Bengal Chess Club Limited became unbeaten champions in the Premier Division Chess League after defeating Fire Service & Civil Defense Sports Club by 3.5-0.5 margin in the final round at the National Sports Council on Tuesday.
Bengal, who brought the ownership of the Masud Sporting and Chess Club to join the league, won the title in their maiden appearance by securing 19 points from 11 matches, one point clear of favourites Saif Sporting Club.
Saif became runners-up after beating Sultana Kamal Memorial Library by 4-0 margin.
Georgian Grand Masters Mikheil Mchedlishvili and Paichadze Luka and Woman International Master Shamima Akter Liza won their respective match while GM Niaz Murshed drew with respective opponent to secure the title for Bengal.
Bengal had all but confirmed the title after an exciting 2.5-1.5 win against Saif in the penultimate round on Monday.
With the title, country’s first Grand Master Niaz Murshed, now sixth league title in seven editions of Premier Chess League.
Niaz, who got his final GM norm in 1987 as the first South Asian chess player, helped Mohammedan secure hat-trick title in the first three editions from 2011 to 2013.
In the fourth edition in 2014, Niaz had to remain content with the runners-up trophy with Mohammedan as Bangladesh Navy became champions that year.
However, Niaz secured his fourth and fifth league titles in 2015 and 2016 as the member of Sheikh Russell Memorial Chess Club and Saif Sporting Club respectively.
This year, he left Saif and played a key role behind forming Bengal Chess Club.
‘Actually Abul Khair [chairperson of Bengal Foundation] showed his interest to form a team just three or four days before the start of the league with the memory of his uncle Professor Abdur Razzak, who was one of the patron of country’s chess,’ Niaz said.
‘To be honest, we didn’t form the team with an aim of winning the title because we had very little time.’
Niaz couldn’t hide his excitement after winning the title as underdogs.
‘We played really well against Saif Sporting Club who had much better rated players than us. But we performed really well yesterday [Monday] to beat them. So, this title is special for me.’
Niaz also praised his two Georgian team-mates Mikheil Mchedlishvili and Paichadze Luka for their huge contribution behind their success.
GM Mchedlishvili was also happy to win the title ahead of Saif Sporting.
‘We didn’t expect to win the title but yesterday [Monday] we beat the best team [Saif]. Actually we expected to finish as runners-up,’ said the 2604 FIDE rating holder Mchedlishvili, who played in Bangladesh for the fourth time.
Leonine Chess Club was relegated from the league after finishing bottom with only 2.5 points.
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