Milliet, L’ami win tight-schedule Japfa WGM chess tournament

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post | Sports | Sat, April 20 2013, 1:41 PM 
A tight schedule became the issue as Sophie Milliet and Alina L’ami shared the top place at the 10-round Japfa Women’s Grandmaster Chess Tournament that ended on Friday in Jakarta.

Millet of France and L’ami of Romania each collected 6 points after 10 games in the tournament, which featured four foreign and two local chess players.

Chelsie Monica Sihite was in third place with 5.5 points followed by fellow Indonesian Medina Warda Aulia and Yulia Kotchetkova of Slovakia, both with 5 points, and Natacha Benmesbah of France with 2.5 points.

L’ami was upbeat after defeating Benmesbah, a success she attributed to well-laid preparations before the game.

“I had the upper hand and finally I could convert it to a point,” L’ami told The Jakarta Post after the game that lasted 28 moves.

The game was in balance in the opening before L’ami decided to venture a challenging maneuver that proved fruitful.

“After the beginning, I had to find myself the best setup. I didn’t know how she should make her defense. The plan went in my favor,” L’ami said.

Despite her joint top finish, L’ami said that she could have performed better had she had more time to prepare.

Two games were played a day in the morning and afternoon, which according to L’ami was too tight.

“A double round a day is too much for the head, but I should not complain because everybody is in the same situation. I have to be professional and accept the condition. But in general, players should have one game a day,” L’ami said.

L’ami booked three wins, six draws and a loss. Her single loss came at the hands of Benmesbah in their first meeting in the fourth round.

Co-winner Milliet won four games, drew four games and lost in her other two games. She rued her loss to Chelsie in the seventh round, which Milliet had been in control before a lapse.

“I’m very exhausted,” Milliet said.

While admitting that the schedule was hectic, Event organizing committee chairman Eka Putra Wirya said that they had no other option.

“We can do it like we did in Bekasi last December. We had one game a day. Here we have to think about the cost,” Eka said.

The WGM tournament was part of the Japfa Chess Festival that featured some 400 participants from 23 provinces split in a number of match categories.

Veteran Salor Sitanggang won the open category, followed by Tirta Candra and Iqro Musa.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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