IM, G.M. Harshana Thilakaratne of Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala and Kaveesha Nethmi Indrajith of St. Joseph’s Girl’s College, Kegalle won three medals for Sri Lanka in the Asian Youth Chess Championship 2019 held at Citrus Beach Resort, Waskaduwa recently.IM, G.M. Harshana Thilakaratne, who has the highest international rating (2417) among Sri Lankans, won the Gold medal in the Under-16 Open Blitz event and the Silver medal in the Under-18 Open Standard event.
Sri Lanka was placed ninth in the tournament. Vietnam’s Youth Chess team won three Gold medals, four Silver medals and two Bronze medals and was crowned the overall champions in the tournament. Uzbekistan won three Gold medals and one Silver medal and emerged runners-up. India bagged two Gold medals, four Silver medals and two Bronze medals and placed third in the championship.
The contest was organised by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Asian Chess Federation and the World Chess Federation (FIDE) under the guidance of the Vice President of the Asian Chess Federation and Secretary of the Commonwealth Chess Federation Luxman Wijesuriya, Secretary of the Sri Lanka Chess Federation Budhi Panagoda and the Sri Lanka Asian Youth Chess organising committee.
570 competitors participated in the categories Under 8,10,12,14,16 and 18 Girls' and Boys' Open Standard Chess, Open Rapid and Open Blitz representing 23 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The General Secretary of the Asian Chess Federation Hisham Al Taher was the chief guest at the final and awarded the medals, trophies and certificates to the winners. Deputy President ACF and President of the Commonwealth Chess Association Barath Singh Chauhan, FIDE representative and advisor to FIDE President Bent Balagabaev and the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Kishu Gomes also graced the closing ceremony.