Four Rising Indonesian Chess Players Worth Watching

September 13, 2022

JAKARTA – Indonesia has a number of talented chess players worthy of appreciation for raising the country’s standard in recent years.

Chess has a long history in Indonesia. The Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi) was founded in 1950, shortly after the country’s independence. Since then, talented players from Utut Adianto to the late Herman Suradiradja have made a name for themselves on the international stage.

But there has been a recent spike in interest in the game, thanks in part to the hit 2020 Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit which sparked a new chess mania across the world, with sales of chess sets skyrocketing up to a thousand percent, NPR reported.

In Indonesia, recent excitement is emerging from packed halls where chess tournaments are held, such as the 12th JAPFA Chess Festival 2022 in Gedung Serbaguna Senayan, Jakarta, which is currently taking place.

To keep new chess enthusiasts up to date with industry news, here are four rising chess players we think you should know about:

Azarya Jodi Setyaki

Born and raised in Bekasi, Jodi has been playing chess since the age of four. At 24, he is now a five-time junior winner of the Indonesian Chess Championship and has won two gold medals at the Indonesian National Games (PON).

“I fell in love with chess watching my mother play it,” he told the Jakarta Post via text message on Monday. Jodi’s mother, Lisa Karlina Lumongdong, was also a professional chess player, holding the title of Woman International Master (WIM).

“Let’s hope that Indonesia will give birth to more chess grandmasters,” said Jodi, now an International Master (IM) himself.

Chelsie Monica Ignesias Sihite

Chelsie is another gold medalist in the Indonesian chess world. She acquired the WIM title in 2011, at the age of 15. She has been known in the industry since she was young and even got her first international medal at the age of 10.

Chelsie is also a Twitch and YouTube streamer with over 73,000 subscribers. His games and analyses, sometimes with the revered Indonesian Grandmaster (GM) Susanto Megaranto, sparked interest in the game among a wider audience in Indonesia.

mohamed ervan

Ervan is an IM player who has made a name for himself in the chess world in recent years. He now represents Indonesia at the 12th JAPFA Chess Festival 2022 and faces the Philippines’ own general manager, Darwin Laylo. “

Ervan now has a better quality opponent, so it’s a very good opportunity for him to [show his talents].” Percasi representative Hendry Jamal told the Post on Monday.

Born in Probolinggo, Ervan is one of only two players to have represented the country at the 2021 World Chess Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the other being Susanto Megaranto.

Medina Warda Aulia

As Indonesia’s youngest female grandmaster (WGM), a title she achieved at age 16, there is no denying Medina’s power and ability in chess.

“She’s a great young talent,” Hendry said, mentioning that even before she turned 20, Medina was ranked fourth in the world among junior chess players.

For someone who received a badge of honor from Indonesia’s sixth president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and was invited to undergo special training with Hungarian-American chess GM Susan Polgar, Medina might not fit the “rising” category. “, but her young age proves that she still has many achievements to come.

The game continues

The two grandmaster table matches on the second day of the 12th JAPFA Chess Festival 2022 ended in a draw on Sunday.

Despite having a lower ELO rating of 100, Medina once again held WGM Gong Qianyun to a tie, resulting in another half point apiece for the two.

Playing the Caro-Kann defense, Medina dragged Qianyun into a 37 move game where nothing really happened as the two players decided to trade queens before move 20.

The second match between IM Mohammad Ervan and GM Darwin Laylo lasted half the time the two agreed to a draw at move 15 which was a remarkable achievement for IM considering the way he played with Black and his opponent is a higher rated player.

The Queen’s Indian Defense’s Petrosian system appeared on the men’s board and both players knew it was a draw early in the game, resulting in half a point each; Ervan leads with 1.5 and Laylo is behind with half a point.

Additional reporting by Deni Ghifari

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