While there has been an exponential growth in the number of chess players in Sri Lanka and an unprecedented enthusiasm about the game there still is a great need for a radical change of direction in Sri Lankan Chess to transform the quantitative development into qualitative enhancement. We all want our players to perform better in the international arena, for example. We all want to support the creditable and indefatigable efforts of the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka, especially in areas where the Federation finds it difficult to move ahead for one or another reason.
It was, then, an attempt to complement the work of the Federation that Rajeendra Kalugampitiya established the 64 Squares International Chess Academy on March 28, 2010. It was a day when a new chapter in the history of Sri Lankan chess began to be written.
The primary objective was to free the young chess player from rote learning and to unleash inherent creativity over the 64 square of the chess board. What was required was to induce an attitudinal change through a collective effort where support, encouragement and sharing were channeled to produce the best results.
We thus created the opportunity for our players to showcase their talents at every tournament, making sure that whatever their playing strength may be they would get a chance to test their skill against the best players in the country, have access to the best books and benefit from the guidance of the best coaches. More importantly, perhaps, we organized the best tournaments in Sri Lanka, with each successful tournament spurring us to do a better job in each subsequent tournament we organized. We are confident that we have, by example, made a positive change in the chess culture of Sri Lanka and that in time others would be encouraged to emulate us, making for positive change all around.
Some of our outstanding students.