The Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) is ready to host Asian Cities Chess Team Championship with the hope of regaining the title which Bangladesh in 1990.
Some 14 teams from 11 countries including three teams from Bangladesh will take part in the nine-day championship beginning tomorrow at the Fars Hotel and Resorts in Paltan.
Among the participants, only Iran sent a strong team comprising three Grand Masters while teams from India, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Chines Taipei and Mongolia are comparatively weaker comprising mostly of International Masters and FIDE Masters.
Hosts Bangladesh have formed three teams, namely Gopalganj, Dhaka and Chattogram, with Gopalgnaj featuring four GMs -- Ziaur Rahman, Abdullah Al Rakib, Enamul Hossain Razib, Reefat Bin Sattar -- and FM Fahad Rahman. Dhaka team features IM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar, IM Abu Sufian Shakil, FM Sheikh Nasir Ahmed, FM Khandokar Aminul Islam and CM Subrota Biswas while Chattogram team consists of promising players like FM Taibur Rahman, FM Mehdi Hasan Parag, FM Syed Mahfuzur Rahman, FM Abdul Malek and Tahsin Tajwar Zia.
“We have a chance of becoming champions even though it depends on the current state of the players. Iran is a strong side too as the Iranian players are doing well in recent times. I think there will be a good competition between Bangladesh and Iran and we will fight for the championship,” said Zia, a winning member of the 1990 championship.
“We will take part to become champions even though Iran is a strong opponent,” BCF general secretary Syed Shahab Uddin Shamin said, adding that their main target of hosting this tournament is to make chess popular among the next generation.
“We believe the future of Bangladesh’s chess lies in hosting a number of international competitions and sending players aboard as much as we can. To strengthen the country’s chess we are hosting Asian Cities Chess Team Championship” Shamim said, adding that they have an estimated budget of Tk 80 lakh which will be met by title sponsors KN-Harbour Consortium Ltd, co-sponsors Saif Powertec Ltd, Max Group, Rupayan Group, Abdul Khair Group, Standard Bank Ltd, Mercantile Bank Ltd and the federation.
Tournament committee chairman and RAB-3 commanding officer Lt Colonel Emranul Hasan believes this tournament will encourage the young generation to be involved with chess, which will help them stay away from drugs, terrorism and militancy.