Young Indonesians battle for world chess title

Young Indonesians battle for world chess title
Indonesian junior chess team members, (from left to right) players Chelsie Monica, Medina Warda Aulia, Farid Firmansyah, Muhammad Luthfi Ali and coach Ruslan Scherbakov (center) pose at the Ness hotel.

TURKEY - 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.

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