It is the year of Harshana and Sayuni. Both had no hesitation from the start of Sri Lanka Chess Nationals and Women’s National Chess Championships 2019 at the Chess Federation Headquarters Nugegoda to win with a more than 1 point ahead.
Harshana Thilakarathne (Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala) being the highest rated player for last 3 decades is the favorite from the start and did the justice for his rating scoring 11 points out of possible 13 points, just giving four draws to his opponents. Harshana was 1 point ahead from early of the event to Isuru Alahakoon, the former National Chess Champion but assured his final position when he beat Isuru on the 10th round. Harshana was awarded the beautiful National Chess Championship Trophy with the Gold Medal and Rs. 100,000/=. Experienced Isuru Alahakoon (SL Navy) did a hard fought event to finish in the 2nd place to earn Rs. 50,000/- with the Silver Medal. The veteran, Chinthaka Anuruddha also played fighting Chess to earn the 3rd place. He was awarded the Bronze medal with Rs. 25,000/=. Chirasana Lamahewa and Youngest, LMST De Silva (Nalanda College) placed 4th and 5th to fill the National Chess Team for this year.
The Sri Lanka National and Women’s National Chess Championships 2019 was held from 28th June to 8th July 2019 at the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka Headquarters, Nugegoda. Chess Federation of Sri Lanka has increased the cash awards to a considerable stage to Rs. 320,000/= giving Rs. 100,000/= for the National Chess Champion.
Sayuni Gihansa Jayaweera had a great show when she completed the Women’s National Chess Championship with 11.5 points, just giving 3 draws to her opponents. This is the 2nd time she achieved for the title, 2017 being the 1st. She was awarded Rs. 60,000/= with the Trophy and the Gold medal. It is Young, Devnethmi Dahampriya (Visakha) who had a great performance who improved to the level in a very short period of time. She had 9 points out of 13 to be the winner of the Silver Medal with Rs. 30,000/=. Asvini Pavelchandran was also maintaining a standard level through out to win the Silver Medal. Nethmi Fernando and Niklesha Tharushi managed to placed 4th and fifth consecutively to fill the Women’s National Chess Team this year.
Mr. Upali Gunasekara, the Principal of Polymath International School and Former Principal Royal College was the Chief Guest at the Awards Ceremony. Mrs. Buddhi Panagoda, the Hony. Secretary of the Chess Federation was also present.