GM Herman Suradiradja of Indonesia Passes Away

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
GM Herman Suradiradja of Indonesia Passes Away

GM Herman Suradiradja of Indonesia passed away on 6th June 2016.

He was born on 14 October 1947. He was the first Indonesian GM and third in Asia. At 19 years of age, Suradiradja became a member of the Indonesian team to the Chess Olympiad in Hàvana 1966. He got his GM title in 1978 after he won the tournament in Plovdiv and completed his second norm.

Herman Suradiradja ‘graduated’ from Bulgaria. He got all of his GM norms in that country. The first norm was at Primorsko in 1977. The second (last) was at Plóvdiv a year later. He was the first Indonesian GM and the third in Asia after Philippines duo Eugenio Torre and Rosendo Balinas Jr.

Herman’s first appearance in the National Championship was as early as 1964. In 1967 he was the only player to be awarded the National Master title in the National Championship. During 1967-74 his results had been fluctuating rather wildly.

In 1975 he won the National Championship held at Medan, North Sumatera. The achievement practically opened the doors for Herman to travel around the globe to pursue higher titles. He grabbed the chance very nicely. He got his first IM norm in Singapore then he completed his IM title at Lublin, Poland 1976. He needed only two years to get his full GM title, quite an achievement at that time especially for a non-chess country like Indonesia.

Unfortunately after he got his GM title he couldn’t manage to support the demands of his title with decent performance. His form and rating declined rapidly.

Many chess writers assess him as a weak GM based on his current rating. The reason is probably that Herman did not put his chess career as a priority in his life anymore. Actually he more than deserved his GM title given the tournaments he won in fair play. At Lublin 1976, he won the tournament ahead of strong players with the likes of Mihalčišin and Todorčević. He brushed off the competition at Primorsko 1977 by sidelining Georgadze, Inkiov, Tringov, Padevski, and Radulov. Finally at Plóvdiv 1978 he was a co-champion with Ermenkov. Palatnik, Pintér, Tringov, and Minić trailed behind him.