“Probably the best chess experience in Sri Lanka”
Indian International Master Suvrajit Saha won the 9th Kandy Open International Chess Championship scoring 10/11 points and took away the grand prize of 100,000 LKR. Three players tied for second place with Rasika Samaranayake securing the Silver Medal on the tiebreak while International Master Somak Palit had to be satisfied with the Bronze. Fide Master G.C.Anuruddha was thus placed fourth.
The Kandy Open International Chess Festival 2018, the biggest event in the Sri Lankan chess calendar, was held in Kandy from August 7-12 with a record number of 774 players including 18 foreign players. The tournament was organized by the 64 Squares International Chess Academy in collaboration with the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka.
This year Kandy Open broke its own record for the biggest chess event in Sri Lanka passing the last year number of 667 with more than 100 new entries. The tournament’s prize fund was 850,000 LKR.
Mrs. Chathuirka Sirisena graced the opening ceremony as Chief Guest. Mr.Thilina Bandara Thennakoon – Minister of Sports , Industry , Youth and Women’s Affairs and Development of the Central Province , Mrs. Kumudu Karunarathne – Secretary of Sports Ministry , Mr. Chandana Thennakoon – Commissioner of Kandy Municipal Council , Mr. Rajeendra Kalugampitiya – CEO of the 64 Squares International Chess academy and other distinguished guests attended the ceremony.
The tournament was inaugurated by the Mrs Chathurika Sirisena, daughter of his Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena, and Thilina Bandara Thennakoon – the Minister of Sports – Central Province.
Fide Master Harshana Thilakarathne – the highest rated chess player in Sri Lanka and Woman Fide Master Zainab Saumy (the highest rated among women) were also present. They are both high quality products of the 64 Squares Chess Academy.
Fide Master and Former National Champion Rajeendra Kalugampitiya, Managing Director of the 64 Squares Chess Academy, was also in attendance.
From the Opening Ceremony….
Adeepa Keerthirathne , a nine year old player at the opening ceremony.
Zainab Saumy gets felicitated for her outstanding career. She is one of the finest products of the 64 squares chess academy. Fide Master Rajeendra has worked with her from the very first start. Zainab won the World Amateur Women’s Championship 2017 (Rating 1700 – 2000).
The Champion receives his trophy from the Minister of Irrigation, Water Resources Management and Disaster Management Duminda Dissanayake, who was the chief guest of the prize giving.
The prize for the Best Women’s Player was won by 16 years old Tenara De Silva, a student of the 64 Squares International Chess Academy. Tenara had an amazing run at the Kandy Open, finishing 8th overall. She is a member of Sri Lanka National Women’s Chess Team for the Batumi Olympiad.
Rasika Samaranayake won the Silver medal as well as a special prize for the best performance among Sri Lankans.
The Kandy Open Blitz Chess championship, another event of the Festival was held on August 11, with entries exceeded 500 players. International Master Somak Palit and International Master Suvrajith Saha shared first place. Chamodya Yapa Bandara won the prize for the best female player.
International Masters – Somak Palit and Suvrajith Saha fully dominated the event.
Chamodya Yapa Bandara – also won many prizes at the 9th kandy Open.
Both Tenara and Chamodya Yapa Bandara are proud products of the 64 Squares International Chess Academy.
For the Closing Ceremony, Apart from the Cabinet Minister Hon. Duminda Dissanayake , there were so high profiles has joined. Professor Shaluka Kodituwakku – Dean of the faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya , Mr.Jagath Keerthi – Director of Sports – Central province , Mr. Chandana Thennakoon – Municipal Commissioner and representatives from sponsoring parties were present at the ceremony.
The Chief Guest Hon. Duminda Dissanayake pledged government support for chess in the coming years and appreciated the efforts of Rajeendra Kalugampitiy to uplift the level of chess in the Sri Lanka.
Managing Director of 64 Squares International Chess Academy Fide Master Rajeendra Kalugampitiya handing over a token of appreciation to Minister Duminda Dissanayake.
Hon.Duminda Dissanayake , Sri Lankan Cabinet Minister of Irrigation, Water Resources Management and Disaster Management.
Winners of the 9th edition
Moments from 9th edition of the Kandy Open Chess Championship