Wilbert Paige Memorial
Round #1 (Saturday, 14 July 2001)
Pre-game analysis: In Colding-Muhammad, Colding’s tactical skills will be hard-pressed to penetrate Muhammad’s preparation and farsightedness. Schleifer-Simutowe has the making of a explosive battle. . . both with a preference for double-edged positions. Rogers-Simpson could be a tactical melée if Simpson has his way. However, Rogers will play solid, but aggressive with the white pieces. In Morrison-Kobese, you can expect a sharp struggle as both like maneuvering chess, but also like to build up momentum as the game progresses. Nsubuga-Solomon is an interesting matchup in that the two players have contrasting styles, but have good board discipline and won’t beat themselves with careless mistakes. . . probably neutral.
GM Maurice Ashley makes some final announcements before the opening games begin. Ready for battle in this historic event are (top left) IM Amon Simutowe vs. IM Michael Schleifer; (bottom left) FM Ron Simpson vs. FM Norman “Pete” Rogers. IM Watu Kobese (far right) stands while waiting on FM William Morrison.
Post-mortem analysis: Colding couldn’t quite solve his opening problems against Muhammad and his position deteriorated after Muhammad mounted pressure on his weaknesses. The Simutowe-Schleifer encounter had the makings of a classic double-edged battle before the Zambian IM overlooked a diversionary tactical shot that immediately cost him a rook. Rogers-Simpson was an interesting battle as white developed a space advantage while black looked for counterplay. Simpson perhaps missed some chances to seize an initiative. A complicated ending ensued and a draw seemed the probable result before Rogers developed unstoppable queen-side pawns. Morrison-Kobese was a classic Ruy Lopez struggle that ended with white having a better structural position vs. black’s slight edge in piece activity. The players decided that these two factors presented equal chances and agreed to a draw. Nsubuga-Solomon was a positional game that saw white take a positional advantage only to lose it and allow black counterplay. The game turned into a tactical ending as both sides had to walk a tightrope to hold the position. When the smoke cleared only two kings were left standing.
Top: Colding (L) vs. Muhammad; Bottom: Solomon (L) vs. Nsubuga