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Athula Russel retains National Chess title

Athula Russel, the defending National Chess Champion successfully defending national title for the third successive year when he edged out challenger G.C. Anuruddha in a thrilling finish in the finals of the National Chess Championship worked off at the CENTRAC in Pelawatte, Battaramulla. This championship was organized by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka. Athula Russell who won the National Chess Championship in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009 met with some unexpected challenge from G.C. Anuruddha who held him to a Draw in the gruelling 12 round competition. Athula Russel won on the tie-breaker.

Athula Russel, an old boy of Richmond College, Galle is a member of the Nf3 Chess Club was earlier made to fight hard against the promising P.M.A.B. Athukorale with a Black in the 13th round. He is expected to leave for Australia for studies shortly but he will represent Sri Lanka in the international chess events including the Chess Olympiad.

G.C. Anuruddha the champion chess player in 2007 was plagued with ill health in the sixth round against Vidura Koggala and this most probably costs him the title.

In fact Anuruddha beat Chandana Wijekoon who led in the early stages to keep his hopes alive but the latter's loss in this game ended his hopes of winning the title for the second time in his career. Vidura Koggala of the Moratuwa University turned in a fine performance in his first National Championship.

Though he struggled against top players, he won against Anurudda and had some good wins over the pack to make himself a top contender for future international chess events especially to Khanty, Mabsiyk in Russia.

Enormously talented Chamika Perera, the reigning National Under 16 champion from Trinity College, Kandy bagged the fifth place by beating Sachith Peiris in the last round.

Sachith Peiris is the defending under 18 national champion and his challenger Chamika Perera the under 16 champion provided the sparks in their dual and in the end the younger Trinity College schoolboy won in a thriller. Chamika Perera will now represent Sri Lanka in the future international events by virtue of this win.

He will make it to the Chess Olympiad. Sachith Peiris who has chess in his blood with his father and brother who have represented the country just failed to emulate their feats. But being a talented player, there will be a lot of opportunities in the future to make amends.

 

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