Sheikh Russel Memorial Sporting Club emerged champions in their maiden appearance in the Walton Premier Division Chess League, courtesy of better board points, after the ninth and final round was held at the National Sports Council Lounge yesterday.
Sheikh Russel and holders Bangladesh Navy chess team finished top with equal 15 points from eight matches, but Sheikh Russel had earned more board points (27) following their straight 4-0 win over Titas Chess Team in the final round yesterday.
Bangladesh Navy beat Leonine Chess Club 3-1 in the final round yet had to be content with runners-up finish with 26 board points.
“Junior players like FM Mehdi Hasan Parag and IM Diptayan Ghosh put up brilliant performances throughout the championship which helped us edge Bangladesh Navy, who also a balanced side too,” said grandmaster Niaz Murshed, who had joined the Sheikh Russel team from Mohammedan SC at the eleventh hour.
Sheikh Russel Memorial SC entered top-flight chess this year through buying promoted Srijon Club. The club roped in Indian GM Dibyendu Barua and IM Diptayan from India along with GM Niaz, and FM Parag, FM Fahad Rahman and CM Sohel Chowdhury.
“As I am involved with Sheikh Russel Shishu Kishore Parisad, I wanted to preserve the memory of Sheikh Russel in chess and formed a strong squad after Sheikh Russel KC, a team playing in the professional football league, refused to enrol themselves in chess,” said club president Mazibur Rahman Howlader, who is also a member of the executive committee of Bangladesh Chess Federation.