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Grandmaster Zia passes away

Senior  reporter

Senior reporter

Fri, 5 Jul 24

Country’s highest-ranked grandmaster, Ziaur Rahman, has passed away. He was 50.

He breathed his last at a hospital in the city shortly after suffering a heart attack during the 12th-round game of the ongoing National Chess Championship on Friday.

Zia was declared dead around 6:00pm at Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital shortly after he was taken there.

Zia was the second Bangladeshi to receive the title of grandmaster, after Niaz Murshed.

He holds the highest-ever FIDE rating points achieved by a Bangladeshi chess player—2570—in October 2005.

He was also the top Bangladeshi grandmaster in the latest rankings updated by the International Chess Federation in July 2024, with 2423 rating points.

Zia made another record in 2022 by becoming the country’s first father-son duo to represent the national team when he played with his son, Tahsin, in the 44th Chess Olympiad in India.

Zia, a Dhaka University graduate, earned the International Master norm in 1993.

He left behind his widow, Sultana Labonno, and only son, Tahsin, a FIDE Master and also a national chess player of Bangladesh.

The ministry of youth and sports, the Bangladesh Chess Federation, the Bangladesh Football Federation, and several other organisations expressed deep condolences at his sudden death.

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