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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gravediggers' Chess Tournament Won by Kunir Team in Jakarta

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

This is interesting chess news - a grave diggers' chess tournament in Jakarta. It was well-timed for Halloween. According to The Jakarta Post, Kunir grave diggers have won the special chess tournament. A team of grave diggers from Tegal Kunir Cemetery have become the last men standing in the inaugural Gravediggers Chess Tournament held by the Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi).
Dig for victory: Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo jokes around with Indonesian Chess Association (Percasi) chairman Hasyim Djojohadikusumo at the opening of a two-day chess competition for gravediggers in Jakarta on Friday. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The victors — Ahmad Supardi, 42; Eko Sutanto, 38; and Tuah Pasaribu, 37 — shared trophies and a purse of Rp 10 million (US$1,038) that was given to them by Percasi chairman Hashim Djojohadikusumo on Sunday at the Indonesian Sports Council’s office in Central Jakarta.

In second place was the team from Kampung Kandang Cemetery in South Jakarta, which received Rp 5.5 million from Percasi. A team from Rawa Kopi Cemetary in East Jakarta finished third and will take home Rp 4 million. Speaking at the closing ceremony for the tournament, Hashim said that Percasi was planning to hold similar competitions for gravediggers in cemeteries throughout the archipelago.

More than 160 grave diggers from 46 public cemeteries in the capital participated in the tournament, which was opened by Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. The competition was held to promote chess as “a brain sport for the people,” according to Hashim.

Hashim, the son of Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, the economist who was appointed to ministerial posts in five different Cabinets under presidents Sukarno and Soeharto, said that the idea for the tournament occurred to him when he visited his mother’s grave in Tanah Kapuk cemetery in Central Jakarta, when he saw many grave diggers playing chess to pass time while waiting for work.

“Chess is an affordable game for people from various backgrounds and it provides a good influence for the players. It is an analytical game that can be played anywhere and anytime, and can help improve the intelligence of those who cannot afford formal education.”

The Percasi plans to make the competition an annual event and hopes to include more grave diggers next year. There are 102 cemeteries in the capital. The association also expected to make it an nationwide event in the next years. The grave diggers who joined the competition will be made as official members of the association, Hashim said.

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