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Ummi Fisabilillah: “I am more patient because of chess”

Her usual sweet and cute looks are far from the serious demeanor she adopts when playing chess. But this is just our immediate impression of WFM Ummi Fisabilillah who is just 12 years of age but already a member of the team that represented Indonesia at the World Chess Olympiad 2012.

While still very young, this ever smiling young girl is clearly a very calm and confident chessplayer. The Indonesian Open Chess Championship (IOCC) 2012 is her debut into senior level international competition so how did she discover chess? Read on with our interview to find out…

Q: When did you first learn chess and who taught you?

A: I first learn the moves when I was nine. Then I was taught by my father. He like to play chess with his friends at home and I always saw them doing this and they showed me a lot and eventually I also started to like chess. And so when I was 10 years old I joined a chess school.

Ummi Fisabilillah

Ummi Fisabilillah

Q: What attracted you to chess?

A: Chess helps me concentrate better and when I win I feel I am on top of the world.

Q: Do you intent to choose chess for your future and if so how will you go about it?

A: I am very serious with chess. The way forward is to keep increasing the hours studying and increasing the number of tournaments to play on. I will also put continuous and increased effort into deepening my study and play.

Q: What role does chess play in your life?

A: Chess has helped me become more patient and I also don’t feel that I behave like a small child.

Q: In participating at the World Chess Olympiad 2012, you faced opponents much older and vastly more experienced. Where you afraid?

A: No. I always remember what my father told me. He said that there was nothing to be afraid each time you played chess because it was only a game and not a real fight when one could be physically hurt. My father is the person who most encourages me to be a chessplayer.

Q: You are the ASEAN Age Group 2012 Champion, the National U-12 Champion, and the JAPFA 2012 Champion. Was that your target?

A: Of course that was my target in all these tournaments.

Q: What tournaments have been unforgettable so far?

A: The World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey was my first time playing at an Olympiad and the Indonesia Team was also winners of Group C. It was also the furthest I have ever traveled.

Q: Do you feel homesick when traveling to play in tournaments?

A: When I play chess I rarely miss my family.

Q: How do you overcome it?

A: I watch TV or play with my smartphone.

Q: Your favourite chessplayer?

A: Magnus Carlsen. But I have not yet met him as he did not play at the Olympiad.

Q: Do you do any other sports?

A: Taekwondo and badminton. Before I trained at the place of my father’s friend but stopped when he lost the place. But now it is starting again. But I prefer chess and taekwondo.

Q: What do you always carry with you!

A: My smartphone.

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