Zambian President Rupiah Banda has honored Grandmaster Amon Simutowe with the President’s insignia for meritorious achievement. This is yet another great accomplishment for Simutowe who has shed a brilliant light on the nation of Zambia with his ascent to the highest standard in chess.
There had been much talk about the manner in which Simutowe should be honored. Another suggestion was a diplomatic passport, but the recent honor is one that will pave the way for other duties as a country ambassador.
A native of Ndola, Zambia, Simutowe completed the norm requirements for the Grandmaster title in 2007 and the title was conferred this year. Simutowe’s story is well-known on these pages. A national champion at age 13, he left a trail of bloody chess boards and became an international sensation. He is the first sub-Saharan African to earn the title of Grandmaster.
The award was bestowed upon Simutowe during a ceremony during the Independence Day ceremony at the Lusaka Showgrounds. The award was accepted in absentia since Simutowe is doing graduate studies in Dallas. Congratulations!