The battleground for intellectual supremacy unfolded at the Western Asian Juniors & Girls Rapid Chess Championships 2023, a strategic spectacle held on November 29th, 2023, at the Auditorium of the Board of Investors of Sri Lanka (BOI) on the 8th floor of the World Trade Center, Colombo 01 – West Tower, 8th Floor.
In a gathering of chess prodigies from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan, IM LMST De Silva and Oshini Devindya Gunawardhana emerged as the torchbearers of excellence.
Organized by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka, this championship, accredited by both the Asian Chess Federation and the World Chess Federation, epitomizes the pinnacle of chess competition in the region. With a rapid format, the chess battles unfolded with a time control of 15 minutes plus a 10-second increment from move 01, adding an element of urgency and dynamism.
In the Western Asian Juniors Rapid Chess Championships 2023, a total of 40 players engaged in intense strategic warfare. International Master Susal De Silva, representing Nalanda College, displayed remarkable skill, securing the second runner-up position after a fierce competition that saw four players tie for the championship with 5.5/7 points. The crown was shared by IM G B Harshavardhan of India, who claimed the championship, and Vepaly Halynyazow of Turkmenistan, who secured the first runner-up position.
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In the parallel event, the Western Asian Juniors Girls Rapid Chess Championships 2023 saw 36 players vying for victory. Oshini Devindya Gunawardhana, a formidable player from Wycherley International School, showcased her strategic prowess, tying for the championship with an impressive 6/7 points. However, due to tie-break rules, she secured the first runner-up position. The championship was shared by WIM Zeinep Sultanbek of Kazakhstan, who clinched the title, and WFM Lala Shohradova of Turkmenistan, who secured the second runner-up position.
These championships stand not only as a testament to the strategic brilliance of the participants but also as a celebration of the vibrant chess community spanning Western Asia. The success of IM LMST De Silva and Oshini Devindya Gunawardhana exemplifies the spirit of competitive chess, where every move is a step toward victory, and every game is a masterclass in tactical brilliance.