Champions of Chess

The Acer-Paul Morphy Blitz Chess Challenge 2011, a day filled with filled with mind-boggling competition and fun, was held last week at the J R Jayawardena Center in Town Hall.

It was organized by the Paul Morphy Chess Club (PMCC) to celebrate its 10th anniversary. A hundred and thirty players from schools and clubs around the country competed in 9 rounds of double game match-ups and more than 1000 chess games for a Rs.100,000 prize fund. Dulan Edirisinghe of PMCC emerged the champion and won the Acer–Paul Morphy Challenge Trophy, while G.C. Anuruddha Wijekoon and Chandana Wijekoon from the Sri Lanka Navy Chess Club emerged second and third respectively.

Sri Lanka’s first Women’s International Master Sachini Ranasinghe (17) of Muaseus College won the Acer-Paul Morphy Challenge Trophy for the best Women’s player. Sachini who has been playing chess since the age of 4 says it is “interesting and fun”. She believes that chess requires not only patience and planning but also a lot of imagination and creativity. “Chess helps you learn to choose between what is correct and wrong,” she says

The second place was won by J.P.S.S. Jayarathne from Visakha Vidyalaya while K.W.D.M.D.I. Koswatta from St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle finished third in the Women’s category.

The Acer-Paul Morphy Junior Girls Trophy was won by Manisha Gunarathe of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya.  Methmani Nelunika of Anula Vidyalaya finished second while third place went to Dinithi Kulathunga of Viskaha Vidyalaya.

Chiransa Lamahewa (16) from P De S Kularathna College, Galle won the Acer-Paul Morphy Junior Boys Trophy. The tournament was tough, but I did my best, he said. He describes chess as a game that requires excellent thinking and a combination of luck and talent. “I’m only a novice” says Chiransa, whose plan is to continue improving his game with the guidance of senior players. His advice to the next generation of chess champions is to keep practicing and learning.

Supun Kuruppu of Ananda College finished second while Bhanuka Siriwardena of Royal placed third.
In addition several special prizes given by the Acer brand were awarded to players in the younger age groups. One of the founding members and a committee member of the PMCC, Dr. Mayura Yapa describes chess as a game that “brings out the best of your capabilities”. It increases your mind power and that, in turn, is reflected in other areas of life, such as studies. The PMCC was founded in 2001, when four talented chess players came together “with the aim of promoting Chess, and to also create a warm and closely knit community that strives to help others.”

Today, The PMCC has grown into a community of more than 40 players, including renowned players of the National Team as well as many certified coaches. It is one of the top three chess clubs in the country, winning the Sri Lanka Inter Club Super League Chess Championship and the the Sri Lanka Inter Club Women’s Championship many times. In celebration of their 10th anniversary, the PMCC organized the Acer-Paul Morphy Blitz Chess Challenge 2011 on a grand scale, creating a relaxing and comfortable environment for the competitors. Dr. Yapa stressed that the promotion of chess and not profit was their motive.

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