Asian chess planned in Cox’s Bazar

Sudipta Ananda | Updated at 12:23am on May 19, 2018

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Bangladesh Chess Federation planned to shift Asian Nations Cup Chess Team Championship from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar in order to reduce cost, officials said on Friday.
The biennial tournament is scheduled to be held from July 15 to 27 in Dhaka but Bangladesh has asked the Asian Chess Federation to approve Cox’s Bazar as new venue in order to reduce the budget.
The decision is expected to be finalised in a meeting of Asian Chess Federation in UAE on Sunday.
Bangladesh won the hosting rights of the tournament in the Asian Chess Federation congress last year, beating Iran and Vietnam.
However, the federation officials said they were reluctant to hold the big-budget tournament this year
due to upcoming national elections and they conveyed it to the secretary general of the ACF Hisham Al Taher during his visit in Dhaka in April.
Federation general secretary Sahabuddin Shamim said it would require them at least Tk 5 crore if they hold the tournament in any five-star hotel in Dhaka.
‘It is really difficult for us to manage such a huge amount of money from the sponsors in an election year,’ Shamim told New Age.
‘But later we thought if we could host the tournament in Cox’s Bazar it would reduce the cost.’
Shamim said they have now estimated a budget of around Tk 2.47 crore with the Asian Chess Federation providing half part of the amount.
‘We found that cost would be reduced to almost half if we hold it in Cox’s Bazar. In that case we have to manage only Tk 1.23 crore from the sponsor. I think this is affordable for us,’ he said.
Shamim said that at total of 14 countries have already showed their interest to participate in the tournament.
‘We are expecting that at least 20 countries will take participate in this tournament,’ he said.
Grand Master Enamul Hossain Razib was happy to get such opportunity of playing a big tournament on the home soil.
‘It is the biggest tournament in Asian chess and all top countries will take part here,’ Razib said.
‘As a host we are allowed to form more than two teams in this tournament, so it will give the young players a rare chance of getting international exposure.’
Razib also took it as a preparatory tournament for the 43rd Chess Olympiad, scheduled in Batumi, Georgia from September 23 to October 7.
‘We will start our preparation camp for the Olympiad from June 1 and Latvian Grand Master Igor Rausis will arrive on July 1 to take the charge of Olympiad-bound national team.
‘So, Rausis will get two weeks to prepare us for the Asian Nations Cup and he can get a clear idea about our strength from this tournament.’