Ranindu Liyanage of Ananda College Colombo and Nethmi Fernando of Girl’s High School Kandy emerged men’s and women’s champions at the National Chess championship concluded at the Taj Samudara Hotel on Monday. After the first half of this tournament which was held at the Chess Federation Headquarters , Nugegoda both Ranindu and Nethmi were able to come on top with a clear lead to win the major titles.
Ranindu Liyanage the 16 year old promising player finished with 10. 5 points to win the men’s tile. However Ranindu suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of CC Weerasinghe in the penultimate round and gave only three draws to Susal de Silva, Lakshitha Randil and Gayantha Dissanayake and beat all other opponents to reach the top spot.
He bagged the National Chess Champion title, cash award of Rs. 100,000, a trophy and Gold medal while Minul Sanjula Doluweera of Royal College Colombo finished first runner up with 10 points and third runner up was 14 year old Nalandian Susal de Silva who obtained 8 points.
He was the youngest among these 14 players showed his potential for the future. In fact Denuwan Thieekshana of Ananda who was at 9th ranking after the first half made a good come back during the second half finished in 4th place with equal 8 points.
Meanwhile in the women’s section Tharushi Sandeepani of Devi Balika Vidyalaya who was at ranking 7th after first half came up with a fine display to finish in second place with 9.5 points. Sandeepani beat Nethmi Fernando in the eight round and drew with former National champion Sachini Ranasinghe in the 10th round making a good come back during the second half of this tournament . Women’s champion 16 year old Nethmi Fernando lost to Sandeepani (8thround) and Newanjee Hewawasam of Visakha in the 9th round but she had the advantage of a first half lead to claim this major title.
Former National champion Sachini Ranasinghe with 8.5 points managed to finish in fifth place this time. The tournament was conducted by Chess Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL) according to a round robin system and 14 players were battled out in the men’s and women’s sections. CFSL this time offered record prize money of Rs. 3,20,000 cash awards with other attractive prizes. Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Holger Seubert was the chief guest at the awards ceremony while. Mrs. Sandamali Aviruppola, Principal, Visakha Vidyalaya and Luxman Wijesuriya, The President of Chess Federation and General Secretary of South Asian Chess Council and Commonwealth Chess Association and Vice President of Asian Chess Federation gave away awards.
Meanwhile The Chess Federation donated Rs. 250,000 rupees cash to the Sri Lankan chess hero Harshana Thilakarathne of Maliyadeva College who reached the 2400 in the FIDE Ranking and received the International Master Title from FIDE, the World Chess Federation.
He reached this rating 36 years after FIDE Master Harsha Aturupane achieved this feat in 1986.
Men’s final ranking after 13 round
1. Ranindu Dilshan Liyanage (Ananda College) 10.5 pts 2. Minul Sanjula Doluweera (Royal ) 10 pts 3. Susal de Silva (Nalanda) 8pts, 4. Denuwan Theekshana (Ananda) 8pts, 5. Romesh Weerawardena- 7.5 pts, 6. Randil Lakshitha (Japura Chess Club) 7pts 7. D.M.G.W Dabarera (Maliyadeva) 6.5pts, 8. Anuruddha Chintaka (YMCA Chess club) 6.5 pts, 9. A.C.B Amarasinghe (Japura chess club) 5.5 pts 10. K.P.R.N Samaranayake (Knights chess club Kandy) 5.5 pts. 11. Danushka Bandara (YMCA Chess club) 5pts, 12. S. Shivathanujan (Kokavil Hindu College) 4pts, 13. C.C Weerasinghe (Maroons chess club) 4pts, 14. M.G.S.T Dassanayake (St Sylvester, Kandy ) 3pts
Women’s final ranking after 13 round
1. Nethmi Fernando (Girls High School Kandy)10pts, 2. Tharusi Sandeepani (Devi Balika) 9.5pts, 3. Ashvini Pavalachandran (Wycherley International) 9.5 pts, 4. Niklesha Tharushi (Viskha) 9pts, 5. Sachini Ranasinghe (Nf3 chess club) 8.5 pts, 6. Sayuni Gihansa Jayaweera (Dharmasoka) 7.5 pts, 7. Michela Ehsha Pallie(Visakha) 7pts, 8. M.M.N.W Wijesinghe (Girls High School Kandy) 7 pts , 9. Newanji Hewawasam (Visakha) 6.5 pts , 10. Janandani Abeysinghe (NSBM Green University) 5pts, 11. Lasandi Menithma (Visakha) 3.5 pts, 12. Tharuli Vihansa Ranganath (Sokanji International) 3pts, 13. C.T Koswatte (Airport &Aviation) 2.5 pts 14. M.M.W.H Mapa (Girls High School Kandy) 2.5 pts