Rajeendra & Saumy win the Sri Lanka Chess Nationals

Rajeendra Kalugampitiya and Saumy Zainb became the New Sri Lanka National and Women’s National chess Champions after a 13 round, Round robin battle in last week. Rajeendra Kalugampitiya one of the experienced Chess players in the country who played several Chess Olympiad fought hard during last two weeks to earn his 1st National Chess Championship. Saumy Zainab, being a 16-year-old school girl played extremely well to earn her 1st National Chess title scoring 10 points out of possible 13 points.

National Cham receiving Awards
Kalugampitiya receiving his trophy

The Sri Lanka National Chess Championship 2016 which was conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka was held at the VIP Lounge of the National Hockey stadium. Chess Federation of Sri Lanka offered nearly Rs. 250,000/= Rupees in cash for the National Chess Championship.

Rajeendra scored 9 points out of possible 13 points. The National Chess Championship was more exciting than the Women’s with 3 National Champions and only IM in the event. But Rajeendra scored 3 out of these four players. Throughout the event, several people were leading equally. Romesh Weerawardena, the only International Master in Sri Lanka managed to win the 2nd place with 8.5 points. Akhila Kavinda from University of Colombo managed to placed 3rd with 8 points while Chamil Priyankara of Sri Lanka Navy and Yasas Lamawansa of University of Peradeniya tied for the 4th place with 7.5 points and Chamil had the better tie breaker. These five players will form the Sri Lanka National Chess Team to represent the country in the Chess Olympiad 2016 in Baku.

Womens National Winner
Saumy Zainab receiving her Trophy

There were two players, Saumi Zainab Girls High School, Kandy and 2015 National Women’s Champion, Dasuni Mendis, Visakha Vidyalaya in the race for the Women’s Championship. Saumi outplayed Dasuni almost in the last round when Dasuni lost to Dilhara Ishini Wickramasinghe of Museaus College in the last round. Saumy showed her upcoming talent even winning the National Youth under 16 Chess Championship 2016 in April this year. Dasuni Mendis, after winning the National Women’s Chess Championship for 2 consecutive years had to satisfy with the 2nd place with 9 points. Dilhara Ishini Wickramasinghe and Women International Master Sachini Ranasinghe tied for the 3rd place and Dilhara had the best tie breaking points. Tharushi Niklesha, who is just 14 years from Visakha Vidyalaya managed to win the 5th place with 7 points on the better tie break after a four way tie with Pevinya Pieris and Nelunika Methmani of Visakha Viryalaya and UGSS Undupitiya of University of Kelaniya. Saumy, Dasuni, Dilhara, Sachini and Tharushi will form the National Women’s Team of Sri Lanka to play in the Chess Olympiad this year.

All Participants
All Participants

Mr. Upali Gunasekara, the past President of CFSL, Mr. Luxman Wijesuriya, The President of the Commonwealth Chess Association and Prof. Chandana Gunathillake, the 1st ELO Rated player in Sri Lankan soil were attended the Prize Distribution Ceremony.

Except Mr. Upalu Gunasekara, the past President of CFSL in the middle all others have won the Sri Lanka National Chess Championship at least once

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