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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chess Champ from Indonesia: Sometimes I hide my profession

Irene Kharisma Sukandar

Hi Everybody,

Interviews of chess players in mainstream media - in any country - are hard to come by. More so of women chess players.

So, it was nice to read this small interview with Indonesia's top woman chess player Irene Kharisma Sukandar in an online magazine here.

The 18-year-old has a nice answer to the following question:

Q. When you get back home from tournaments, do you take a break from chess?
A. I’m 18 now, but I’ve been traveling since I was nine. When I get home, all I want to do is sleep. During tournaments, we are not only using our brains. It’s also psychologically draining. So all I can feel after the tournament is exhaustion.

Some other answers she gave included the following:

Q. Who was the most challenging opponent you ever faced?
A. I played once with the former woman world champion [China’s Zhu Chen] in 2009. I beat her. It became big news in Indonesia.

Q. How many countries have you traveled to?
A. Around 25.

Q. When you tell people that you’re the No. 1 chess player in Indonesia, how do they react?
In class, sometimes I hide that part of myself. I don’t want people to know who I am.

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