Athula Russell favoured to defend National title

The National 'A' Chess Championship (Men and Women) will be held over the next two weekends, starting on Friday, October 12 at 532/4K, Galle Rd, Colombo 3. The tournament will begin on October 12th. The 6th and 12th rounds will be held at the Informatics Library, located in the Liberty Plaza Complex (2nd Floor).

The Mt. Lavinia Chess Club is the main sponsor of the tournament with a total of Rs 35,000 on offer as prize money, in addition to trophies and medals. The tournament will be conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka and the results will have heavy bearing when selecting players to represent Sri Lanka at all international events.

Both sections will be in the Round Robin format, with the players having to meet all other players once over 13 rounds.

The National 'A' is the pinnacle event of the National Cycle of tournaments and follow several qualifying events held throughout the island. Defending Champion Athula Russel who has performed creditably in recent international tournaments is the obvious favourite but can expect stiff challenge from G.C. Anuruddha (who won the National 'B' quite comfortably), veteran G.L. Wijesuriya and a host of younger players capable of creating the odd upset.

In the absence of defending National Champion, Pramodya Senanayake of Musaeus College, and fellow-WFM, Nirmala Chandrasiri, who are both concentrating on their A/L examinations, a close tussle is expected between former National Champion Vineetha Wijesuriya who won the National B event, last year's runner-up Sachini Ranasinghe, Lihini Walallawita (Second in the National 'B'), B.G.D. Umesha and several other up and coming young players.

The following is the full list of players who have qualified to play in the National A: (Men) Athula Russell, G.C. Anuruddha, G.L.Wijesuriya, R.S. Dissanayake, R.M.C.M. Rajapakha, Naditha Amarakoon, Rashin N. De Silva, Nishendra Heart, K.O.V. Kottahachchy, J.K.C. Ketalawala, Danuke Kuruppu, T.G.M. Peiris, Dulan Edirisinghe and Prasanna Kurukulasuriya; (Women): G.V. Wijesuriya, Lihini Walallawita, Sachini Ranasinghe, B.G.D. Umesha, Thanya Cooray, A. Rajapaksha, S. Thilakawardana, Sithumi Kodithuwakku, B. Jayathilaka, Lumbini Ambanwala, Gayathri K. Herath, Anjana Perera, D.M. Piumi Maheshika and Dinushki Premanath.


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