Local teen prodigy moves step closer to WGM title
Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sports |
Mon, August 27 2012, 5:31 AM

Local teen prodigy Medina Warda Aulia, 14, will be heading to the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, where she may become Indonesia’s youngest women’s grandmaster (WGM).

“Although we are competing with young players, we are keen to improve the team’s rankings,” Eka Putra Wirya, who heads the development board of the Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi), told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

“For Medina, we hope that she can attain her women’s grandmaster title,” he said. Irene Kharisma is currently the nation’s youngest WGM having achieved the title in 2008 when she was 16.

Medina put in an outstanding performance at last week’s Satka chess tournament in Chelyabinsk, Russia, finishing in second place.

Her points collection of 6.5, half a point behind champion grandmaster Rustam Khusnutdinov of Kazakhstan, guaranteed her a WGM norm, team manager Kristianus Liem said in a release.

A player must amass three WGM norms and reach standard rating to be awarded the women’s grandmaster title.

The Russian trip followed her successes at the World’s U-20 Chess Championship in Athens, Greece where she scored 9.5 points, equal to that collected by WGM Guo Qi of China, although the Indonesian was beaten on a tiebreaker.

In Russia, Medina drew her first four rounds before chalking up wins in the next four over Alfia Nasybullina (Russia), Albert Baigildin (Russia), Dinara Sadvakassova (Kazakhstan) and 2008 U-13 champion Alexandra Makarenko (Russia).

In the last game, Medina held Ruslan Scherbakov, who is also her coach, to a draw.

It was Medina’s second WGM norm. She notched her first after winning the 2011 ASEAN Women’s Chess Championship.

The Indonesian team also featured Chelsie Monica Sihite in the tournament, who has yet to deliver her best.

Hopes abound that Medina will maintain her good run in Istanbul.

Percasi deputy chairman and House of Representatives lawmaker Utut Adianto was cautious, saying that things depended on the team’s performance as a whole.

“It’s difficult to predict. If team performs well, they will come across high-rated opponents. In that case, the chance to score a norm will increase,” said Utut, himself a grandmaster.

The Chess Olympiad, which runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10, features men’s and women’s teams from across the world.

Indonesian team

• Open category: Susanto Megaranto, Tirta Chandra Purnama, Taufik Halay Farid Firman Syam, Muhammad Lutfi Ali

• Women’s: Medina Warda Aulia, Chelsie Monica Sihite, Citra Dewi, Ummi Fisabililla, Aay Aisyah Anisa

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com

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