Chess Grandmaster Utut Adianto elected Senator

by ChessBase
5/7/2009 – A chess grandmaster has won a seat in the Indonesian senate – no mean achievement in a country of 237 million people. Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy, the world's largest archipelagic state, and home to the world's largest Muslim population. The news of Adianto's election will be officially announced on May 9th. Pictorial report by Casto Abundo.

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Chess Grandmaster Adianto Elected Senator in Indonesia

By Casto Abundo, Deputy President, Asian Chess Federation

The Indonesian Parliament is divided into two lines, similar to the Congress and Senate in the United States. Elections for the new 560-member legislature were held April 9th. GM Adianto belongs to the Partai Demokrasi Indonesia-Perjuangan, headed by former President Madame Megawati Soekarnoputri.

The candidate beside a campaign poster

A campaign poster – Adianto in the Senate

"Hopefully, with this position, I can raise Chess to a better horizon in Indonesia, and for most people I shall do my utmost to bring them a better life!" Adianto said.

Born 16 March 1965 in Jakarta, Utut Adianto Wahyuwidayat holds a degree in Political Science. Married to Dr. Tri Hatmanti, they have one daughter. As chess champion, he is immensely popular in Indonesia and was voted Sportsman of the year 1995. Utut became Indonesia's youngest national chess champion at the age of 17. He earned his IM title in 1985 and his GM title the following year. He was Olympiad gold medalist on board 1 in the Istanbul Olympiad in 2000.

Adianto (second row center, in batik shirt) with his constituents

"Catur" means chess in the Indonesian language

All candidates have to know how to sing – Adianto, at far right, proves that he can

The Grandmaster Senate candidate visits impoverished communities

Adianto is a good public speaker and uses chess well in his campaign

The audience at a campaign meeting. Adianot is Deputy President of the Indonesian Chess Federation

Curriculum Vitae


Utut Adianto Wahyuwidayat

Place/Date of Birth: 
Jakarta, March 16, 1965
Degree in Political Science
Family status:
Married to Dr. Tri Hatmanti
One daughter, Mekar Melati Mewangi

Here is a list of chess achievements of GM Utut Adianto:

I. World Championship: 5x (the best is move to round 2nd at 1997, 2000 & 2004)

1997: Groningen (Netherlands)
1999 : Las Vegas (USA)
2000 : New Delhi (India)
2004 : Tripoli (Libya)
2005 : Khanty Mansiysk (Rusia)

II. Olympiad: played 8th times, since Luzern 1982

Best achievements
     Gold Medallist Board I, Istanbul, Turkey 2000
     Silver Medallist Board II, Dubai, UAE 1986

III. International Tournaments

Winner in 17 International Tournaments since 1981: at Koln, Germany, the last Malaysia Open Blitz Tournament, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2007

IV. Achievements

Obtained Parama Krida Utama Award from President of Republic Indonesia 1995
Obtained Parama Krida Pratama Award from Minister of Youth and Sport 1992
Best Sportsman of the year 1995

V. Titles

1982: National Master
1983: FIDE Master
1985: International Master
1986: International Grandmaster

VI. National Championship: 2 x (1982 & 1992)

Youngest Champion at the age of 17

VII. Other Achievements

Many times Winner of National Open Tournaments
Represented National Team more than 90 times abroad
Best World Rank: 39  (2615) in 1997
Current Elo rating 2574

VIII. Tie Break Matches

MN Djamil Djamal



1980 Jakarta

MN Iskandar Arief



1980 Jakarta

GM Edhi Handoko


1992 Jakarta 

GM Anatoly Vaisser (France)



1993 Tilburg

GM Andrei Sokolov (Russia)



1994 Tilburg

GM Evgeny Bareev (Russia)



1994 Tilburg

GM Vladimir Kramnik (Russia)



1994 London

GM Yasser Seirawan (USA)



1994 Jakarta

GM Nigel Short (England)



1995 Jakarta

GM Judit Polgar (Hungary)



1996 Jakarta

GM Anatoly Karpov (Russia)



1997 Jakarta

GM Wang Zili (China)



1997 Groningen

GM Peter Svidler (Russia)



1997 Groningen

IM Daniel Fridmans (Latvia)



1999 Las Vegas

IM Imad Haki (Syria)



2000 New Delhi

GM Peng Xiao Min (China)



2000 New Delhi

GM Evgeny Alekseev (Russia)



2004 Tripoli

GM Vladimir Akopian (Armenia) 



2004 Tripoli

GM Giovani Vescovi (Brazil)



2005 Khanty Mansiysk

GM Jan Timman (Netherlands)



2006 Jakarta

Other active chess playing politicians

This is great news for chess and may inspire some Grandmasters to run for election in their respective countries. A number of chess personalities have held high positions in government.

  • His Excellency Serzh Sargsian, the president of the Armenia Chess Federation, was elected President of Armenia.

  • His Excellency Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was chess champion of Kalmykia, Russia before he entered politics and became president of Kalmykia.

  • The Lebanese Chess Federation honorary president Dr. Ammar Houry is also a member of of his country's Parliament (see report by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh).

  • Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov became a member of the Russian Parliament. In 1998, he became an Ambassador of the UNICEF in Eastern Europe and countries of former Soviet Union. He has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia, which monitors the Russian parliament since 2005.

  • Former Women’s World Champion Xie Jun now spends most of her present time working as an official at the Beijing Sports Commission – see Wikipedia.

  • GM Bozidar Ivanovic has served as Minister of Sport and Tourism in Montenegro.

  • Going back in history, Marmaduke Wyvill, born 1814, was an English Member of Parliament who finished second to Adolf Anderssen at the London Tournament in 1851.

  • In YouTube you can see Finnish parliament member Arto Satonen playing blitz in the Satakunta region blitz championship 2007 which he won. He is a good FIDE rated player

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