Despite the exponential growth in the number of chess players in Sri Lanka and the unprecedented enthusiasm for the game, a radical change was needed to transform this quantitative development into qualitative enhancement. It was then, as an attempt to complement the work of the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka, that Rajeendra Kalugampitiya established the 64 Squares International Chess Academy on March 28, 2010. Sri Lankan chess began a novel chapter that day.
The primary objective was to free the young chess player from role learning and to unleash inherent creativity over the 64 squares of the chess board. To achieve the best results, it was necessary to introduce an attitude change through a collective effort involving support, encouragement, and sharing. Today,12 years later, the Academy’s coaching program extends to students from all over the world. And yet, we still believe what we believed 12 years ago; it is to develop children not only into chess champions but splendid citizens who are patient, determined, creative, and have excellent analytical skills.
Along the way, our academy has taken many initiatives and introduced numerous innovative events and programs intending to develop different aspects of the sponsor. As an example, our most recent project, “Chess For Five” gained impressive attention from the preschool level. The project was specially designed to introduce chess to preschool players. Currently, we are working with Play Pen Montessori School – Kandy and Hillwood Nursery – Kandy for this project.
We’ve also succeeded in creating a new standard for organizing chess tournaments in the country. From small district-level tournaments to our biggest event, Kandy Open Chess Festival, the academy thrives to provide excellent venues, facilities, and prizes. All the tournaments conducted by 64 Squares Chess Academy are well-received and immensely popular in the Sri Lankan chess arena. We are con dent 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.