Many live chess events were canceled last year all around the world, including the Youth Word Championship 2020 that was supposed to take place in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka. In January of 2021, the Bangladesh Chess Federation adopted a plan to organize over-the-board chess competitions in compliance with the health rules of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.
To this end, the Mujib Year Invitational International Rating Chess tournament was held from 9 to 16 January 2021 under the auspices of Abul Khair Group. The list of participants included 44 invited players (one Grand Master, three International Masters, and one Woman International Master). The competition was inaugurated on January 9 by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md. Shafiqul Islam, as the chief guest. Syed Shahab Uddin Shamim, General Secretary of Bangladesh Chess Federation and President of FIDE Zone 3.2 spoke on the occasion presided over by K. M. Shahidullah, the Vice President of Bangladesh Chess Federation.
GM Ziaur Rahman scored 7½ points out of 9 and came out on top in a 9-round Swiss-League event. Anata Choudhury was a runner-up with 7 points and FM Mehdi Hasan Parag finished third with 6½. Among the women, Rani Hamid netted 4½ points became the best female player. Ahmed Walija, Nazrana Khan Eva, Kazi Jarin Tasnim, and Noshin Anjum received special women's awards.
The awarding ceremony was held at the Utsab Hall, Ground Floor, Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden, a five-star hotel in Dhaka city. Mr. Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel, MP, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present as the Chief Guest and presented the prizes to the winners. Mr. K. M. Shahidullah, the Vice President of the Bangladesh Chess Federation presided over the ceremony. The winners of the competition were awarded a total of four thousand three hundred US dollars.
Following the Invitational International Rating Chess, the Mujib Borso Marcel 2nd Division Chess League 2021 was held from January 20-28, 2021 under the auspices of the Bangladesh Chess Federation and sponsored by Walton Group.
The 9-round Swiss event brought together a record number of 42 teams. Shahnoor Khan Smiriti Sangsad scored 16 points and clinched the title. A runner-up, Sports Bangla finished one point behind. Grassroots Sports Academy tied for third with BD Chess in School with the former taking bronze thanks to better tiebreaks.
The closing ceremony was held on January 30, 2021, in the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room. F.M. Iqbal Bin Anowar (Dawn), Executive Director and Head of Games & Welfare of WALTON Group awarded the prizes as a chief guest. IO Syed Shahab Uddin Shamim, General Secretary of Bangladesh Chess Federation and President, FIDE Zone 3.2 was present as a special guest. K. M. Shahidullah, the Vice President of the Bangladesh Chess Federation presided over the ceremony.
Bangladesh Chess Federation is determined to continue on the course of running over-the-board chess events. The next on the list is the WALTON 1st Division Chess League 2021 scheduled to be held from February 25 to March 7, 2021.
Text and photo: Md Haroon Or Rashid, International Arbiter