Sanjula, Sayuni secure crowns in Game of Kings | Daily News

Sanjula, Sayuni secure crowns in Game of Kings

Men’s winner Minul Sanjula Doluweera of  Royal College Pix by Ruwan Gunaratne-Women’s winner Sayuni Gihansa Jayaweera of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda-The two winners with their prizes
Men’s winner Minul Sanjula Doluweera of Royal College Pix by Ruwan Gunaratne-Women’s winner Sayuni Gihansa Jayaweera of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda-The two winners with their prizes

School talent steals limelight at 2017 Chess Nationals:

School talent stole the limelight in the Sri Lanka National Chess Championships concluded at the Royal College Skills Centre, Colombo yesterday with 17-year Royalist, FIDE Master (FM) Minul Sanjula Doluweera and grade-10 student from Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda, Women's Candidate Master (WCM) Sayuni Gihansa Jayaweera being crowned men’s and women's national chess champions respectively.

The apex national chess tournament was conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka where the best 14 male and female contestants battled it out for supremacy in 13 rounds at the finals from August 10 to 17.

Minul gained 9.5 pts to claim the top spot in national rankings while Candidate Master (CM) Udith Jayasundera of Colombo University was placed second with 8.0 pts.

In fact Minul secured the title before the last round even began after he drew with A.A.C.B. Amarasinghe in the penultimate round, thereby securing an unassailable lead over Jayasundera.

Sasith Nipun Piyumantha (FM) of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda secured third slot with 7.5 pts.

Four players ended on 7.5 points: Sasith Nipun (Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda), Prasanna Kurukulasuriya, G.M.H. Thilakaratne and Isuru Alahakoon. Sasith Nipun was declared second runner up on the tie-break.

In the women's championship, top ranked 15-year-old Sayuni collected 10.0 pts to win her first national title. Former national champion Dasuni Hansika Mendis (WCM) of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo also finished with 10.0 pts but Sayuni was declared the winner since she had defeated Mendis in their individual encounter in the seventh round.

Mendis, who won the title in 2014 and 2015, and ended runner up last year, was half a point ahead of Sayuni at the end of the penultimate round, but was held to a draw by another former national champ Sachini Ranasinghe in the final round. Sayuni who had to win her last game did so, against Chamindra de Silva. Another Visakhian, Pasindi Yathra Wijesuriya obtaining 9.0 pts secured third place.

A significant change look place at this year's chess nationals as school chess players performed exceptionally well overcoming their elderly and much experienced counterparts at the final stage. School dominance was more prominent at the women's championship as seven school players were included in the top 10 rankings, including first, second, third and fourth places. Four schoolboys were placed among the top ten of the Open Nationals, including first and third places. This is a good omen for Sri Lankan chess as youngsters are taking up the sport seriously at national level.


 

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