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Athula and Methmali National Chess Champs

CHESS: Athula Russell of the Nf3 Chess Club and Yashoda Methmali of Southland College won the Sri Lanka National Chess Championship 2005/06 concluded at the Topaz Hotel, Kandy on Sunday.

The first stage of 8 rounds of the 13 game National Chess Championships, conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka for a Rs. 60,000 prize were held on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th February 2006 at the Union Assurance Centre, Colombo 03.

The second stage of 5 games was held on 24th, 25th and 26th at Hotel Topaz, Kandy. The Awards Ceremony was held under the patronage of Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, the governor of the Central Province on Sunday, the 26th of February at 7.00 p.m. at the same venue.

Athula Russel, who was just half a point behind at the start of Sunday games scored two brilliant wins over R.S. Kalugampitiya and Shamine de Moraes to score a total of 10 1/2 points and shared the lead with Sunil Weeramantry, the only FIDE Master in the Tournament. Sunil also beat Romesh Weerawardena and Rajapaksha to score his 10 1/2 points.

Athula was declared champion according to the tie-breaker, the Koya System used to break the Ties. The Leader till the penultimate round, GC Anuruddha had a bad day giving two draws to Shamine de Moraes and Young Rajapaksha in his 13th and Final Rounds.

He had to be satisfied with 3rd place with total of 10 points out of possible 13 games. Luxman Wijesuriya made an excellent come back scoring two full points on the final day with Rajapaksha and Romesh Weerawardena to tally a total 8 1/2 points. The 5th and sixth place went to young schoolboys, R.S. Kalugampitiya of Vidyartha College and R.M.C.M. Rajapaksha of Dharmaraja College. With 7 and 6 1/2 points respectively.

In 5th and 8th rounds allowing GC Anuruddha from Old Vidyarthian's Chess Club and RS Kalugampitiya, Vidyartha College to come to the lead with 6 1/2 points out of possible 8. Luxman lost to unrated, young Royalist, RC Dissanayake and Anuruddha on his 6th and 7th rounds still stays on 5th place.

Athula (Nf3 Chess Club) Sunil Weeramanthry stays in the third spot with 6 points each. UGY Methmali of Southland College, the reigning National Women's Chess Champion repeated her performance when she made an outright first place as the only unbeaten player in the women's Nationals. She, who is just 15 years in age had the lead from the start of the event and won the Women's Nationals convincingly scoring 10 1/2 points out of possible 13 games.

Wijewardena of Viharamahadevi Balika Vidyalaya, Kiribathgoda won the 2nd place with 9 1/2 points on the Tie breaker after tying with Pramodya Senanayake of Musaeus College. Pramodya Senanayake had to satisfy with the third place. Young Thilini Koswatte of Girls High School, Kandy made her steps for the 4th place with 10 points in a hard fought win with experienced Vineetha Wijesuriya of Golden Queen Chess Club. Vineetha was 5th with 9 points.

The first six players in the Sri Lanka Nationals and the First four in the Women's are expected to be in the National Chess for the Chess Olympiad to be held in May, in Turin, Italy this year.

Points Table: Athula Russell and Sunil Weeramanthry 10 1/2 each, G.C. Anuruddha 10, Luxman Wijesuriya 8 1/2, R.S. Kalugampitiya 7, R.M.C.M. Rajapaksha, Prasanna Kurukulasuriya and Dhanuka Kuruppu 6 1/2, Romesh Weerawardena 6, R.S. Dissanayake, Shamine de Moraes and Marlon Fernando 4 1/2, C.K.D. Fonseka 4, and P.S.B. Konara 1 point.

Women's: U.G.Y. Methmali 10 1/2, Mokshi Wijewardena, Thilini Koswatte 10 each, Pramodya Senanayake 9 1/2, Vineetha Wijesuriya 9, Lihini Walallawita and Samanthi Wettasinghe 7 1/2, Gayathri Herath 6 1/2, Uthpala Gurusinghe 6, Lumbini Ambanwela, 5, Manori Dissanayake 4 1/2, Anjana Perera 3, Shyama Galappatti 2, Ruwini Abeygunawardena 1 1/2.



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