The First Paul Morphy Blitz Chess Challenge

The Paul Morphy Blitz Chess Challenge was successfully conducted by the Paul Morphy Chess Club at the J R Jayawardena Center, Town Hall on the 13th of August 2011. 130 players from all parts of the country and representing most of the leading schools and clubs were present at this tournament to compete for the Rs 100 000 prize fund. The tournament was organized by the Paul Morphy Chess Club to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Perera and Sons was the official catering partner while Acer Brand of the Metropolitan Group was the Main Sponsor. All the players were provided lunch, snacks and refreshments.

After 9 rounds of double game match ups and 1167 chess game filled with tension, competitive play and importantly fun, Dulan Edirisinghe of the Paul Morphy Chess Club emerged champion with 15 points out of a possible 18. He in fact won the tournament with a game to spare, having thoroughly outplayed all his opponents in the penultimate rounds. He dropped one point to Sri Lanka Navy’s Prasanna Kurukulasuriya and lost both his last two games to Chandana Wijekoon. For his efforts, Dulan won the Challenge Trophy, the gold medal and Rs 15 000 first prize.

G C Anuruddha of the Sri Lanka Navy emerged second after he crushed Prasanna Kurukulasuriya also from the SLN 2-0 after the latter turned the offer of a draw. Anurudha scored 14.5 points and earned the runner-up medal and Rs 12 000. Chandana Wijekoon from the Sri Lanka Navy finished third after his 2-0 win in the last round over the Champion to win Rs 10000 and the bronze medal.

Women International Master Sachini Ranasinghe, a student of Muaseus College who plays for the Paul Morphy Chess Club won the Challenge Trophy for the best Women’s player, the gold medal and the Rs 6 000 first prize. Her performance was significant as she scored 12.5 points, good enough to finish among the top ten players in the Open section and got points against several leading men’s players. J P S S Jayarathne from Visakha Vidyalaya won the second place in the women’s prizes while K W D M D I Koswatta from St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle finished third.

The Junior Boys Trophy was won by Chiransa Lamahewa from P De S Kularathna College, Galle with 11.5 points. Supun Kuruppu of Ananda College finished second while Bhanuka Siriwardena of Royal won the third place. The Junior Girls Trophy was won by Manisha Gunarathe of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya. Manisha who also plays for the Paul Morphy Chess Club got 10 points. Methmani Nelunika of Anula Vidyalaya finished second while third place went to Dinithi Kulathunga of Viskaha Vidyalaya. In addition several special prizes were given to young participants – gifts donated by the Acer Brand.

Mr. Nirosh De Silva, four times National Champion of Sri Lanka and a member of the first ever Paul Morphy Chess Club team to compete in the Sri Lanka Inter Clubs was the Chief Guest. Mr. Arya Keerthi Kumarasena, Director Consultant of the Metropolitan Group, Sole Agents for the Acer Brand of Computers in Sri Lanka was the Guest of Honour.

Speaking at the closing ceremony the President of the Paul Morphy Chess Club, Dulan explained the reasons why they tried to organize an 18 game blitz tournament. The founding president of the Paul Morphy Chess Club, Danuke Kuruppu spoke about the history of the club, and thanked the present set of members for taking the club forward. Naditha Amarakoon, the Secretary of the Paul Morphy Chess Club wrapping up the proceedings thanked the sponsors, the media, the chess players and all others who supported them in making this event – the best non rated event held in Sri Lanka, a huge success.

Report & Photos by Naditha Amarakoon, the Secretary of the Paul Morphy Chess Club
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