Bangladesh’s lack of new talent in chess was exposed once again when Grand Master Niaz Murshed won his sixth national title this week at the age of 53.
Niaz, who beat old Candidate Master Manon Reja Neer in the 10th and final round on Monday, achieved the title barely a month after 75-year old Rani Hamid won her 20th title in National Women’s Championship in September.
Niaz believed that Bangladesh did not progress the way they should have since he became South Asia’s first GM in 1987.
‘We should have 15 to 20 Grand Masters at this time. Unfortunately that did not happen and it took us far behind in terms of achievement,’ said Niaz, who participated in the national chess first time in 1975 at the age of nine.
After Niaz Bangladesh got only four GMs in 33 years in Ziaur Rahman (2002), Reefat Bin Sattar (2007), Abdullah Al Rakib (2007) and Enamul Hossain Razib (2008).
Niaz, who won his first title in 1979, hoped that the situation will improve with more activities of the federation.
‘This is the first time all five GM took part. So it is the most competitive national chess event I’ve ever taken part,’ said Niaz.
‘We have talents, like Neer, Fahad [17-year old International Master Fahad Rahman], Khushbu [seven-year old CM Warsiya Khushbu]. But there are some organisational gaps. We will have more GM if the organisation becomes vibrant.
‘Having talent and dedication are not enough. We need co-ordination, planning and specific vision. An efficient committee has to work frequently for five to seven years to produce more GMs. Fahad and Neer have possibility,’ he added.
Niaz thinks that the environment of Bangladesh is still not favourable to take chess as profession and added that there is lack of successful role model before the young talents.
Bangladesh Chess Federation secretary Syed Shahab Uddin Shamim agreed with some of the observations of Niaz.
‘Nowadays, most of the players have lack of dedication. We have lack of sponsorship.’
‘In the last three years we had a busy schedule. But we need more academy and handsome support from government and sponsors to send our young players abroad,’Shamim added.
Shamim believes that Bangladesh will have their next GM within a year.
‘We have some young talents like Neer and Fahad. I hope, we will get our next GM within a year,’ he added.
‘If parents and educational institutions come forward, like India and Sri Lanka, we will have more and more GM in near future,’ he said.
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