Athula Russel Wins Sri Lanka National Championship

The Sri Lanka National and Women's National Chess Championships 2010

Defending Champion, Athua Russel retained his National title on tie break after tieing with G. C. Anuruddha at the Sri Lanka National Championship concluded at CETRAC, Palawattha, Battaramulla. The Championship was organized by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka. Athula, champion in 2003,2006, 2008 and 2009 held Anutrudha to a draw in tense struggle in the 12 th round. As predicted the tournament was tensely fought in the latter half with no less than 6 decisive results in the last round and even the draws being hard fought.

Athula, former student of Richmond College, Galle is a member of the Nf3 Chess Club. He was delighted with his win that was achieved with hard victory with black against PMAB Athukorala in the 13th round in this the last tournament he will play in Sri Lanka, as he is to leave the country shortly. (We hope that in the years to come we will be able to continue to see his brand of magic on the 64 squares and meanwhile wish him all the best)

Anuruddha, Champion in 2007( the year I was the bonus at the National A) was left to rue his ill health in the 6th round encounter with Vidura Koggla, that loss probably cost him the title. Anurruddha beat Chandana Wijekoon, who lead in the early stages to keep somes hopes alive but Athula's win ended his hopes of a second National Title for another year. Romesh Weerawardane played splendidly at the end but a slow start at both weeks when he dropped points to the two National Age Group Champions cost him. Still after years of poor results at National cycles, he was very pleased to have been able to make it this far and can be happy of his score against the top finishers. He won against Ruchira Dissanayake in round 13.

Vidura Koggala of the University of Moratuwa enjoyed great success in his first National Championships. Barring his win over Anuruddha he struggled against the top players (so did many others) but with fine wins over the rest of the pack made sure he was always going to get a place on the flight to Khanty-Mabsiysk, Russia.

Chamika Perera, the National Under 16 Champion from Trinity College bagged fifth place by beating Sachith Peiris in the last round. The winner of this match between the National Under 18 and 16 Champions was going to make it to the Sri Lanka National team and in the end the younger boy prevailed. Sachith Peiris just failed to emulate his father and brother in going to the Olympiad, but there will be more opportunities in the future.

1. M.K.Athula Russel NF3 Chess Club 10.5 points
G. C. Anuruddha 10. 5 points
3. Romesh Weerawardane - Paul Morphy CC 10 points
4. Vidura Koggala - University of Moratuwa 8 points
5. Chamika Perera - Trinity College 7 points
6. Sachith Peiris - Dharmapala Viddayalaya 6 points
Chandana Wijekoon - Dark Horse Chess Academy 6 points
Ruchira Dissanayake - Royal College 6 points
P. M. A. B. Athukoral - Paul Morphy CC 6 points
10. Udith Jayasundara - Nalanda College 5 points
11. T. D. R. Peiris - Dioces Chess Club 4.5 points
Rasika Bandara - University of Peradeniya 4.5 points
Osheen de Silva - Devananda College 4.5 points
14. Kavessha Amarasena - Royal College 2.5 points

Report by, Naditha Amarakoon, Media Coodinator, Chess Federation of Sri Lanka

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