Having gathered experience from Asian Junior and Girls Online Chess (Zone-3.2) competition held on Thursday, Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) is planning to organise an online chess tournament for the local players to keep them active amid the coronavirus pandemic.
FIDE, the world game's governing body, has provided the chess federation with 5000 US dollars to deal with the pandemic, and BCF wants to use this fund for two purposes -- holding an online tournament either for seniors or juniors and arranging an online training camp for budding players.
"After being involved with Asian junior online chess tournament, it is now clear how to organise online chess. Harunur Rashid was one of arbiters of the tournament and oversaw the process of rapid chess. I also observed how chess was organised by Zoom, through which each player came under surveillance, so that no competitor could not take any help from any device or person," BCF general secretary Syed Shahabuddin Shamim explained to The Daily Star yesterday.
"We are seriously thinking of organising an online rapid chess tournament to keep the players' brains active as they have been idle for a long time," Shamim said. "I will soon sit with BCF president Benazir Ahmed to discuss the details of the tournament. If he gives us green signal, we will proceed to organise online rapid tournament and online training for the budding players."
Asked whether players have the technology at home to take part in online chess, Shamim said: "Everyone will not get the opportunity to train because of limitation of technologies such as mobile phones or computers, internet and uninterrupted electricity, so we have to sort out the players who have the facilities."
The BCF general secretary also said that they would hold two more tournaments for disabled people and prisoners once the situation improves as they got the approval from FIDE's Social Act Commission, which is using chess as a tool for social development, social change and gender equality.
"I had an online meeting with Social Act Commission of FIDE yesterday [Thursday] and FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich joined the meeting for the first time. Social Act Commission sought suggestions from different countries on how to organise chess competition amid coronavirus pandemic," said Shamim, who is a councillor of the commission.
"The FIDE president also wanted to know what steps Bangladesh has taken in chess. We have two proposals in which we want to organise the chess tournament for disabled person and prisoners. We will organise prison chess once the current situation is improved a bit," said Shamim. "We have already made an agreement with a local organisation to arrange chess for disabled persons while the plan regarding prison chess is to hold the first edition with 100 women and children, who are in prison. Our aim is to entrain prisoners as well as to divert their attention from crime because playing chess increases individual's awareness and sharpness," Shamim said.