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The Commonwealth Chess Champs: Tania Sachdev (left) and Abhijeet Gupta (right)

Sri Lanka settles for two gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals

Indian Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta retained his Commonwealth chess title winning the Championship with a strong finish of five consecutive wins after dropping two half points earlier on, one to Sri Lanka’s National champ (3rd Round) Rajeendra Kalugampitiya and one to A Hagawane of Indonesia (4th Round). Gupta finished on 8 points (out of a possible 9), followed by fellow Indian Deepan Chakkravarthy (7.5) and eight players who finished with 7 points, all of whom were Indians except for Thavandiran Shiyam of Canada.

The Indian contingent took home a total of 13 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze medals while Sri Lanka settled for two gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals. Malaysia ended with 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. South Africa and Australia had one gold each while England took home a solitary silver.

Among the Sri Lankans, Minul Doluweera of Royal College performed best, finishing with 6.5 points. Minul lost to Indian Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte but did creditably to secure draws against a FIDE Master, an International Master and a Grandmaster, topping it with a win against International Master Nisha Mohota. The performance earned him the gold in the under-16 Open category. Malan Pathirana was the other gold medalist from Sri Lanka (under-12 Open).

The tournament was organized by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Commonwealth Chess Association and the world body for chess, FIDE and held from July 31 to August 6 at Citrus Hotel, Waskaduwa.

There were separate and concurrent tournaments in several age group categories in under-8, 10, 12 and 14 girls and under-10, 12 and 14 Open (for boys and girls who opted to play in these sections). Prizes were offered for the best performances in the Open category by those in the under-16, 18 and 20 age groups as well as the best performance by a woman which was won for Tania Sachdev the Commonwealth Women’s Champion title.