Ever since the competitive Chess marked its entry into Sri Lanka with the first tournament held in 1959 marks at the central Y.M.C.A, Colombo, the game has come a long way in our little island nation.The Chess Federation of Sri Lanka which was the official body representing Chess in Sri Lanka. 192 people was established in 1972.
There was a good Chess drive in 1980s. The 1st International Rated Chess player, L.C. goonatilleke emerged from 1981 IBM International Chess tournament. Aturupane Brothers and Wijesuriya sisters were dominating in Chess at the time where both Harsha and Harinlal Aturupane becoming FIDE Masters. Suneetha Wijesuriya won a Gold medal at the 30th Chess Olympiad 1992 in Manila. Luxman Wijesuriya won a board prize gold medal at the Asian Team Chess Championship in 1995 at Singapore.
The 1st official International event, the Asian zonal 1999 was held at Airport Garden Hotel under the guidance of Mr. DV Perera as the president of CFSL. He managed to hold two Asian Junior Championships in 2001 and 2002 and made himself the Gen.Secretary of the Asian Chess Federation at the time.
The real Chess drive started after 2006 when Mr. Luxman Wijesuriya involved in the management. He started a chain of rating tournaments which resulted to get the interest of people to get an International Rating in Chess. The number of Chess players in the country has gone very high. with the Increased competitiveness. The international participation is widened. There were trainers and Arbiter programmes with the involvement in FIDE making qualified technical officers.The chess was spread to many sections, Amateur, Youth, Junior, Senior, Mercantile etc.
The result was given very shortly being Sachini Ransinghe got crowned as the Champion of the Asian Zonal 2011 women event and granted the Women International Master title by the FIDE. She was the first Sri Lankan to get the title and was selected to play in the Women’s World Cup 2012. Romesh Weerawardena performed well in 2013 Asian Zonals and got crowned as the first Sri Lankan International Master. Nelunika Methmani also won the Women International Master at the Women’s Zonal 2013.
CFSL was also recognized with the Asian Awards by the Asian Chess Federation as the best event of the year in 2013. Mr. Luxman Wijesuriya from Sri Lanka was named as the best organizer in Asian in 2015 and the CFSL was recognized as the best chess movement of the year 2017.
Mr. Wijesuriya is honourd with the appointments as the General Secretary of the Commonwealth Chess Championship from 2014 and Vice President of Asian Chess Federation from 2018.
The game is driven by young people today. Young Harshana Thilakaratnne, the Chess hero of the country today won the Commonwealth Under 15 championship last year while Sasith Nipun Piyumantha won the Asian Youth under 16 Championship last year. While being proud of the results the CFSL has achieved so far, the Federation continues its endeavors targeting to produce our first GM in the near future.