Zainab Saumy escorted her country Sri Lanka to the top of the world by emerging victorious in the Under 2000 Women’s competition at the FIDE World Amateur Chess Championship in Spoleto, Italy.
Zainab Saumy with the national championship award in 2016The all-important tournament was organized by the World Chess Federation and held from the 1st to the 9th of April 2017.
Zainab’s priceless achievement was second to none but this was the second world title win for Sri Lanka. The same title was previously won by a Sri Lankan in the year 2007.
The title win not only gives Zainab world status but lifts her to the number one spot in national rankings. A total of over 200 chess players from 50 countries participated in the tournament.
Afshar Niusha from Iran won second place as Kim Kristina from Kazakhstan finished third overall.
Meanwhile, Zainab was only 16 when she won her 1st National Chess title scoring 10 points out of possible 13 points in 2016. Her current coach Rajendra Kalugampitiya won the Men’s national title in the same year. Zainab outclassed former champion and Visakhian Dasuni Mendis in the last round in 2016.
In the same year, Zainab won the National Youth under 16 Chess Championship showing tremendous intent throughout the tournament. She also represented Sri Lanka and bagged two medals at the Asian Youth Chess Championship in Mongolia.
Final Ranking after 9 Rounds
|6||9||Reis Virginia Lagrange M.||w||BRA||1774||4,5||0,0||3||15,25||1,0||1803||20||7,0|
|7||5||WCM||Coelho Tatiane Cristina||w||BRA||1801||4,0||0,0||3||12,25||1,0||1757||20||-10,6|
Speaking to the media from the Bandaranayake International airport, Zainab was absolutely delighted to have brought back glory to Sri Lanka.
“I was able to come first in the Under 2000 category of the tournament. I would like to thank my coach Rajendra Kalugampitiya sir, the Sri Lankan chess federation and my school (Girls High School) principal for their overwhelming support,” said Zainab Saumy speaking to Newsfirst.
Speaking of Zainab’s achievement, Mr. Kalugampitiya said, “She won the FIDA rating Under 2000 world title for Sri Lanka. It has been a decade since Sri Lanka won this title. We previously won in back in 2007. This is a very special moment for us as Zainab will be lifted to rank number one on the national chart. She also becomes the only Sri Lankan girl to touch the 1900-mark. Therefore, Zainab has achieved quite a lot and it’s a very proud and important day for chess in Sri Lanka.
Potential-wise, teenage sensation Zainab Saumy has a very long way to go to achieve greater heights in world chess. With age, she will get better but the federation has a massive role to play.
“Our heartiest Congratulations to Saumy Zainab for winning the championship in the World Amateur Chess Championship 2017 Rating 2000 Women Section,” said the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka on their Facebook page.
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