Guramishvili wins title, Medina nails WIM norm

Niken Prathivi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 10/29/2011 8:00 AM

The championship title of the Japfa International Grandmaster chess event went to Woman Grand Master (WGM) Sopiko Guramishvili of Georgia, but local hopeful Medina Wardah Aulia still ended the six-day tournament on Friday in Jakarta with her head held high.

The young Indonesian chess talent defeated WGM Jana Krivec of Slovenia in the final of 10-round competition to collect five points overall, which won her a Woman International Master (WIM) norm.

The WIM norm is the first stage into obtaining a full WIM title. “It is her first WIM norm,” said Kristianus Liem, an Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi) official in charge of development affairs.

The double round-robin competition, in which all six women’s players — three Indonesians and three foreigners — faced each other twice, was one of 11 divisions played in the sixth Japfa Chess Festival.

It was a surprise win for Medina over Krivec, given the fact that the Indonesian player had an Elo rating of 2112 compared to Slovenian’s 2290.

In the final standings, Guramishvili was in first place with six and a half points, followed by Krivec’s six points, Russian WGM Anna Burtasova’s five and a half points, Medina’s five points, WIM Chelsie Monica Sihite’s four and a half points and Dewi Aa Citra’s two and a half points.

Kristianus said the home players, who were members of the Indonesian team preparing for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), had begun the tournament with equal chances to shine.

“Chelsie has the potential to raise her norm after the tournament because she was stable during the event. Medina and [Dewi] Citra were stable, too, but surprisingly, Medina made it to the end,” he said.

Kristianus hoped players’ game experience would boost their fighting morale for the SEA Games, to be hosted in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, from Nov. 11–22.

“The chess festival was the final tryout for our national players before heading to Palembang,” he said, adding that the team was scheduled to fly to Palembang on Nov. 2.

Indonesia will send 14 players, comprising eight men and six women, in a mission to win two of its goal of 15 gold medals in the Games.

Grand Master (GM) Susanto Megaranto, the men’s team ace, won the Open category.

Indonesian chess patron GM Utut Adianto said that the six-strong women’s competition, which was the new format created in six years of Japfa Chess Festival organization, was expected to shape up Indonesian players’ chess games.

“We organized the event based on our urgency of need. We used to hold matches between the top two players. We saw that such matches do not have the same urgency anymore. We have three young women’s players and we need to develop them through competitive fields. That’s why we held a tournament by inviting three players from foreign countries,” said Utut, who is becoming a lawmaker.

The Japfa Chess Festival was held a week after the US$55,500 Indonesia Open, which featured 35 foreign players from 20 countries among the participants.


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