USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sri Lanka Chess: Sajith Peiris Following in His Father’s Footsteps

12th Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Latest Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
Sajith Peiris

Unlike India, which has a glorious tradition of chess, the sport has become popular in the Indian sub-continent only in the last five years or so. Therefore, we are compelled to share this nice feature by Harsha Amarasinghe on a talented Sri Lanka chess youngster - Sajith Peiris. Sajith has the right genes in chess - his father was the national chess champion of the island nation. Read on...

In sports there are illustrious names of individual players, brothers, sisters and even families that can never be forgotten. For instance the Pollocks were magnificent for South Africa with the likes of Shaun Pollock, his father Peter Pollock, uncle Graeme Pollock and grandfather Andrew Pollock representing their country at the highest level of cricket. When it comes to Sri Lanka though, you do not find many families that have completely dominated a sport, but one cannot simply forget the chess champions of the Peiris family.

TDR Peiris, father of Gayan Peiris and Sajith Peiris, is a five-time national chess champion and a name that will never disappear from the history of Sri Lanka chess. In 1983 TDR Peiris clinched the Sri Lanka Open Chess Championship and in the same year he went on to win the national title as well. His sons, both Gayan and Sajith have always been the players to watch out for in the domestic chess arena, but are still far off from the fantastic five-time champion achievement of the father. 

However, the youngest of the Peiris’s, Sajith managed to take the first step to emulate his father when he emerged champion of the Sri Lanka Open Chess Tournament 2013 last week. An old boy of Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya, Sajith scored 8.5 out of the possible 10 points which included victories over the only International Master (IM) of Sri Lanka, Romesh Weerawardane, and the experienced Prasanna Kurukulasuriya. Apart from that he secured draws over former national champions Isuru Alahakoon and Chinthaka Anuruddha. 

These solid performances have drawn the admiration of Sri Lankan chess players and fans to the 21-year-old Sajith. He has been identified as one of the hot favourites to seal the National Championship due to be played in August. If young Sajith could live up to expectations he will not only become the national champion but he could also match what his father achieved 30 years ago.

Talking to The Nation following his victory, Sajith said that he is absolutely thrilled with his effort and is determined to deliver what is expected of him. 

“Yes, I am very happy with this (the victory) as I played against some quality players in this tournament and also managed to collect few good results which lifted my confidence.

“I know my father had previously won both the Sri Lanka Open and National Championship back in 1983, so I hope I could complete a double by winning the national championship.”

Although Sajith has had a good tournament against some of the senior chess players his talent will surely be tested in the national championship, especially against the other youngsters such Lahiru Hapuarachchi and Chamika Perera. “There are lots of good players and it’s difficult to say that I could win the national championship just because I won this tournament, but, the good thing is this victory gives me a lot of confidence to try and win the big tournament.”

The youngest Peris, who was also the former under-18 national champion, showed gratitude by not forgetting to thank his father and brother for their support over the years when he said: “Well, my father and brother have been very supportive to me right from the start of my career. My father had won the national title five times, my brother finished second on several occasions. Both of them are really strong players and if I could win this time around they would be the happiest people in the world.”

Once, in 2010, seated at the same table with Sajith at an International Chess tournament held in Kandy, I heard him saying to one of his friends who was very worried about the fact that he was going to face an Indian International Master in the following round: “Look, even I can put a board around my chest telling people that I am an IM but, at the end of day it is just a title and usually in chess the better player wins, not the title or the names.” This says a lot about the player and his mindset. He is one of the top contenders for the national title but, what gives him the edge ahead of the other players is that he has a heart of a lion and he is certainly as fearless too.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home