Calcutta: It was a sort of flashback for Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman when he saw his son Tahsin Tajwar Zia play in the 24th The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship.
Ziaur, Bangladesh’s first GM, had played in the second edition of the tournament, being held in 1989. For the record, it was also Ziaur’s first tournament in India.
So, when he saw Tahsin participate in his first-ever The Telegraph Schools’ Championship — also his first school-level event — he was emotional.
“In 1989, I participated for the first and last time in The Telegraph Schools’ Championship because I was not eligible to play from the next year… I distinctly remember that due to some visa problems, I arrived a day later, missing the first round… It hurt my chances of winning the tournament.
“But the event gave me a huge exposure and I learnt a lot. So I want my son also to enjoy the experience… The exposure will help him in the future. Although I know that he is too young to win the championship this time around, I want him to win the event at some point in time,” Ziaur said.
Tahsin, too, is excited to play in the competition.
“I’ve heard a lot about the tournament from my father. He is always praising the tournament and he said it was a stepping stone in his career. Hopefully, I can also learn a lot from the tournament,” Tahsin said.
When Ziaur is not playing, he does keep himself busy by imparting knowledge about the game to his son.
“I tell him about the technicalities of the game… I try to clear his doubts,” Ziaur said.
Asked whether his dad is his favourite, Tahsin said: “I do like dad’s playing style… At the same time, I like Levon Aronian’s… I was really excited when I got an opportunity to click a few snaps with him last year… But my favourite is Magnus Carlsen.”
Incidentally, Tahsin is the only Bangladeshi participant in the ongoing tournament.