KATHMANDU, March 27: Bangladeshi players dominated the Asian Zonal 3.2 Chess Championship as GM Mollah Abdullah Al Rakib and WIM Hamid Rani were crowned the champions in the men's and women's categories respectively on Monday.
Mollah rated 2492 defeated his countryman GM Hossain Enamul rated 2474 and wrapped up the tournament with eight points from nine matches.
In the women's category, despite having equal eight points as that of WIM Shamina Akter of the same nation, Hamid won the title on the basis of head-to-head record.
In the last round matches, Hamid rated 1990 and Shamina rated 2077 overcame the challenges of Nepali opponents Matina Kusi rated 1701 and Sabina Shrestha rated 1405 respectively to accumulate eight points each from nine matches.
Champions Mollah and Hamid won purse of US $ 1500 and $ 1000. As the champions, both of them earned place in the Chess World Cup to be held in Georgia in September.
Meanwhile, Bangladeshi players GM Rahman Ziaur rated 2520 and GM Murshed Niaz rated 2422 secured second and third place as well. Rahman defeated Nepali opponent Keshav Shrestha rated 2077 to wrap up with 7.5 points while Murshed overcame his countryman FM Hasan Mehdi to wrap up the competition with 6.5 points. The second and third position holders were rewarded with cash prizes of US$ 1000 and 500 respectively.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's RS Kalugampitiya earned the title of FIDE Master after he finished with six points and in fourth position. Kalugampitiya rated 2129 overcame Himal Lama rated 2081 to meet the criteria for FM title.
Bangladeshi FMs Hasan Mehdi and Rahman Syed Mahfuzur along with Nepal's CM Madan Krishna Kayastha finished fifth to seventh respectively. Despite earning equal 5.5 points in the competition their position were separated by Buchholz tie-break system.
Similarly, Keshav Shrestha of Nepal and Bangladeshi duo Hossain Enamul and Rahman Md Taibur finished eighth to 10th respectively.
Meanwhile, Nepal's Himal Lama, Nabin Tandukar, Bhagawati Prasad Sharma, Milan Lama and Rajendra Kumar Parajuli earned CM titles.
In the women's category, WFM Nazrana Khan rated 1904 of Bangladesh claimed third position after finishing with six points. She overcame Shanta Thapa of Nepal rated 1326 and won a purse of US $ 300. Similarly, Sharmin Samiha Shimmi rated 1842, Sultana Sharmin Shirin rated 1998 and Saumy Zainab rated 1788 earned fourth to sixth place finishes.
The tournament jointly organized by Nepal Chess Association and Nepal Confederation of Sports from March 19 featured 42 players from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.