Bangladesh’s top chess grandmaster Ziaur Rahman dies mid-match

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Bangladesh’s top chess grandmaster Ziaur Rahman dies mid-match

Bangladesh's top chess grandmaster Ziaur Rahman passed away on Friday (July 5) while playing a National Chess Championship 2024 in Dhaka, an offic

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Bangladesh’s top chess grandmaster Ziaur Rahman passed away on Friday (July 5) while playing a National Chess Championship 2024 in Dhaka, an official from the Bangladesh Chess Federation confirmed.

The 50-year-old was playing his 12th-round match in the national championship against grandmaster Enamul Hossain and suddenly suffered a massive stroke and collapsed on the board.

Bangladesh Chess Federation general secretary Shahab Uddin Shamim mentioned that Rahman was immediately rushed to the Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital in Shahbag. However, he was declared dead by the doctors upon reaching the hospital.

“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,” Shamim was quoted as saying to AFP.

Ziaur Rahman looked fit during the game and his opponent and fellow grandmaster Enamul Hossain mentioned that it took a bit to realize that the 50-year-old player had suffered a stroke.

“When he was playing, it never felt like he was sick,” Enamul told AFP.

“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,” he added.

Rahman is the highest-ranked grandmaster among the five players in Bangladesh. He was survived by his wife and a son Tahsin Tajwar Zia, who is also a chess player.

Ziaur Rahman’s career: All you need to know

Ziaur Rahman graduated from the University of Dhaka and is the highest FIDE-rated chess player from Bangladesh. He earned the International Master and Grandmaster titles in 1993 and 2002, respectively.

He won the Mujib Borsho Invitational 2021 in Dhaka with a score of 7.5/9 and went on to represent the national team at the FIDE World Cup in late 2021.

Next year, Rahman and his son Tahsin Tajwar Zia represented Bangladesh in the 44th Chess Olympiad in India. They created history by becoming the first father-son duo to be a part of a national chess team.

The 15-time national champion was among the most admired players in the country.

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