African sensation IM Amon Simutowe left Zambia on the 22nd of February to compete in the Cappelle La Grande International being held in France. The 702-player tournament had 93 GMs, 72 IMs, and 24 FMs. The African Junior Champion finished strong and his only losses were to eventual winner GM Vladimir Chuchelov from Belarus and GM Yaakov Murey of Israel. Simutowe (2462) got sweet revenge from a previous encounter by beating the strong English GM, Mark Hebden in the last round.
While finishing with 6½-2½, he met the requirements of a GM norm by beating two GMs (and drawing another), but was not awarded the norm because the average rating of his opponents was lower than the minimum for a Category VI tournament. The January 24th issue of the Zambian Post stated that the 19-year old IM is confident of winning the GM title and has deferred his scholarship to a United States university to concentrate on this feat. "I was supposed to start off on January 16th, but I realised that you need a lot of concentration to be a Grand Master and I thought it would be difficult for me to do so while at the University." Nevertheless, the "Zambezi Shark" will be back!
Tamara Luhanga, "Simutowe Misses Grand Master Norm," Post of Zambia.
Tamara Luhanga, "Simutowe Continues Good Run," Post of Zambia.
Tamara Luhanga, "Simutowe Guns for Grand Master Norm" Post of Zambia.
Posted by The Chess Drum: 4 March 2001