Bangladeshi Chess Masters in Chess World Cup 2021

Bangladeshi Chess Masters in Chess World Cup 2021

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FIDE World Cup 2021 is going on now. The event started a couple of days ago. About 206 players have participated in the world cup, and 103 are in the women’s world cup.

Top Players of the event! ©FIDE Chess

Three players from Bangladesh have participated. Two of them are GM Ziaur Rahman (Selected from the Zonal 3.2 championship) and GM Niaz Morshed (Selected from the federation spot). WIM Sharmin Sultana Shirin has played for the women’s section.

All three participants from Bangladesh. ©FIDE

Before that, let me introduce the background of Bangladeshi Chess to you.

The history of Bangladeshi Chess is pretty much old if we rummage through the time. The founder father of the Bangladesh Chess Federation is late professor Qazi Motaher Hossain. He was a scholar, academician, and professor of statistics at the University of Dhaka. He was indeed a brilliant man on the field. In 1925, Professor Qazi Motaher Hossain became the champion in All India Chess Brilliancy. He secured a record number there. His known chess buddies were novelist Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay and the national poet of Bangladesh Kazi Nazrul Islam. Apart from chess, prof. Qazi Motaher was good at other sports too. He was the champion of Lawn Tennis that took place in Dhaka in 1951.

Qazi Motaher Hossain

While chess was like a cold war in other parts of the world, prof. Motaher took the initiative of establishing the East Pakistan Chess Club in 1961. He later founded the All Pakistan Chess Federation in 1970 and became the president of the federation.

The time Niaz Murshed became a grandmaster; it was a national as well as an international talk. Bangladesh had her sports personalities before, but she never had a chess genius. Niaz fulfilled that quota in 1986, and thus became the first person from South Asia to be awarded this title, a year or two before India’s great idol Vishy Anand! Later, the country has got four more grandmasters, the last one we got- became a grandmaster in 2008. Since then the immense drought on the field has remained till now. How much further GM Niaz could go, this is another story and for another time. Let’s dive into his sensational performance in the world cup 2021!

In the first round, he was paired with Cuban-Paraguayan GM Delgado Ramirez Neuris. Niaz Morshed played black against him.

Neuris opened with kings’ pawn, e4; after …e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 and capture on the center, the game approached towards a very fine line of which is called Russian Game: Millennium Attack. It was all going smoothly with an equal evaluation point until Niaz made his first blunder at the move 28. …..Kf8??

He lost the first game. The viewers from Bangladesh started losing their hope but the story is not finished yet.

In the second game, Niaz got white pieces and he opened with Nf3. Neuris replied with Nf6 and eventually the game transposed into English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense, Nimzo-English. Niaz Murshed was a very sharp attacking player, in this game he proved himself once again. (For those, who do not know: Niaz Murshed was one of the prominent practitioners of the so-called Barry Attack!)

The game was not equal at all from the very beginning for both sides. Neuris overlooked the pawn on h5, he retreated his Knight on d7 to b8 instead of capturing the pawn. Niaz took the chance and pushed the pawn to h6. This one little oversight caused Neuris the game and eventually, he lost it.

As the point remained the same, it led to tiebreaks. They played two rapid games of 25+10 and both games were drawn. Then, they played another two rapid games of 10+10. Niaz won the first one and lost the second game.

The tension kept rising among the Bangladeshi viewers who are following the World Cup 2021. They never had a Grandmaster who qualified for the second round, Enamul Hossain was able to make it in 2007.

After losing both blitz games, Murshed said goodbye to the WC along with his two compatriots GM Ziaur and WIM Shirin who said it much earlier. Only Murshed made it so far.

Meanwhile, GM Ziaur Rahman was paired with Irani GM Pouya Idani. In the first game, Zia played with black pieces. Idani went for the advance variation of the caro-kann and later shifted to the Bronstein variation with Ne2.

In the second game, with white pieces, GM Zia tried colle system. after a couple of moves, the game transposed into Slav Defense.

On the other hand, WIM Shirin faced American WGM Carissa Yip. It was their very first encounter so far. Shirin played a good game indeed, at one point of the game- she even had some bigger chances, but couldn't divert them into winning and lost.