Newcomers Saif Sporting Club claimed the title in their maiden appearance in Premier Division Chess League after their played out a draw against Bangladesh Navy Chess Team in the final round on Wednesday.
Saif Sporting Club, comprised of five Grand Masters—Bu Xiangzhi of China, Aleksey Goganov of Russia, Niaz Murshed, Enamul Hossain Rajib, Abdullah Al Rakib and Fide Master Taiabur Rahman Suman, ensured the title as only unbeaten side in the nine-round league.
Saif, who needed a draw in the last round after beating their nearest rivals Sheikh Russell Memorial Sporting Club 3-1 in the penultimate round earlier on Tuesday, earned 17 points while Russell got the runners-up trophy with 16 points.
In the last round game, players of Saif didn’t take any risk and played defensively in all four boards and drew their respective game in every board.
‘We took defensive strategy to make the match draw,’ said GM Razib, who beat super GM Amonatov Farrukh of Tajikistan in the penultimate round to ensure the win against Russell.
‘We actually almost confirmed the title after winning the penultimate round against similar strength Russell Memorial Club.’
GM Rakib expressed his joy after playing a competitive league.
‘The League became very competitive as the best two teams met each-other in the penultimate round,’ said Rakib.
‘Before the penultimate round, there had equal chances for both Saif and Russell.’