The National School Chess championship is set to return after seven years as the Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) signed an MoU with Abul Khair Group yesterday to stage the championship for the next five years.
The BCF had previously staged the championships regularly with help from Standard Chartered Bank, who withdrew support after the 2013 championship due to a lack of transparency in the BCF committee. Since then, BCF has failed to rope in sponsors.
BCF general secretary Syed Shahabuddin Ahmed Shamim and Abul Kair Group executive director Shahidullah signed the agreement, which will see sponsors provide Tk 77 lakh per year for the tournament.
"We were trying to patronise school chess for a long time and we finally have a sponsor. If we can provide sustainable support to school chess for three to five years, we can produce a lot of chess players and may also get Grand Masters in the near future," said BCF president and RAB director general Benazir Ahmed.
BCF general secretary Shamim informed that they would first organise at the district level with the participation of upazilas before two players, one each from the boy's and girl's section, would advance to the divisional stage. From there, five players from each division in both sections will qualify for the 80-player final round to be held in Dhaka. He added that they will soon set the date for the championship at district level.