The First Division Chess League 2017, sponsored by Marcel, a brand of Walton Group, got underway Saturday. The nine-day long competition will conclude next Sunday.
The tournament was inaugurated by FM Iqbal bin Anwar Don, operative director of Walton Group (head of sports and welfare) at the conference room of Bangladesh Chess Federation. Among others, BCF vice president AKM Shahidullah and tournament committee president Gazi Saiful Tarek were present.
The First Division Chess League is a team-based tournament. A total of 10 teams are participating in this year's event. Among the 10 teams, three got promoted from the Second Division Chess League last year while two got demoted from the Premier Division.
The participating teams are Hasan Memorial Club, Bashir Memorial Club, Agrani Bank Limited team, Mir Club, Mohakhali Pradip Sangha, Devdas Biswas Smrity Sangsad, Kasparov Club, Sonargaon Club (promoted from Second Division as champion), Isfot Arina (promoted from Second Division as runners up) and Janata Bank Officer Welfare Society (got promoted from Second Division as the third placed side).
Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited and Bangladesh Navy Junior team got relegated to the First Division from the Premier Division Chess League after refusing to participate this year in the Premier Division. They are also absent from this year's First Division.
Each team comprise four players along with two substitutes. The tournament is being played in accordance with the round robin league system.
The champion and runners up side in the First Division Chess League will get promoted to the Premier Division Chess League next year while two sides will get relegated to the Second Division.
The champion, runners up and third placed side will get prize money worth Tk50,000, 30,000 and 20,000 respectively, along with trophies, home appliances and medals.