Razib decided to resign following 33 moves after calculating the unavoidable defeat against one of the greatest chess players in history as the clock ticked towards four hours of play
It was not that cold a day in Baku, but cold enough during the typical winter season in Bangladesh when Enamul Hossain Razib sat opposite to Magnus Carlsen in Azerbaijan on September 3 in 2016.
An off-beam move at the initial stage put Razib in a puzzle and on the backfoot as well, which was unlikely to go unnoticed by the Norwegian world champion.
Razib decided to resign following 33 moves after calculating the unavoidable defeat against one of the greatest chess players in history as the clock ticked towards four hours of play.
“I didn't expect the line he played. I was prepared for his usual openings but he surprised me with something new. So I forgot a key move and got worse position out of the opening,” said Razib.
Razib, one of the five Grandmasters of the country and the last one to earn the norm, recalled the memory earlier this week through chat conversations and phone call.
The occasion was the 42nd World Chess Olympiad where three others GMs Niaz Morshed, Ziaur Rahman and Abdullah al Rakib represented Bangladesh along with International Master Minhaz Uddin Ahmed Sagor.
Razib in action
Playing at number one board is never easy because one has to be prepared to face the strongest player of the opponent team.
Razib played each game in Baku at the opening board, including against Norway.
“After the game with Carlsen, I played rather well in the rest of the Olympiad. I played on board one for Bangladesh and faced many strong players and scored quite well,” said Razib.
“But I must say I played the game rather poorly against Carlsen. I got worse position at the beginning without any counter play and couldn't put up much of a fight.
“Playing the world champion of course was a great feeling. I think I'm the only Bangladeshi player who played against the current world champion.”
Razib still follows the games of Carlsen online, including the recent rivalry between him and 16-year-old Iranian chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja who caught global attention this week after beating the Norwegian in the Banter Blitz Cup final.
A 16-year-old Iranian chess prodigy has upended the chess world by beating World Chess Champion @MagnusCarlsen in the final of the Banter Blitz Cup, report @CNN.https://t.co/Av83Kezpj6#MAGNUS #CARLSEN #MAGNUSCARLSEN #CHESS #BANTER #BLITZ #BANTERBLITZCUP #BANTERBLITZ— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) April 22, 2020
“I followed that match online but that was in Banter Blitz. An online site [Chess 24] organized it. It was not a serious event but Alireza is currently the biggest young talent in the world and a future world champion contender,” said Razib.
“When one plays in banter he or she talks to online audience while playing the game. Blitz game is a contest of six minutes. Players get three minutes each for their total moves. Carlsen took revenge in the next game when it was not in Banter.”
A year after beating the then world No 19 Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine to reach the second round of the Chess World Cup 2007 in Russia, Razib earned his final and third GM norm to become the fifth GM of Bangladesh.
The 39-year old has been spending the coronavirus days in some kind of quarantined situation at his sister’s home in Mainz, Germany.
He reached there on March 6 to participate in a GM event named Schachfestival Woerishofen, slated for March 7-16, which was to be followed by a visit to one Bundesliga game, but both got postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The city I'm staying in is not completely locked down. But educational institutions, restaurants and shops are closed. Not more than two people can be together and we have to maintain 1.5m distance if we go out,” said Razib.
Razib, better known as "Enamul" on the Internet Chess Club (ICC), is eagerly waiting for the Covid-19 situation to get normal so that he can return home.