Grand Master Niaz Murshed ended a 29-year wait as he regained the title of the National Chess Championship when he drew against FM Debaraj Chatterjee in the 13th and final round of the 38th edition of the championship
at the Media Center of Bangladesh Olympic Association yesterday.
Niaz was champion for four successive years from 1979 to 1982 after the introduc-tion of the cham-pionship in 1974, but after that he opted to stay out of the championship till 2001. In the last 11 years though, he could not win any title and finally he did it as he secured 10 points from 13 games.
Niaz started the tournament well before derailing in the middle rounds. However, he bounced back in the last three rounds to share the lead with GM Ziaur Rahman and GM Reefat Bin Sattar.
At the close of the penultimate round on Tuesday, Niaz shared the lead with
six-time champion Reefat who yesterday lost to FM Taibur Rahman to finish
third through a tiebreaking along with
13-time champion GM Ziaur Rahman as both earned 9.5 points. Zia became runners-up.
IM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar and IM Abu Sufian Shakil became fourth and fifth respectively having 9 points each while Debaraj, who had a good chance
of earning an IM norm earlier, failed to keep the momentum after the eighth round, and finished sixth with eight points.
In the final round matches, Zia drew against Parag, Sagar beat Mostafa, Shakil drew against Robin, Nasir beat Jamal and Javed drew against Sheraj as a total of 14 players took part in the championship.