Wed, 29 Nov 2000

Utut wins opener of Int'l Chess Federation World Championships

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia Grand Master Utut Adianto won his first match at the US$3.5 million 2000 International Chess Federation (FIDE) World Championships at the Hyatt Regency in New Delhi on Monday evening.

Utut, whose elo rating is 2583, played the black in his match against International Master (MI) Imad Hakki of Syria, who has an elo rating of 2429.

Utut defeated Hakki on the 44th move employing the Caro-Kann defense.

"The result really relates to my preparation," said Utut after the match.

He said he was relieved to have won as he suffered a cold and diarrhea the day before the match.

Utut anticipated Hakki's moves by changing from his usual Botvinnik variation of the Caro-Kann defense to Karpov's version of the Capablanca variation, which he has only played three times before.

In the 19th move, Hakki had to sacrifice his queen for Utut's rooks because he did not want to lose his bishop. Both players were still on level terms, but Hakki's d4 pawn was getting weaker and fell in the 23rd move.

After this Utut took advantage of his pawns on the d-line to pressure Hakki's two rooks and bishop. Hakki conceded defeat after seeing that his king would be captured if he lost one more rook.

"It was very exhausting because Hakki tried really hard to defend and force a tie," Utut said as quoted by Indonesian Chess Association spokesman Kristianus Liem.

In his second match on Tuesday, Utut is scheduled to meet Hakki again, but this time the Indonesian will play the white.

"I will not force things to try and defeat Hakki 2-0. It's enough to earn a draw tomorrow," said Utut.

The championships were officially opened by FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and are being attended by 100 male and 61 female chess players from around the world.

The event is a new annual event for female players. It offers $500,000 in prize money, making it the world's richest chess competition. (yan)