Sat, 08 Mar 2003

Teens dominate Anniswati Cup chess tourney

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Two international masters (IMs) crashed in the fifth round of the Anniswati Cup women's chess tournament on Friday as teenage Evie Lindiawati kept her one-point lead intact with two rounds to go.

Lisa Lumongdong and Upi Darmayana Tamin were the biggest casualties during Friday's fourth and fifth rounds, in which teenage players dominated their seniors.

Lisa, who is one of Indonesia's few IM players, is rusty after being absent from the sport since 1997.

After escaping with a narrow win over Amalia Andra, the 34- year-old stumbled against 12-year-old Irene Sukandar.

Upi, who drew with Evie earlier, missed a glaring chance to checkmate Yulianti Tjindarbumi and lost by default as her time control fell. The game lasted for 43 moves in Sicilian defense.

Lisa surrendered in 30 moves of Sicilian game, blaming poor physical shape for the defeat.

"I built a better position in the middlegame. I somehow slipped up. My physical form did not compromise. It caused me to lose concentration," Lisa told The Jakarta Post.

Lisa was stung by a quickfire combinational attack by Irene during the middlegame which resulted in the loss of bishop for the former. Lisa could only take a pawn as compensation.

"That's the game of chess. We can slip up anytime," she said.

She however offered her praise to her younger opponent, saying that Irene played well.

Meanwhile, Evie collected another one-and-a-half points from Friday's pairings, drawing with Upi and winning over Norasa Verdiana.

Evie, 16, has now amassed four-and-a-half points, one point over close rival Irene, whose big scalp of Lisa came on the back of her defeat of Tuti Rahayu.

Other teenagers rising to the top included 14-year-old Stefani Dian and 15-year-old Norasa. Both joined a four-way tie for third position with three points, with Lisa and Yulianti.

Stefani won games against Imasniti and Susianah Handayani, while Norasa overcame Yulianti before losing to Evie.

Upi has to be content with two-and-a-half points collected from Susianah and Tuti Rahayu. Sulung Wahyuni, Neiko Rasaki and Amalia Andra are tied on two points each while Imasniti is last on one-and-a-half points.

Lisa's poor performance might overshadow her comeback after a six year absence.

Asked if she still had hopes for being shortlisted for the next Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam, Lisa said: "Let's see if I can still hang on in the next games."

The tournament, which will play seven rounds of classic games and nine rounds of rapid games until Tuesday, provides two places in an initial shortlist of eight. The team is then whittled down to four to join Evie and Upi as automatic team members for the Vietnam games, where chess makes its debut.

The players have a break on Saturday and will resume play on Sunday with two last rounds.