Young Indonesians battle
for world chess title
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sports | Sat, September 14 2013, 2:29 PM 

Four young Indonesian chess players began their bid to win the World Junior Chess Championships on Friday in Kocaeli, Turkey.

Sixteen-year-old international master (IM) Muhammad Lutfi Ali, who holds an Elo chess rating of 2277, challenged fifth seed grandmaster (GM) Samve Ter-Sahakyan (2575) of Armenia while 20-year-old IM Farid Firmansyah (2433) faced Buyukasik Diyap of Turkey.

Indonesian players in the women’s draw are 16-year-old woman international master (WIM) Medina Warda Aulia (2301) and 18-year-old WIM Chelsie Monica Sihite, who took on Ani Krumova of Bulgaria and Riya Savant of India, respectively.

The competition is being played with the Swiss system of 13 rounds. The matches start 3 p.m. local time, or 7 p.m. Jakarta time, according to Indonesian team manager Kristianus Liem in a press release.

The Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi) chose the four youngsters to represent their country given their consistent performances for the past year.

The two-week tournament, which features 210 players from 53 countries, is being hosted at The Ness hotel in Basiskele of Kocaeli – some 108 kilometers from the country’s largest city of Istanbul.

Antara news agency reported the event was planned to be held in Hatay. However, as the city is located too close to the turbulent Turkey-Syria border, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) requested that Turkey’s chess federation move the tournament.

The list of contestants includes 10 GMs, 27 IMs, 19 male FIDE masters, eight WGMs, 19 WIMs and 15 female FIDE masters.

The men’s top seed is GM Yu Yangyi (2662) of China, who won the Indonesian Open last year, while WGM Alina Kashlinskaya (2434) of Russia tops the women’s seeds.

The under-20 tournament has become an opportunity for younger players to build their chess careers.

Some tournament champions have later on become world champions: Indian GM Viswanathan Ananda, who was the junior champion in 1987, as well as Russian GM Garry Kasparov (1980), Anatoly Karpov (1969) and Boris Spassky (1955).

The first World Junior Chess Championship took place in Birmingham, the UK, in 1951, and was the brainchild of chess player William Ritson-Morry.

Subsequently, it was held every two years until 1973, when an annual schedule was adopted. In 1983, a separate tournament for girls was established.

Tournament winners are automatically crowned GM and WGM titles, while IM/WIM titles are awarded to runners-up and third-placed players.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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