The Joytu Sheikh Hasina International Online Chess Tournament 2020, on the occasion of the 74th birth anniversary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, begins Thursday.
Seventy-four players, including 49 from Bangladesh, representing 14 countries will compete in the nine-round Swiss league basis three-day competition.
The South Asian Chess Council is organising the meet online sponsored by Canadian University of Bangladesh.
Participating countries are: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Iran, Russia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.
The Inauguration ceremony will be held at 2:30pm Thursday at the conference room of Canadian University of Bangladesh.
Dr Benazir Ahmed, President of Bangladesh Chess Federation, President of South Asian Chess Federation and also the Inspector General of Bangladesh Police, will inaugurate the event as chief guest.
Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat, Chairman of Canadian University of Bangladesh and Vice-President of Bangladesh Chess Federation and Hisham Al Taher, General Secretary of Asian Chess Federation will also be present as special guests at the ceremony.
FIDE and South Asian Chess Federation officials will virtually join in the inauguration ceremony.
The 1st to 3rd rounds matches will be held on Thursday from 4pm to 7pm, the 4th to 6th rounds games will be held on Friday from 2pm to 5pm while the 7th to 9th rounds games will be held on Saturday from 2pm to 5pm.
Seventeen grandmasters have already confirmed their participation in the heavyweight meet.
They are: GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, GM Vishnu Prasannna, GM Diptayan Ghosh, GM S. L. Narayanan, GM R. Laxman, GM Himanshu Sharma and GM D Gukesh of India, GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong of Vietnam, GM Ziaur Rahman, GM Reefat Bin Sattar, GM Enamul Hossain Razib of Banglaesh, GM Serkey Volkov of Russia, GM Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia, GM Antonio Rogelio and GM John Paul Gomes of Philippines, GM M Amin Tabatabaei of Iran and GM Villamayor Buenaventura of Singapore.
Besides, International Masters are – IM Mohammad Fahad Rahman, IM Mohammad Minhazuddin, IM Abu Sufian Shakil of Bangladesh, IM IM Priasmoro Novendra of Indonesia, IM Mohammad Nubaishah Shaik of India.
WIM Rani Hamid, WIM Sharmin Sultana Shirin, FM Md Taibur Rahman, FM Khandaker Aminul Islam, FM Sheikh Nasir Ahmed, FM Mehdi Hasan Parag, FM Subrota Biswas, FM Syed Mahfuzur Rahman, FM Mohammed Abdul Malek and FM Mohammad Javed will also compete in the meet.
A total of US$ 6,000 prize money will be given to the winners as follows: 1st prize $1,200, 2nd $800, 3rd $500, 4th $300, 5th to 9th $200 each and 10th to 16th $100 each.
Three special prizes will be given to Bangladeshi players: 1st $700, 2nd $500, and 3rd $300.
Prize money will not be shared and one player will get only one prize.
The Prize distribution ceremony will be held on Sunday from 11am at Hotel La Meridian, Dhaka. State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell will be chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony.
Benazir Ahmed will preside over the ceremony.
President of Asian Chess Federation Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nehyan will virtually present as special guest and Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat, Chairman of Canadian University of Bangladesh will also be present as special guest at the prize distribution ceremony.