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How the Chess Community Came Together to Save Fellow Player from Across the Border

Things were looking up for 20-year-old Ikramul in his career, until a few months ago when he was diagnosed with an illness.


Ikramul Haq Siam, a talented chess player, is a three-time national sub-junior champion of Bangladesh, a Candidate Master and has a current rating of 2174.

Things were looking up for him in his career, until a few months ago when he was diagnosed with an illness that degenerated his spinal cord and paralysed his right leg.

Ikramul lost his mother recently, and so was left all alone to deal with his illness. The doctors had advised him to get a surgery immediately, or he would lose his life. He needed at least 6,00,000 Bangladesh Taka (about ₹4,80,000) for the surgery. Unfortunately, Ikramul didn’t have enough funds for the treatment.

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This is when the 20-year-old reached out to the chess community to help him save his life and get back to playing again.

Ikramul Haq Siam. Source: Facebook

“I have been suffering from a degenerative disease for the last two months. The bone in the spinal cord is bent, and that puts pressure on the nerves, causing pain in my right leg. I have also lost control of my rectum. I went to the various government and private hospitals, and the neurosurgeons and orthopedists advised me to have surgery as soon as possible, otherwise, I will die. I want to live and play chess. I am requesting well-off people to help me financially for the surgery which will cost me 6 lakh Bangladeshi Taka,” Ikramul said in his appeal to ChessBase India.

The news spread like wildfire in the chess community. Messages were exchanged on the WhatsApp group ‘Telugu Rated Players’ and the Chairman of ‘Simply Chess Foundation’ urged group members to support their fellow chess player.

Several organisations, including ChessBase India, along with chess players, parents and coaches also came forward to raise money for Ikramul’s surgery.


18-year-old Woman International Master, Chandreyee Hajra, raised ₹39,700 through her talent of sketching. Another chess player Shaati Mazumder raised ₹25,000. The total amount collected from India was nearly ₹3,00,000 for Ikramul’s surgery in Bangladesh.

He is currently in Chennai and has appointments with doctors there. Everyone’s been wishing for his speedy recovery.

If you want to contribute for Ikramul’s treatment, you can get in touch with him on Facebook.

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