Bangladesh chess grandmaster Ziaur Rahman dies mid-match during National Championship

Bangladesh’s top-ranked chess grandmaster Ziaur Rahman passed away on Friday, July 5, mid-match at the Bangladesh National Championship, at the age of 50. The chess grandmaster collapsed from a stroke during the 12th round of the game. He was clashing against fellow grandmaster Enamul Hossain. Rahman was immediately taken to a hospital in Dhaka where he was declared dead, according to Shahab Uddin Shamim, the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Chess Federation. 

Shamim told AFP, “Players and officials present in the hall room took him to the hospital quickly after he collapsed. Upon reaching there, doctors said he had already died.” Notably, Rahman was undefeated 8/11 behind FM Reja Neer Manon in the event, with an opportunity to win his 16th title. 

Rahman’s rival in the clash, Hossain said, “It was my move. So, when he was falling down, I thought he was leaning down to pick up a water bottle. But then he collapsed, and we rushed him to the hospital. His son was playing at the next table.” It is to be noted that the 50-year-old is the most decorated chess player of Bangladesh, who won his IM title in 1993 and the GM title in 2002. 

Rahman represented Bangladesh 17 times at the Chess Olympiad, drawing a 2786-rated GM Magnus Carlsen with White in 2008. The late player had his peak rating 2570 from October 2005. He is survived by his wife, son FM Tahsin Tajwar Zia, who was also participating in the National Championship in Dhaka. They became the first-ever father and son duo to compete on the same team in a Chess Olympiad in 2022. 

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