Suneetha receives WCF award


Suneetha Wijesuriya, well known Chess promoter and Gold medalist at the 30th FIDE World Chess Olympiad 1992, was awarded the Outstanding Game Changer of Chess in Asia by the World Chess Federation (WCF) recently.  The International Chess Federation named 2022 as the year of Women Chess, and this awards ceremony was held to recognize the strength of Women Chess players and related activists.   Awards were made in 13 categories – Best players, Best performing countries, Educators, Trainers, Arbiters, Organizers, Administrators, Politicians, Media, Photographers, Disable Performance, He for She (Males who did their best for women’s Chess) with the outstanding Game Changers who have devoted their time for developing the game. Women from four different continents received these awards, and Suneetha was awarded as the Best Game Changer in Asia.

Since the award was declared at the last minute, she could not be present to accept the award personally from Grand Master Vishwanathan Anand, the five times World Chess Champion from India.

Suneetha Wijesuriya started playing chess in 1979 and won 2nd place at the Inaugural Women’s National Chess Championship the same year. She won the Sri Lanka Women’s National Chess Championship for 10 years until she retired in 1996. She won a Gold Medal at the 30th FIDE World Chess Olympiad 1992 which was held in Manila, Philippines. She is the first Woman FIDE Master of Sri Lanka, which title she received after her Gold medal performance.

After retirement, she started on a journey to develop chess with the support of the Russian Center in Colombo, and conducted numerous chess promotion programmes island wide. She was the Secretary of the Chess Federation in 1994.

The Chess Federation conveys their good wishes and hopes she will continue to promote chess in the years to come.