Royal annexes Aturupane-Parakrama Challenge Trophy

Royal College, led by SachindraMendis, defeated S. Thomas’ College by 5.5-0.5 pointsin the second annual chess encounter between the schools and thereby became the first winners of the Aturupane-Parakrama Challenge Trophy.  The match was held at the Royal College Union Skill Centre on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

The annual encounter between these traditional rivals was inaugurated in 2016 with Royal scoring a resounding 6-0 victory.  The series tally, as such, stands at 2-0 in favor of Royal.  The Aturupane-Parakrama Challenge Trophy was on offer for the first time this year.

The trophy is named after two prominent chess-playing families.  Harsha Aturupane was one of the strongest players produced by Sri Lanka.  He won the national title on three occasions, the first time whilst still in school.  His brother Harinlal also won the national title on multiple occasions.  Both captained S. Thomas’ and Sri Lanka.  Incidentally, Harinlal’s son represented his school in the Under 15 match.

Chris Parakrama became National Chess Champion in 1973, while still a schoolboy.  His brother, Arjuna, was at one point the Number 1 chess player in the country.  Both captained Royal while Arjuna went on to captain Sri Lanka.  Their father, SaliParakrama, captained Royal in the 1930s and won the unofficial national championship on several occasions in the 1950s and 1960s.

Apart from the Under 20 encounter which was for the trophy, teams of the two schools crossed swords in other age groups as well.

Royal won the Under 17 match 4-2, the Under 15 match 4.5-1.5, the Under 13 match 6-0 and the Under 11 match 5-1.  In the inaugural year, the event was held across three categories, Under 20, Under 15 and Under 13.  Last year too Royal swept S. Thomas’ in all the matches.