Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Sports Committee (KONI) is exploring ways to enhance the promotion of classical Chinese chess, also known as xiangqi, according to KONI chairperson Marciano Norman.

"I am very interested because this sport (xiangqi) has historical value and needs a good war strategy. I think more promotion is needed in all provinces and with other sports branches that will participate in the KONI National Working Meeting later," Norman said in a statement from the committee on Thursday.

On the same day, he received a visit from Awaludin Ahai, chairperson of the Indonesian Xiangqi Association (PB PEXI).

PB PEXI currently has 16 provincial branches and is in the process of forming five more management branches.

During the visit, Ahai expressed PB PEXI's desire to become a KONI member, citing the participation of Indonesian xiangqi athletes in national and international championships.

"We have often held national and international championships and taken part in 18 championships. Indonesia (xiangqi) itself is superior to Europe. Therefore, in this visit, we ask for guidance so that we can become members of the Central KONI and grow in Indonesia," Ahai said.

Indonesia currently has one potential xiangqi athlete: Iwan Setiawan from Bangka Belitung, who won third place in the doubles event at the 2019 World Xiangqi Invitation Championship in China.

In addition, there is potential to develop xiangqi further given that it was contested in the 2023 Cambodian SEA Games and the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.

"Beyond its strategic elements, xiangqi also fosters philosophical understanding, mental acuity, patience, perseverance, self-confidence, and emotional control," said Rendi, a PEXI athlete who achieved a fifth-place ranking at the world championship.

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Translator: Fajar S, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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