Fri, 04 May 2001

Utut still has shot at World Chess C'ship

JAKARTA (JP): Grand Master (GM) Utut Adianto still has a chance of winning a ticket to the World Chess Championship although he failed in the 32 a Asian Zonal Championship in Manila on Monday.

"I still have a chance of grabbing the World Championship's ticket if I succeed at the Asian Continental Championship, which provides another 10 tickets," he told reporters on Thursday.

"Strong chess countries, such as Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines and Uzbekistan, can send up to five players each. There will be some 200 Asian players competing for the berths during the event."

The Asian Continental Championship will take place in Calcutta, India, in August, while the World Championship is scheduled to be held at the end of the year in Switzerland.

Utut lost 1.5-0.5 in the second play-off to Vietnamese GM Dao Thin Hai after they shared a 1-1 tie in the first play-off. Both players had 6.5 Victory Points (VP) which commanded the play-off.

Only two players, Dao and compatriot GM Nguyen Anh Dung, who collected 7 VPs to top the pack, earned tickets from the zonal championship.

"Actually Dao and I were expected to grab the tickets, but Nguyen managed to snatch it. He played defensively and managed to come from behind with counter attacks," said Utut.

"Despite the fact that I failed to qualify, I have raised my elo rating by nine points to 2610 from four wins and five ties."

Utut, also the Indonesian Chess Association's head of talent scouting and junior commission, said he had not decided on the players who would be accompanying him to Calcutta as he must also set up a team for the Kuala Lumpur 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in September.

"Kuala Lumpur will feature chess as an exhibition in preparation of making the sport a permanent event for the Vietnam 2003 Games. We must prepare two different teams because the schedule of both events are too close for one team to participate in."

Utut also said that he would do his best at a "Humanity Care" chess event on Sunday at the Sucofindo building in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta. (nvn)