Athula and Sachini Wins the National Chess Championships

Athula Russell managed to defend his Championship in a close battle at the National Chess Championship 2009 which concluded yeasterday. Sachini Ranasinghe (Musaeus College) had an exceptional performance since she scored a total of 12 1/2 points out of 13 Games. Athula, who is the top ranked player in Sri Lanka scored 8 points out of 12 games with a draw in the final round with veteran Luxman Wijesuriya. This is his 5th National title while Sachini's maiden one.

The National Chess Championship 2009 which was held from 5th to 14th June 2009 at CETRAC, Battaramulla, conducted by the Chess federation of Sri Lanka and Sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd., was the best National Championship the CFSL ever had after starting the National Chess Championship in 1972. A total of 150,000/- was given as the prize money at the closing ceremony held on 14th at 6.00 p.m. with Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Hon. Minister of Construction and Engineering Services and Mrs. Lesha De Silva, Chairperson of Sri Lanka Telecom as the Chief Guests.

Athula won the Nationals in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008 as well. He also became runner up in the 2nd International Master Chess Tournament 2009 held in Sri lanka placing ahead of two International Masters from India. Only one girl, WFM Supeshala Thilakawardena managed to get a draw with young Sachini who is still just 14 Years. This was a great achievement which no women player achieved in Women's Nationals earlier. It benifited Supeshala as well taking her to the 3rd place in the final ranking. Dinushki (Girls High School, Kandy) had a great performance scoring 10 points out of 13. Supeshala managed to be the 3rd on the tie breaker after tying with Lihini Walallawita and Samasha Undupitiya with 7 1/2 points. Lihini was 4th and Samasha 5th.

Lahiru Hapuarachchi(Dharmaraja College) became 2nd on the tie breaker, after a tie with Dulan Edirisinghe and Rajeendra Kalugampitiya with 7 1/2 points. Young Lahiru also had an excellent show, but had to drop down to 2nd place after two draws in penultimate and final rounds. Dulan got the Bronze medal. Former National Champion, GC Anuruddha had to satisfy with 5th place after tying with Luxman Wijesuriya with 7 points.

Standings National Chess Championship: Athula Russell (Nf3 Chess Club, 8 points), Lahiru Hapuarachchi (Dharmaraja College), Dulan Edirisinghe(Sampath bank), Rajeendra Kalugampitiya(Fisher Chess Club) (7 1/2 points each), GC Anuruddha (Fisher Chess Club), Luxman Wijesuriya (Passed Pawn Chess Club)(7 points each), TS Mallawarachchi(Kandy Chess Comunity, 6 points), Oshadi Kottahachchy (Royal College, 5 1/2 points) Gayan Pieris(Fisher Chess Club), Mihiranga Jayawardena (Blue and Gold Chess Club) (5 Points each), RS Gunasinghe (Nf3 Chess Club, 4 1/2 points), Prasanna Kurukulasuriya (Paul Morphy Chess Club, 4 points) and Chandana Tennakoon (Dark Horse Chess Academy, 3 1/2 points)

Women's Nationals: Sachini Ranasinghe (Musaeus College, 11 1/2 points), Dinushki Premanath (Girls High School, Kandy, 10 points), Supeshala Thilakawardena, Lihini Walallawita both from Musaeus College and Samasha undupitiya (Maliyadeva girls School) 7 1/2 points each, Irindu Basnayake (Girls High School, Kandy 6 1/2 points), Lakshika wanasinghe (Girls High School, Kandy), Tiumi Yashora (Dharmashoka College) (6 points), NT Abeywardena (Furgusion High School, 5 points), Navodya Selvaratnam (Girls High School, Kandy ), Yashmi Lamawansa (Girls High School, Kandy) (4 points each), Dilshani Ranasinghe (Girls High School), Samanthi Wettasinghe (Sri Lankan Airlines)(3 points each), Jeewanthi Rathnayake (Girls High School, Kandy 2 1/2 points),

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