Western Asian Online Chess C’ships start in style
The Western Asian Online Chess Championships started on 18 September 2021, with the participation of more than 850 players from 15 Countries on the Totnelo Platform. Bangladesh, India, Iran, Jorden, Kazakhstan. Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan. Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Palestine, Syria, UAE, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka are in the race for the championships. India has fielded the highest number of players, 380, Sri Lanka 200 and Iran 161 with others completing the rest. Indian players are dominating the event with a great resistance from Iran and Russian speaking Countries.
Sri Lanka’s International Master, Harshana Thilakarathne is in the Under 18 Open category. The event conducted by the Asian Chess Federation is organised by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka. The Open and girls categories are divided into two groups where the girls’ category starts at 11.30 Sri Lanka time while the Open section starts at 16.30 Sri Lanka time each day. The time control is Rapid Chess Time control of 15 minutes + 10 seconds for each and every move played. The small and respectable Opening Ceremony was held at 11.00 o’clock Sri Lanka time on 18th with Hisham Al Taher, the Secretary General of Asian Chess Federation, as the Chief Guest.
Namal Rajapaksa, the Minister of Sports of Sri Lanka has also sent a recorded message to encourage the participants. Al Thaher was delighted with the number of participants and praised the organisers for hard work and declared that the Asian Chess Federation is conducting a lot of events with the idea of strengthening Asian Chess. He wished all participants success. Minister Namal Rajapaksa stated that with the strategic structure in the game Chess can be used to develop a person’s life.
He said that he believes that the event has a competition of world class and wished all players the best of luck! Luxman Wijesuriya, speaking at the event, said that they are doing a lot of programmes to uplift Sri Lankan Chess. But, they are always ready to support upgrading Asian and World Chess whenever possible. The Champions of each age group are selected to play in the FIDE World FIDE Youth & Cadet Chess Grand Prix 2021 the most prestigious age group event to be held for the first time.