upi victories in the rapid games and classic games respectively before the two swapped victories in the second round the following October.

Entering Tuesday's matches with a one-point lead, Evie did not lose firepower to beat Yulianti Tjindarbumi in the sixth round pairings, which later proved to be a decisive victory.

While Evie drew in the next games, Yulianti recovered to win the remaining three games. However, her late charge could not provide her enough leverage to catch up with the champion.

Yulianti was half a point behind Evie followed by 10-year-old Irene Sukandar, who is hailed as a rising star, with 6 points. She tied with Tuti Rahayu, but Irene, whose game against Novianti Ginting in the final round drew interest from the scores of people in attendance, had a better progressive score.

Upi has yet to live up to her WIM title as she only ended up in fifth place with 5 points.

The 1997 Asian champion also failed to show her best during the classic games, a poor performance which prompted concern on the part of the Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi) in view of the next SEA Games in Vietnam.

"Congratulations to Evie. She has proved to be consistent during the tournament. For Upi, she will have to train harder in the next sixth months ahead of the games," Eka Putra Wirya, Percasi's executive chairman, said.

Percasi will also send a six-strong men's team led by Grand Master (GM) Utut Adianto and GM Cerdas Barus.

Upi and Evie have been granted automatic berths in the female team, also with six members. The other four places will be decided in a selection tournament.

Percasi has picked four of the eight candidates to be shortlisted in the selection: Lisa Lumongdong and Norasa Verdiana from the Anniswati Cup and Yulianti Tjindarbumi and Neiko Rasaki from the preceding Gunadarma Open.

Another four candidates will come from the Japfa Chess Tournament, which will start in Jakarta on March 19, and the National Championship in Semarang, Central Java, in June.

With Russian coach Evgeny Sveshnikov set for a month-long training for the team, Eka said that he was optimistic about the team's prospects.

The chess competition, to be held for the first time in the SEA Games, will offer eight gold medals.