National Youth Chess Championship 2023: A Grand Culmination of Talent and Strategy

National Youth Chess Championship 2023

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In the heart of Pannipitiya, at Dharmapala Vidyalaya, the curtains fell on the National Youth Chess Championship 2023 from the 27th to the 30th of December. This prestigious event marked the zenith of the youth chess cycle, bringing together players who had risen through the preliminary rounds to compete at the grand finale.  

The year 2023 etched its name in history, witnessing an unprecedented participation of 4076 players in the Under 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 & 19 categories for both boys and girls. Organized by the Chess Federation, this colossal event showcased the finest young chess talent, with medals, certificates, and trophies awaiting the deserving victors. 

The championship unfolded as individual Swiss-format tournaments in each category, determining the number of rounds based on the participants. The time control for the entire championship was set at 90 minutes plus a 30-second increment from move 01. 

Under 07 Open and Girls Categories: 

In the Under 07 Open category, fierce competition among 449 participants unfolded over 09 rounds. U G Janiru Nethmitha of Thurstan College, Colombo 07 emerged as the champion with a remarkable score of 8.5/9 points, drawing only once in the fourth round. Vithanage Sanul Sanyuga of Boswell College International and K G Risindu Mithsara of Royal College, Horana secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

The Under 07 Girls category featured 327 participants engaging in 09 rounds. O R Hasini Anuththara Ranasinghe of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy secured the championship with a score of 8.5/9 points, drawing only once in the fifth round. S Nethumi Dihansa Perera of Wp/Ho/Taxila Kulupana P. V. and L H M T I Bandara of Maliyadewa Balika Vidyalaya, Kurunegala claimed the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

Under 09 Open and Girls Categories: 

In the Under 09 Open category, a staggering 687 participants competed over 10 rounds. Thehas Rithmitha Kiringoda of Ananda College, Colombo 10 emerged as the champion with an exceptional 9.5/10 points, drawing only once in the tenth round. H M Chamuditha Sasen Bandara Herath of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala, and Biman Koswattage of Lyceum International School secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

The Under 09 Girls category saw 437 participants competing over 09 rounds. M D Sanuli Nehansa Dodangoda of Southlands College won the championship with a score of 8.5/9 points, drawing only once in the third round. Sayumi Sithumila Halangoda of Queenstar International Chess Academy and R B Hasadi Sethumsa of Mr/ Sujatha Vidyalaya Matara secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

Under 11 Open and Girls Categories: 

The Under 11 Open category witnessed a fierce battle among 514 participants over 10 rounds. Ruvin Sandharu Jayasooriya of Lyceum International School Wattala secured the championship with a score of 9/10 points, losing only once in the fifth round. W K Vihanga Kithmina of Clayton College, Henpitagedara, and S Bhavithran of Singing Fish Chess Club secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

In the Under 11 Girls category, 296 participants competed over 09 rounds. Sethumlee Devhara Palliyage of Sanghamiththa Balika Vidyalaya, Galle secured the championship with a score of 8.5/9 points, drawing only once in the ninth round. H P Chanuli Rehansa of East-Arawwala Dharmapala Maha Vidyalaya secured the first runner-up position, and A G Hansadie Aradhya Akuratiya of Ferguson High School, Ratnapura, secured the second runner-up position with a superior tiebreak. 

Under 13 Open and Girls Categories: 

In the Under 13 Open category, 502 participants engaged in 09 rounds. G H A Dulnith Sanviru of Royal College, Colombo 07 secured the championship with a score of 8/9 points. V W A Vinuda Vidmal Wickramasinghe of Boswell College International secured the first runner-up position. D D L N Dandeniya of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala secured the second runner-up position with a superior tiebreak. 

The Under 13 Girls category featured 228 participants competing over 08 rounds. AFM R M Dulinma Hemalni Rathnayake of Viharamahadevi Balika Vidyalaya secured the championship with a score of 7.5/8 points. J M Theruni V Jayasundara of St. Paul’s Girl’s School, Milagiriya, and Jenuki Alwis of Lyceum International School, Wattala, secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

Under 15 Open and Girls Categories: 

In the Under 15 Open category, 317 participants competed over 09 rounds. P Yanakan of Jaffna Hindu College secured the championship with a score of 7.5/9 points. Sethun Neththaru Manuwaruna of Nalanda College, Colombo 10, and AIM K P L Liyanage of Dharmaraja College, Kandy, secured the first and second runners-up positions, respectively. 

The Under 15 Girls category featured 155 participants competing over 08 rounds. M Esandi Newansa of Dharmasoka College secured the championship with a score of 7/8 points. Oneli Vithanawasam of Lyceum International School, Wattala, secured the first runner-up position. Nemindi Linaya Ramanayake of Bandaranayake Central College Veyangoda secured the second runner-up position with a superior tiebreak. 

Under 17 Open and Girls Categories: 

In the Under 17 Open category, 88 participants competed over 08 rounds. Pesandu Rashmitha Liyanage of D S Senanayake College, Colombo, secured the championship with a score of 7/8 points. Dimuth Indeepa Samaraweera of D S Senanayake College, Colombo, and S D B K Senevirathne of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala, secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

In the Under 17 Girls category, 47 participants competed over 08 rounds. WCM Ehsha Mishela Pallie of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo 5, secured the championship with a score of 7/8 points. K M Dahamdi Sanudula of Musaeus College secured the first runner-up position. Chanethma Devangi Marasinghe of Girls’ High School, Kandy, secured the second runner-up position with a superior tiebreak. 

Under 19 Open and Girls Categories: 

The Under 19 Open category saw 17 participants competing over 08 rounds. M Thisal Manjith Piyumantha of Dharmasoka College secured the championship with a score of 7/8 points. Lisara Samadhith Tennakoon of Dharmaraja College, Kandy, and Vinuga Ometh Bentharaarachchi of Nalanda College, Colombo 10, secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

In the Under 19 Girls category, 12 participants competed over 08 rounds. WFM K K M Sachintha Kodikara of ICBT Campus, Colombo, secured the championship with a score of 6.5/8 points. S M Udani Adithya Samarakoon of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy, and Thenugi Dilanya Jayasinghe of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo 5, secured the first and second runners-up positions with superior tiebreaks. 

The awarding ceremony, graced by Mr. Luxman Wijesuriya and the Executive Committee members of the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka, concluded this exceptional showcase of youthful intellect and strategic prowess. Each participant, a beacon of potential, contributed to the vibrant tapestry of Sri Lankan chess. As these young minds continue to hone their skills, the future of chess in the country looks bright and promising.