Friday, April 18, 2008

JAPFA Chess Festival

Another update on the Japfa International Chess Festival from The Jakarta April 18, 2008 Irene faces tough climb to gain WGM norm The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Indonesian Woman International Master Irene Kharisma Sukandar faces a rougher passage to gain her first Grandmaster norm after falling in her third and fourth round matches of the Japfa Chess Festival, Central Jakarta. Posting 1.5 points from one first-round win and second-round draw at the Indonesian Sports Council hall, the 16-year-old Indonesian star who is expected to become the first Indonesian Woman Grandmaster must garner at least five points from the remaining six rounds in order to reach her first Grandmaster norm. Last month, Irene, who eventually won the Cup of Rector International tournament in Ukraine, missed her first norm by a whisker -- bagging six points, or one point away from the seven-point requirement. "I made a positional mistake in the middle of the game," Irene said after losing to Woman Grandmaster Jana Krivec of Slovania on her 91st move in the fourth round Thursday. Earlier in the third round match late Wednesday, she gave up to Woman Grandmaster Regina Pokorna of Slovakia. Irene was playing top seed Woman Grandmaster Li Ruofan of Singapore in the fifth round Thursday evening. In the next rounds Friday, she will take on Woman FIDE Master Thanda Aye Win of Myanmar and Catherine Perena of the Philippines. Leader Ruofan, meanwhile, extended her winning streak after outsmarting Krivec and Win in the third and fourth rounds to score 3.5 points. "Actually, I had some problems in the middle of the game when my pieces' developing positions were not good. But suddenly she (Win) made a positional mistake and I took the chance (to beat her)," Ruofan said. The 30-year-old who has an Elo rating of 2,423 said she is determined to win in every match, citing that she had got some practice with her husband, Grandmaster Zhong Zhang of China, before the tournament. Trailing in second place was Slovakian Pokorna with 2.5 points. Philippine Perena and Slovenian Krivec shared a third place with 2 points. Perena said she set a target of 4.5 points for the tournament, in order to get her decisive norm for a Woman International Master title. (ind)

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