Ranindu and Nethmi lead after first half | Daily News


National Chess Championships second half commences today

Ranindu and Nethmi lead after first half

The promising school chess players Ranindu Liyanage of Ananda College, Colombo and Nethmi Fernando of Girls High School, Kandy have taken the lead at the end of the first half of the National Chess Championships held at the Sri Lanka Chess Federation Headquarters, Colombo.

The second half of the tournament will commence today (19) and continue on the 20th and 21st of September followed by the Awards Ceremony. The Men’s section ended the week with the three top-seeded players finishing on the top of the table but as history suggests the second half of the tournament always springs a few surprises. The tournament started off with the top two seeded players Susal de Silva of Nalanda College Colombo and Ranindu Dilshan Liyanage facing off against the two veteran Sri Lankan players I.M. Romesh Weerawardena of Fischer CC and FM Anuruddha Chintaka of Kandy YMCA where the two youngsters came on top creating major upsets by scoring wins to kick start their battle for the title.

Ranindu then stormed into the lead after the 5th round victory over Maheesha Dabarera of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala while Susal and FM Minul Doluweera of Royal College, Colombo suffered defeats on the way. At the end of the first week, Ranindu leads the pack with 6 points with Minul with 5 points and Susal with 4.5 points trailing him There were a few interesting mid-table performances as well, notably from the new attacking player from Jaffna S. Sivathanujan of Grand Prix Chess Club who went on to upset a few experienced players by scoring wins. He is presently tied at 6th place with Maheesha Dabarera, Theekshana Denuwan of Ananda College, and Rasika Samaranayake of the University of Peradeniya while the veterans Anuruddha Chintaka and Romesh Weerawardena are lying in 4th and 5th places respectively.

Meanwhile in the women’s section, Nethmi Fernando of Girls High School, Kandy stormed to a massive lead by the end of the week where she has already played against the next two players chasing the title as well as the reigning National Champion. It was simply a dominant performance where only Ehsha Pallie (Visakha Vidyalaya) could hold her to a draw in the opening week. Ashvini Pavalachandran of Wycherley International who is leading the chase is 1.5 points behind Nethmi while two Visakians Ehsha Pallie and WFM Nevanjee Hewawasam are lying two points behind

The defending Champion Sayuni Gihansa Jayaweera of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda had a slow start to the tournament and sits in the bottom half of the table while experienced former National Women’s Champion, W.I.M. Sachini Ranasinghe of NF3 CC also disappointed and had a slow start to the tournament but later caught up the pace and is poised at equal 5th place and may yet have a crack at the title if she has a strong second half. The rest of the pack is placed joint 5th with Hashara Abeysinghe of NSBM, Tharushi Sandeepani of Devi Balika Vidyalaya and Tharushi Niklesha of Visakha Vidyalaya all having 4points each. These tournaments are being played according to a round-robin system with 14 players battling out in the Men’s and Women’s category to be crowned as National Chess Champions. Amidst the prevailing situation, the Chess Federation has successfully been able to conduct the topmost tournament in the Sri Lankan Chess Calendar, abiding by all health and safety regulations.

Chess Federation of Sri Lanka will offer a record cash prize of 320,000 rupees with other attractive prizes for the event and National Champion will receive a 100,000 cash award.

Men’s rankings after round seven

1. Ranindu Dilshan Liyanage (6 pts), 2. Minul Sanjula Doluweera (5pts), 3. Susal de Silva (4.5pts), 4. Anuruddha Chintaka (4pts), 5. Romesh Weerawardena (4pts), 6. G.W.D.M.Dabarera (3.5pts), 7. S. Savithanujan (3.5pts), 8. K.P.R.N Samaranayake (3.5pts), 9. Denuwan Theekshana (3.5pts), 10. Randil Lakshita (3pts), 11. Dhanushka Bandara (2.5pts), 12. A.A.C.B Amarasinghe (2pts), 13. D.M.G.S Dassanayake (2pts), 14. C.C Weerasinghe (2pts);

Women’s rankings after round seven

1. Netmi Fernando (6.5pts), 2. Ashvini Pavalachandran (5pts), 3. Ehsha Pallie (4.5pts), 4. Nevanjee Hewawasam (4.5pts), 5. Sachini Ranasinghe (4pts), 6. Hashara Abeysinghe (4pts), 7. Tharushi Sandeepani (4pts), 8. Tharushi Niklesha (4pts), 9. W.M.M.N Wijesinghe (3pts), 10. Vihansa Tharuli (2.5pts), 11. Gihansa Sayuni Jayaweera (2.5pts), 12. Lasandi Menethma (2pts), 13. M.M.W.H Mapa (2pts), 14. C.T Koswatta (0.5pts);