12-year-old Esandi Newansa grabs Championship
12-year-old chess sensation Esandi Newansa of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda zoomed past overnight leader Desandhi Gamage of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya Colombo to be crowned Champion with a better tiebreaker in the Sri Lanka Online Youth Under-16 years Girls Rapid Chess Championship. The Championship came to a remarkable end with 4 players scoring 6 points each out of possible 7 games and topping the ranking table.
Esandi’s performance was impressive throughout the tournament. On day one she scored 4/4 points and was joint third, and on day two she scored 2/3 points by beating, Ashvini Pavalachandran (Women’s National Team contender) and Desandhi Gamage, but lost her final game to Tharushi Sandeepani making her score 6/7 to win the Championship.
First runner-up was Piyumi Amarathunga of JMC College, Kalutara, who won the Silver medal with a score of 6/7 games. She retained her day one position where she won all 4 games, and on day two she lost her first game to Desandhi Gamage, but regained her momentum by beating HMMD Herath and Ashvini Pavalachandran. Overnight leader Desandhi Gamage won the Bronze Medal with a score of 6/7 games by beating Piyumi Amarathunga and Devindya Gunawardhana, but lost to Esandi Newansa.
Women’s National Team member Tharushi Sandeepani who did not fare well on day one, came back strongly on day two by winning 3 out of 3 to end with 6 out of 7 points. Unfortunately, it was too late for her and she had to accept 4th place due to the poor Tie Breaker. The champion received a trophy, Gold medal and a certificate, while the runner-up and 2nd runnerup received Silver and Bronze medals along with certificates. Rest of the top ranked players were issued with certificates under CFSL policy. (IR)