Jamaica Jamaica Jamaica
Bob Wheeler gives the participants instructions before the 15-board simultaneous exhibition begins. Jamaican Chess Federation President Ian Wilkinson (facing Simutowe) is at board #1. Copyright  2004, Daaim Shabazz.

Bob Wheeler gives the participants instructions before the 15-board simultaneous exhibition begins. Jamaican Chess Federation President Ian Wilkinson (facing Simutowe) is at board #1. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Coming off of a tournament victory at the Harold Chan Open, Zambian International Master Amon Simutowe scored 13-1 in a simultaneous exhibition sponsored by the Jamaica Chess Federation. The exhibition was held at the Shirley Retreat House on Monday, 26th of July and was preceded by lectures given by Simutowe and Dr. Daaim Shabazz. The lone victory was scored by National Master Russel Porter in a flashy combination netting the queen. In the beginning, it appeared that Porter would be steamrolled in a kingside crush, but a nice counterattack won the day.

Jamaican Junior Champion
Brandon Wilson nicked Simutowe for a draw when the Zambian player did not realize he had repeated the same position three times. However, the most exciting game was the last one to finish and featured FM Warren Elliott playing white against Simutowe. For a national champion to put his pride on the line in a simul shows Elliott's desire to test himself at all cost. The game was hard fought and Elliott had good chances to take the point, but the pressure was intense as a crowd milled around the board.

Wilkinson's game brought a bit of laughter because the Jamaican Chess Don had to play Ke2 in the opening to avoid massive material loss.  Simutowe went three pawns up and dished out a long, painful loss. Wilkinson's son Chevian had better fortune and fought all the way into a minor piece ending before losing.

What was interesting were the side battles going on. Junior stars
Tariq Walters and Brian Ewbank were competing to see who would last the longest. They both reached 30 moves and Ewbank played all the way to mate. After threatening to resign, he was urged play on in order to drain Simutowe's energy for the other Jamaican players.

Brian Ewbank facing a mate in three waves at the camera. His sister Stephanie Ewbank looks on. Copyright  2004, Daaim Shabazz.

Brian Ewbank facing a mate in three waves at the camera. His sister Stephanie Ewbank looks on.

Did the strategy work? It is hard to say, but Simutowe was certainly tiring as the evening wore on. He had already lost to Porter and was in a pitched battle with Elliott. In Porter-Simutowe, the game started as a King's Indian. Simutowe played an ambitious kingside pawn storm while Porter initiated a queenside breakthrough.

In a moment of inattention, Simutowe continued his onslaught with
32g4?? (diagram) and was hit by 33.Nf4+!! and after 33exf4 34.e4+ Kh6 35.Bxf4+ Simutowe had to play 35Qg5 and resigned after 36.Qf7! This was a good victory for Jamaica as Simutowe had not lost a single game since arriving. However, Elliott was working on this as well.

Porter-Simutowe, Simultaneous Exhibition (Jamaica), 2004.

Elliott played the Trompowsky attack and developed a space advantage throughout. A key position came when the Jamaica Champion played 32.Ra3 followed by 33.g4. Simutowe fought back with the counterattacking 34 f5, but Elliott pressed forward with 37.h5.  Perhaps 38.Re1 was better than 38.h6 as Simutowe was squirming out of the mess. It was obvious that Elliott wanted to win the game and had expended an incredible amount of energy at the board. Trying to get his wayward knight back into play, he missed 43.Rgh3! Simutowe consolidated his material advantage and carried home the final point. Exciting chess which received a round of applause at the end!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 30 July 2004