Sri Lanka's Top 10 Emerging Influential Faces - Sachini

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101's List of Top 10 Emerging Influential Faces in Sri Lanka

101's List of Top 10 Emerging Influential Faces in Sri Lanka

Sachini Ranasinghe - First Sri Lankan Woman International Master in Chess

The Master of The Mind - The Ultimate Checkmate

Chess is a game of the mind that promotes logical and strategic thinking, problem-solving ability, careful evaluation of the war set on the table, and having the patience to approach the endgame and to confidently say checkmate! Our very own Sachini, five-time winner of the Sri Lankan Women’s Chess Championship proudly showcases all the personalities of a passionate chess player and more…

Her confidence and winning spirit were highlighted when her name was carved in stone as the first Sri Lankan to be awarded the title of Woman International Master in 2011. She even became the first Sri Lankan to win the Asian Zonal Women’s Chess Championship and to qualify to participate in the Women’s World Chess Championship. Alongside setting a great example for our promising island’s young chess players she even wrote a book Thumula and His Strange Army to keep the youngsters hooked on the game!

Hi Sachini, how does it feel to know that your name is written in history as the first Sri Lankan to be awarded the title of Woman International Master?

I used to visualize triumphing this title from the age of 13 when officials spoke of how we don't have any international masters or grandmasters in Sri Lanka.

it was years of hard work to improve my play and especially a good study strategy given by my coach Ransith Fernando which led me to achieve WIM.


it's always fantastic to be the first person to accomplish anything.

It must be an honour to represent Sri Lanka on an international level, what were your feelings during your first international game?

I feel like the lion on my Sri Lankan crest in the national jersey. I am very proud to represent my country. When playing for Sri Lanka, I feel a lot of weight in my every move, the responsibility I carry to make my motherland proud.

The part I try to achieve is to get the Sri Lankan anthem to be played at the medal ceremony and to walk proudly carrying the flag around me.

You are recognized as the strongest Sri Lankan women's chess player in this era, that must feel amazing! When did you begin playing chess and how were you introduced to the game?

I always try to be better than myself, and winning against all your opponents feels fantastic.

When I just turned 4 years my mother sent me to the same chess class where my brother Adheesha studied. That's the beginning of the beautiful game.

What is your message to Sri Lanka’s young chess players?

Visualize your goals, make a note of things you want to achieve, and always tell yourself you are going to achieve them. You will find the battlefield when you leave your comfort zone. Please train day and night until you win. You will have very hard losses along the way to success, your winning games might turn around and lose, and you might miss championship medals and titles. But don't give up, learn from mistakes and bounce back! Always remember, why you began and continue to achieve your goal.