The Telin International Chess Tournament is down to one round, and it looks ready to crown a local player its champion.
International Master Irwanto Sodikin forced Georgian Grandmaster Merab Gagunashvili to a shock draw in the eighth round on Wednesday to tie three others at the top of the standings with 6.5 points.
Coming off an upset of Filipino GM Eugene Torre on Tuesday, Irwanto was aggressive playing back against Gagunashvili at the Telkom Graha Citra Caraka building in Jakarta.
Irwanto said the match could have ended much earlier, but the Georgian refused to concede. The two settled for a stalemate after 62 moves.
“He was a very tough opponent. I offered a draw after 32 moves, but he turned it down,” said Irwanto, the national team coach.
Besides Irwanto, Torre, Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam and Indonesian GM Cerdas Barus also have 6.5 points.
Irwanto faces Cerdas, while Dao takes on Torre in the final round today. The title will be awarded outright to an Indonesian should a winner emerge between Irwanto and Cerdas and the Dao-Torre match ends in a draw.
“Cerdas is one of the greatest players in the country. I know him well, but I have to beat him if I want to win this championship,” Irwanto said.
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