The JAPFA 3rd ASEAN Chess Championship was opened today in a Ceremony officiated by Agus Mulyano, JAPFA PR Director, Senator GM Utut Adianto, ACC (ASEAN Chess Confederation) and PERCASI (All Indonesia Chess Federation) Deputy President in attendance..
In his welcome speech, Agus Mulyano thanked the participants – both from ASEAN and Indonesia – for taking the time over the holiday period to come and play in the JAPFA 3rd ASEAN Championships 2015.
Senator GM Adianto then gave the keynote address before declaring the championships open. In his speech, Adianto acknowledged JAPFA’s long support for chess dating to 2000 with the now legendary Bali International Opens.
He then went on to recognise the presence of each and every country participating and after thanking each, expressed his hope that with an improved economy next year Indonesia would be in a position to further organise and support chess in ASEAN.
SCUA’s Tournament Hall at it’s Headquarter Chess Complex in Bekasi, Jakarta is the venue of the JAPFA 3rd ASEAN Chess Championships to be held from 21-31 December 2015 with participants staying in the well appointed nearby Amaroossa Hotel.
The two main categories – ASEAN Open and ASEAN Women – are both 12 player 11 round robins with players from five of the 10 ASEAN member countries represented.
In the Open category, Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto is the top seed and he is expected to face serious competition from Vietnam’s first GM Dao Tien Hai and the Philippine’s highly rated GM Darwin Laylo.
Local hopes will be with fast improving IM’s Sean Winshand Cuhendi who has dominated the local scene this year and Lufti Mohammad Ali who is coming of a breakthrough victory in the Johor International Open.
Two of the best young Filipino hopes are also present in IM’s Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Paulo Bersamina while FM’s Nguyen Anh Khoi from Vietnam and Li Tian Yeoh from Malaysia have long been considered outstanding young talent.
Vietnam IM Nguyen Van Huy and Myanmar IM Wynn Zaw Htun are however the best bests to fight for top places as have long been expected to be their country’s next GMs. Rounding off the event in the absence of a Singapore entry is Indonesia’s Yoseph Theolifus Taher.
In the Women’s category, the Philippines’s has sent three of their best women players, all who are looking to make history by becoming their first country’s WGM and have the top seed in WIM Janelle Mae Frayna. WIM Bernadette Gallas and WIM Shania Mae Mendoza make up a highly regarded trio.
Indonesia will be looking to WIM Ardhiani Anastasia Dewi Citra to lead the local challenge in the absence of their two WGMs, PERCASI deciding to look to blood emerging young prospects WFM Shanti Nur Abidah, Amanda Suci Fitriyani, and WFM Dita Karenza.
Two top young Vietnamese players, WIM Nguyen Thi Mai Hung and WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y will be serious challengers for top honours and the experienced Malaysian sisters, WFM Nur Najiha Azman Hisham and WCM Nur Nabila Azman Hisham cannot be written off.
News and photos by Peter Long