Thu, 12 Feb 2004

Utut vs Zhu in blindfold chess game

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

GM Utut Adianto, Indonesia's number one chess grand master, is scheduled to take on world women's champion GM Zhu Chen of China in a two-game blindfold match on Sunday in a prelude to the Makita-Lakoni International Grand Master Tournament.

While not playing their moves on a chessboard, Utut and Zhu will announce their moves through chess notation and match officials will move the pieces for them.

Two games will be played, with 25 minutes of thinking time for each player permitted.

The first will be screened live on ANTV from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Graha Kita Karya building, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

"If they draw they will play a blitz game," organizing committee member Eka Putra Wirya told The Jakarta Post here on Wednesday.

A blitz game allows a player with white pieces six minutes of thinking time and black five minutes. In the event of a draw, the player with black pieces is declared the winner.

Despite being an exhibition match, a total of US$3,000 in cash prizes is up for grabs, with the winner taking two-thirds of the sum.

The blindfold game will be a curtain-raiser ahead of the six- way Makita tournament in which Utut and Zhu, who is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, will be paired against four other players.

The tournament will run from Feb. 16 to 25 with three Indonesian male players being pitted against three visiting women grand masters. Claimed as a match between Kings of Indonesia and Queens of the World, the tournament offers a total US$12,500 in cash prizes.

The other Indonesians are International Master (IM) Danny Juswanto and IM Susanto Megaranto.

2002 European champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria and 2000 Asian champion IM Hoang Thanh Trang of Vietnam are the other two foreign contenders.

Hoang and Stefanova are scheduled to arrive on Friday.

With a players' rating of 2495 on average, the tournament is categorized as 10th-rated, which means, according to chess columnist Kristianus Liem, a player will need to collect at least seven points from ten rounds to gain a GM norm.

Kristianus, who is the spokesperson of the Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi), said that all the matches would use a digital electronic smartboard, which would enable chess fans to follow games live from twelve TV screens installed outside the building.

The matches can also be viewed on