The Joytu Sheikh Hasina International Online Chess Tournament 2020, on the occasion of the 74th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, began Thursday.
President of Bangladesh Chess Federation Dr Benazir Ahmed, also the President of South Asian Chess Federation and Inspector General of Police, inaugurated the three-day competition as the chief guest at the conference room of Canadian University of Bangladesh in the afternoon.
Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat, Chairman of the university, Vice-President of Bangladesh Chess Federation, was also present at the inaugural function, organised by South Asian Chess Council online, sponsored by Canadian University of Bangladesh in cooperation with Golden Sporting Club.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Chess Federation Syed Shahabuddin Shamim and Joint Secretary Dr Shoeb Riaz Alam were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the opening function, Banazir Ahmed said they are looking for a space for Chess Federation. “We already talked about the matter with the higher authorities,” he said.
“We want to arrange long-term training programme for our players and would like to introduce school chess to bring out some 500 new players in five years,” he said.
Seventy-four players, including 49 from Bangladesh, representing 14 countries are taking part in the nine-round Swiss league basis three-day competition from September 24-26.
Participating countries are: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Iran, Russia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
After the three rounds billed for the opening day (Thursday), the remaining 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.
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.
Benazir Ahmed will preside over the ceremony.
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.
Seventeen grandmasters are taking part in the heavyweight meet.
Participating grandmasters are: GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, GM Vishnu Prasannna, GM Diptayan Ghosh, GM SL 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.