Two promising players S.D.B.K Seneviratne of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala and Minethma Wickramasinghe of Sujatha Vidyalaya, Matara emerged open and girls champions at the Sri Lanka National (Premier Division) Chess Championships held at Palm Beach Hotel, Mt. Lavinia yesterday. The tournament successfully conducted by the Sri Lanka Chess Federation also offered a total cash prize of Rs. 230, 000 for the winners.
Seneviratne the 15-year-old player who was having a perfect score till 7th round had two losses in a row at 8th and 9th rounds recovered well in the final round to tie with three more players for the first place and won the Championship with the better tie breaker. He beat Sandwiaru Galukagama, Daham Jayasundara, Lahiru Maduranga, Buddhika Amarasinghe, Dhanushka Bandara, Chandana Wijekoon, Isuru Alahakoon and Jenith Weerathunga while losing to Lisara Tennakoon and Nabil Mohamed to earn 8 points to win the title.
The four times National Chess Champion veteran Isuru Alahakoon of Sri Lanka Navy also had a good performance to score 8 points and placed second according to the tie breaker. Isuru beat S.M.H. D Sathkumara, Marlon Fernando, MalithMadusanka, S. Sivathanujan, Osheen De Silva, KGSTD Kiriella and Lisara Tennakoon and drew with Chandana Wijekoon and Dhanushka Bandara with only lost to the winner S.D.B.K Senevirathne to score 8 points. Nabil Mohamed of Gateway College also obtained 8 points and 3rd place on the tie breaker.
Brijeash Saravanabhawan of Gateway College also made his best performance in an event so far to tie for the 1st place but had to satisfy with the fourth place according to the tie breaker. All four players shared the total cash award of Rs. 140,000/- as Rs. 35,000/= per each player.
Meanwehile Minethma Wickramasinghe also had 7 straight wins with Punsadi Devaraja, Hansali Thrinethsari, Pasindi Wijesuriya, Chethani Chamathka, Tharuli Ranganath, Devindya Oshini Gunawardena, Esha Pallie and Chamodya Yapabandara in the final round. She got a draw with WIM Sachini Ranasinghe in the penultimate round and lost only one game to Wishwara Mapa to score 8 ½ points and earn the out right title with Rs. 50,000/= in cash.
Wishwara Mapa of Girls high School, Kandy also had an excellent performance to score 8 points out of 10 games and earn the second place with Rs. 25,000/- in cash. Dahamdi Sanudula of Musaeus College placed third with 7 ½ points out of 10 games and earn the Bronze Medal and Rs. 15,000/- in cash.
Meanwhile, Chess Federation is expected to conduct the Sri Lanka National/ Women’s National Chess Championships 2022 in the end of April in Colombo. (D.R)