Bangladesh Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman dies while playing in national championship

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Bangladesh Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman dies while playing in national championship

New Delhi: Seasoned Bangladesh Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman passed away in Dhaka on Friday, after suffering a heart attack while playing in the country’s national chess championship. The Bangladesh Chess Federation has confirmed his death. He was 50.

Ziaur Rahman, a 15-time Bangladesh Chess Champion, was a known figure in India as he played in numerous tournaments across the country in the last three decades.

Rahman collapsed to the ground while playing in the 12th-round game against Enamul Hossain Rajib in the Bangladesh national chess championship on Friday. He was rushed to the Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital in Dhaka where he was declared dead of a heart attack at 7 pm local time.

Rahman’s son Tahsin Tajwar Zia is also playing in the same tournament and was inside the hall when the incident happened.

Rahman is Bangladesh’s most decorated chess player and earned his International Master title in 1993 and his GM title in 2002. He competed 17 times for Bangladesh in the Chess Olympiad, setting a record in the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai in 2022, when he and his son Tahsin Tajwar Zia became the first father-son duo to be on a national chess team.

In 2005 he achieved a rating of 2570, which is still the highest by a Bangladeshi chess player. He also made news in 2008 when he held a young Magnus Carlsen (rated 2786 at that time) to draw.

The news sent the chess community into a tizzy with many known players offering their condolences.

All-India Chess Federation (AICF) President Nitin Narang expressed his condolence on X: “Deeply saddened by the news of Bangladeshi Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman’s sudden passing during the Bangladesh National Chess Championship.

“He was a well-respected and frequent competitor in Indian tournaments. Our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and the entire chess community in Bangladesh,” he said.

Grandmaster and chess coach Srinath Narayanan also expressed his condolences. “A terrible loss to the chess community and to humanity. He was such a nice person. So young, so unexpected.” he said.


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