Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) is set to organise Bangabandhu Grand Master Chess Tournament, the first GM tournament in 11 years, after getting budget approval from the government regarding the tournament which will be held as part of birth centenary celebration of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
BCF plans to host the tournament from April 15 to 23 following the completion of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games and it is planning to involve 15 to 20 GMs from India, Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Malaysia and Indonesia apart from five GMs and rated players from Bangladesh.
“The youth and sports ministry has already approved a budget of Tk 2.35 crore for three tournaments -- two GM tournaments in Dhaka and Chattogram and a youth championship across the country,” BCF general secretary Syed Shahabuddin Shamim said yesterday, adding that the GM tournament in Chattogram will be held in October.
“We have already informed FIDE about the GM tournament and we will send them the final schedule by Feb 15 as we need approval from FIDE,” Shamim said, adding that they are yet to confirm the venue of the tournament.
BCF’s chief arbiter Haroon-Ur-Rashid informed that they have not started sending invitations to GMs yet but GMs from East European nations are in consideration as those players have less demand regarding participation.
Five GMs and players with 2000+ rating from Bangladesh will be given opportunity to take part in the tournament so that local International Masters and FIDE Masters can get chance to earn norms.
The last GM tournament organised by the BCF was the United Insurance and Leasing GM Chess Tournament in 2009. However, four more GM tournaments were held later by other oganisations – two by Six Seasons and two by Chittagong Jila Krira Sangsha (CJSK).
Due to lack of GM tournaments, Bangladesh have not seen a new GM since Enamul Hossain Razib became the fifth and last one during the 2009 national championship. Players like IM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar, IM Abu Sufian Shakil, IM Fahad Rahman, FM Taibur Rahman, FM Mehdi Hasan and FM Sheikh Nasir can get a platform to impress and win norms through GM tournaments.