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Amon Simutowe Wins Third Norm Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
August 27, 2007
Photo Daaim Shabazz
Zambian born Amon Simutowe made his third GM norm at the Euwe Stimulans round robin tournament. (Arnhem, the Netherlands, August 17-26, 2007). Amon just graduated from UTD, and since then he has been searching for his final norm. His recent play reflects his newfound focus. He defeated Hikaru Nakamura in quick and brutal fashion at the U.S. Open.

Amon also won clear first in the tournament with an undefeated 7.5/9, ahead of legends such as Argentinian Oscar Panno, former FIDE president Fridrik Olafsson and the first female GM, Nona Gaprindashvili of Georgia.

Euwe Stimulans
Final Standings
1. IM Amon Simutowe- 7.5
2. GM Dibyendu Barua- 6.5
3. FM Puchen Wang- 6
4.GM Nona Gaprindashvili- 5
5-8- GM Oscar Panno, IM Willy Hendriks, WGM Bianca Muhren and Fridrik Olafsson- 4
9- Helgi Ziska- 3.5
10- Vincent Rothius- 0.5

View the complete crosstable of the Euwe Stimulans event.

According to fide.com, Amon's highest rating was 2470 and he is currently on 2421. This tournament will put him well on his way to 2500, the only thing standing in his way now from the official GM stripes. Amon will become the third GM of Black descent, after Maurice Ashley (USA) and Pontus Carlsson of Sweden (according to fide, Pontus' title is still pending a climb over the 2500 mark.)

Amon told The Post in Zambia after his victory: "The black chess community has gone crazy. I hope this achievement will live an indelible mark on other black chess players that have higher aspirations." Daaim Shabazz of the chessdrum , said: "Amon deserves this." Adisa Banjoko, founder of the Hip Hop Chess Federation, said: " I think the fact that another Black man has attained the GM spot is another testament to how dedication and perseverance can pay off. Its about time Maurice Ashley had some company!"

Here are some of Amon's games from the event.






Chess Life Magazine and Chess Life Online will provide more details and thoughts on Amon's accomplishment soon.

Other articles about Amon's achievement:

Article in the Zambian Post

Chessbase.com article and pictorial

News brief on the chessdrum.net

The summer has been fantastic for American players earning GM norms. In addition to Amon, Vinay Bhat, and Renier Gonzalez's results, Robert Hungaski of Argentina and USA just earned his first norm and the gold medal for the USA in the Pan-American Junior Championship! An article on this event will appear shortly on CLO.