Mortuza Muhtadi Islam of Narayanganj turned heads when he won a gold medal in the U-13 Rapid Chess competition of the inaugural Bangladesh Youth Games at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room yesterday.
Muhtadi has been participating in the sub-junior chess championship for the past three years, since he was a second grade student, yet he never even finished in the top ten till now. His previous best result was when he finished 12th during last year's edition of the championship. This time however, the now fifth grade student from Narayanganj Ideal School made his parents proud, though they have always supported him fiercely in this regard.
“I am very happy to win the gold. I believe this success will help me reach my target in the future. I want to be a FIDE Master within the next two to three years,” said Muhtadi, who always looks restless during his activities at the chess federation.
In Rapid Chess, Muhtadi secured 4.5 points from five matches to ensure the gold medal.
“I also play football, cricket and volleyball in the open space in front of our house but I love chess most,” he continued. “It was not possible to play chess without my family's support and I am really enjoying chess and want to be a player like GM Abdullah Al Rakib.”
Muhtadi's elder brother, Mahathir Islam, also took part in the Youth Games and won the bronze medal of the U-17 group, where junior champion FM Fahad Rahman grabbed the gold.
Both brothers received tremendous support from their parents, with their mother -- Kazi Jannata – regularly taking them to the Elegant Chess Academy in Dhanmondi to practice. Apparently, the boys became enamoured with the sport after watching their father play at home and practise between themselves while also using different chess apps to help hone their skills.
“We are determined to provide them with all types of support as long as they are involved with chess because we don't believe in imposing anything on them from our sides. Chess is a discipline which will help them understand the positive and negative sides of life in the future,” said Jannata.
“We will love it if they become Grand Masters in the future to better the image of our country,” Jannata added. “We know they have to cross a long path and play a lot of tournaments to achieve the GM title and their father, who is an additional tax commissioner, is ready to help them but both of our sons first have to prove themselves by securing places in the national teams.”