FM Muhammad closes in on IM norm at Wilbert Paige Memorial!
The Wilbert Paige Memorial has lived up it's billing with incredible displays of fighting chess with 17 decisive games, 8 draws (all except one have gone blow for blow). After five rounds, IM Michael Schleifer and FM Stephen Muhammad lead the field with 4 points followed by IM Watu Kobese with 3½ points. FM Muhammad has played the most consistent chess as he has only been in trouble once (against Schleifer). For his efforts, he is a lock to earn his 1st IM norm, needing only 2 points in the last four rounds. One other candidate with a reasonable chance for an IM norm are FM William Morrison with 3 points. He will need to take some risks and start piling up the points to win his 3rd and final norm for the IM title. FM Kenny Solomon of South Africa, Philadelphia native NM Norman Rogers and NM Grace Nsubuga of Uganda are in the middle of the pack with 2½ points, but with fading chances for a norm. The story of the tournament thus far has to be FM Muhammad, who was leading the St. John's tournament in June only to fade in the second half. Certainly, he will go into the second half of the Wilbert Paige Memorial with a lot of confidence in order to close out the norm.
Wilbert Paige Memorial official site (player profiles, results, commentary, games)
Some Key Games
Posted by The Chess Drum: 19 July 2001