FMs Morrison and Muhammad vying for IM norms at St. John's International
Both William Morrison and Stephen Muhammadhave been on the U.S. circuit for many years. These two dangerous FIDE Masters have developed a reputation for their skills at blitz, and also for their ever-growing list of GM scalps. Both players have similar styles in that they prefer a slow build-up followed by the accumulation of pressure, and then a fierce knockout! Starting on June 18th, both players will put these skills to the test at the St. John's International. Both will attempt to score at least 6-3 against a Category IV field (FIDE Rating: 2336) to earn an IM norm. FM Morrison is seeking his second while FM Muhammad, despite many good results against top players, is searching for his first. Wish them well!
Result: 6 points - IM norm! Analysis: FM William Morrison scores a last round win over IM Jay Bonin to earn both his second IM norm and 2nd place overall (to IM-elect Justin Sarkar)! Morrison paced himself, played solidly, and suffered no serious letdowns in the tournament. He goes into the World Open and Wilbert Paige tournament on a very high note. Look for the "Exterminator" for come to the World Open and Wilbert Paige with blazing guns to bag his third and final IM norm.
Result: 4 points Analysis: Played well in the 1st half of the tournament and was tied for 1st after 5 rounds. FM Muhammad seemed to play cautiously in several of his games and was hit by tactical shots by both IM Bonin (round 6) and FM Glinert (round 7); the latter ended all hopes for his 1st IM norm. He did score an impressive win over FM Justin Sarkar, the tournament winner, and now IM-elect. FM Muhammad will look to rebound with chances for IM norms at both the World Open (where he has enjoyed some success) and the Wilbert Paige Memorial.