Indonesia gets first woman grand master of chess

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Indonesian chess player Irene Kharisma Sukandar finally reached the top of career as the first Woman Grand Master (WGM) and Woman International Masters (WIM) after earning her third norm, the coveted WCM title, the Jakarta Post reported on Thursday. "Of course, I'm happy (to be named Indonesian's first WGM) and very grateful to God Almighty," said Irene, adding that she hoped that her achievement will encourage other Indonesian women.

She received a certificate of her debut highest achievement in Singapore last week, while at the same time competing in the Singapore Open chess tournament. Irene, 16 years old, earned norm during last month's Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, and was presented with her new ranking by ASEAN Chess Confederation president Ignatious Leong. Irene is the first woman in Indonesian history to attain the chess world's highest title. Several Indonesian men have already attained the title of grand master.

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