Tate battling at Curaçao Festival!


Emory Tate with the look of a predator
Photo by Ard van Beek

IM Emory Tate is in Curaçao battling the likes of U.S. Champion Alexander Shabalov along with four other GMs. The 2007 Curaçao Festival also has frequent Drum news subjects Jomo Pitterson of Jamaica and Barbadian legend FM Philip Corbin.

After seven rounds, he is tied for joint 1st on a blistering  6-1 with his only loss being a hard-fought battle with co-leader GM Victor Mikhalevski of Israel. He plays Shabalov in round 8 after beating GM Jan Gustafsson when the German blundered and allowed a mating attack in a double rook ending! That is why rook endings are important! 🙂 Tate’s GM norm chances will have to be examined.

Tate battles GM Jan Gustafsson in the 7th round (1-0)
Photo by Ard van Beek

Earlier in round four, Tate caused a stir when he launched a ferocious attack against Venezuela’s Jose Torres. He sacrificed two knights and ended with a nice waiting move. Enjoy!

See Emory Tate-Jose Torres


  1. Tate is a tactical force of nature to any opponent’s king caught out in the open. Few monarchs can weather his combinational storms. What’s this I hear: Tate’s tactics are about to appear. Storm clouds are surrounding an exposed king. Zap! Lightening has struck! Another GM norm is in the air!! And GM Tate is near.

    Thank you Emory Tate for providing us with outstanding chess throughout the years and –yes, I am studying my tactics.

    Peter Roberts
    Harlem, New York


    IM Emory Tate battles GM Alexander Shabalov in 7th round.
    (Photo by Jennifer Shahade)

    Report from the official website states,

    After two hours of playing at table one Emory Tate and Alexander Shabalov are playing a very complicated game. The position is highly unclear.

    With these two attacking giants on board #1, it must be quite a spectacle! Waiting for the word on Tate’s GM norm chances. Tate e-mailed me and told me I’d be “surprised” at his result. I replied, “Not surprised!”

    Update: Shabalov beat Tate in a complicated Sveshnikov. The game went 58 moves and was quite a unbalanced position. The official site states,

    Emory Tate continued to play good moves showing his great tactical skills, but then missed a forced win. Later in time trouble he blundered loosing his Queen for a Rook and a Knight. White’s strong advanced d-pawn offered white not enough compensation because black could decide the game because of the King side pawns.

    See Emory Tate-Alexander Shabalov!

  3. Dr. Shabazz,

    You are an invaluable resource to the chess community. Without you we would not have known that International Master, Emory Tate, was playing in Curacao. Thank you very much.

    Much Love & Appreciation,

    Jimmy Hill

  4. I’m not sure if Tate needs a draw or win against Joel Benjamin in the last round, but he’ll be ready. He is playing well for the most part. He missed a chance against Shabalov and fought hard in his only loss. Benjamin is not the type of player that you will fear, but he is a solid GM and may not want Tate to “norm” on him.

  5. By now you’ve probably caught the “typo” which had I.M. Tate drawing GM Mikhalevski – something NONE of the U.S. representatives have been able to do(!)
    Besides, Tate is not “a man of peace” like Kwai Chang Caine: either you get him, or he gets you….so Benjamin “beware” of the predator!

  6. Emory Tate just e-mailed me and told me he accepted a draw with Benjamin in a better position. Arbiters told him he had the GM norm with the ½-point. After checking with International Arbiter Jerry Bibuld, he thinks Tate has come up short. Here is Tate’s score:

    Round 1: Quirino Richardson (Curaçao, 1850  ELO) – Tate, 0-1
    Round 2: Tate – Huib Nieuwland (Netherlands,  unrated), 1-0
    Round 3: GM Victor Mikhalevski (Israel, 2598 ELO) – Tate, 1-0
    Round 4: Tate – Jose Torres (Venezuela, unrated), 1- 0
    Round 5: Carlo Marzano (Italy, 2230 ELO) – Tate, 0-1
    Round 6: IM Thomas Willemze (Netherlands, 2414 ELO) – Tate, 0-1
    Round 7: Tate – GM Jan Gutafsson (Germany, 2606 ELO), 1-0
    Round 8: Tate – GM Alexander Shabalov (USA, 2637 ELO), 0-1
    Round 9: GM Joel Benjamin (USA, 2576 ELO) – Tate, ½-½

    Score: 6½-2½ (possible GM norm… verification needed) 

    The catch is whether those two unrated players will be counted as 2250 ELO. With that calculation, Tate average opposition would be 2379. He would need 2381 and 7 points or 2435 and 6½ points for a GM norm. Tate’s performance rating may be below 2600 as well. The numbers need to be rechecked. Can anyone help with this?

    According to FIDE handbook under heading “Requirements for the titles designated in 0.31,” section 1.4 describes norm requirements gives this information:

    1.46 Rating of opponents

    For an example of percentage rounding see 1.44.

    1.46a Maximum 22% of the opponents shall be unrated. 
    1.46b The Rating List in effect at the start of the tournament shall be used. 
    1.46c For the purposes of norms, the minimum rating (adjusted rating floor) for the opponents shall be as follows:

    • Grandmaster title – 2250
    • International Master title – 2100
    • Woman Grandmaster title – 2050
    • Woman International Master title – 1900 

    1.46c1 No more than two opponents shall have their rating raised to this adjusted rating floor. Where more than two opponents are below the floor, the rating of the lowest two opponents shall be raised.

    1.46d Unrated opponents not covered by 1.46b shall be considered to be rated at the rating floor level. In 2005, it is 1600.


    Tate apparently has come up short for his GM norm. I believe the official ruling pertains to his average opposition rating of 2379 which falls slightly below the category requirement. He needed an average opposition of 2435 with 6½ points or 2381 with 7 points. International Arbiter Jerry Bibuld confirmed this.

    Unfortunately, Tate was misled into thinking he needed only a draw to clinch the GM norm, but neither a draw nor a win would have sufficed.

    … even a win would not have worked?????????  I know nothing of these matters. As you understand  I am only a player in the game.

    There was another issue… color allocation. Tate added, “I did play under protest cause of colors.” He got four blacks in the first six rounds and then two whites. The arbiters stated that Benjamin would get the color he was due because Tate had already had two whites in a row. They are correct in this, but their initial statements were misleading and Tate could have decided to play for a win to improve his position in the tournament. Finally in his e-mail he stated,

    En Passant, I would never have given Benjamin the draw in that particular position when he offered… having refused me several moves earlier, insofar as I believe I have a wonderful chance for a win.

    With other games still in progress, the winner of our game could have taken CLEAR FIRST, based on the disparate scores on boards one and two, itself a natural consequence of a small field.

    Of course, these mistakes are often made and it shows that (1) International Arbiters must take a bit more care in their statements and (2) players should familiarize themselves with the FIDE handbook to defend their positions more forcefully.

  8. I’m sorry to hear that Tate came up short. But he has been playing extremely well, so I have no doubt that the norms will come. The vagueness of whether or not he had achieved the norm is not surprising. I have seen several situations where knowledgeable people couldn’t agree on whether a norm was made. And it wasn’t until the paperwork was submitted to FIDE that it was determined a norm wasn’t achieved.

  9. within the next 7 years , the GM goal is there to get!  8) Tate can get 3 norms before that time expires ❗

  10. GM Shabalov states that IM Tate overlooked a win in their 8th rd encounter in Curacao:he gives 33. Ba4 instead of Tate’s 33. c5. To show how this works I allotted Shredder 8 four hours utilizing the shootout feature: 33. Ba4 Qf4+ 34. Ke1 Rd8 35. Rg2 g6 36. c5 Qe5(f5) 37. Qxe5 Rxe5 38. Rge2 f5 39. Bc2(cxd6) dxc5 40. bxc5 Rde8 41. gxf5 gxf5 42. Nc4 Rxd5 43. Nd6 Ree5 44. Bb3 Kg7 45. Bxd5 Rxd5 46. Nxb7 Ne6 47. c6 Kf6 48. Rc3 Nc7 49. Nc5 Ke5 50. Nxe4 fxe4 51. Rg2 Kf6 52. Rg8 Rxa5 53. Rc8 Nd5(Ra1+) 54. c7 Nxc7 55. R8xc7 and the win is simple.


    Contact: Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum
    P.O. Box 7663
    Tallahassee, FL 32314-7663 USA
    (850) 296-9494

    Tallahassee, USA – 11 March 2017 – Emory Tate’s biography Triple Exclam!!! The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior has finally arrived and is available for purchase. The book details the life of one of the most colorful figures on the U.S. chess circuit. Tate’s death on October 17, 2015 brought an end to the adventurism and sense of wonderment he found in chess.

    In just over a year, his biography has been published by The Chess Drum after finishing production in March 2017. Release was delayed for months by a number of technical issues. The book covers his exciting 56-year journey and life as a chess artist. His passion for chess was truly inspiring. Triple Exclam was the culmination of an intense research effort on the life of Tate.

    The following blurb appears on the inside flap of the dust jacket:

    ISBN-10: 0998118001
    ISBN-13: 978-0998118000
    Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
    Publisher: The Chess Drum, LLC
    Retail Price: $40.00 (full color, hard back)


    In the annals of attacking chess players, International Master Emory Tate built up a collection of stunning gems. Tate also showed his passion in describing these exciting battles as if acting in a stage play. With his clear, accelerated speaking style, melodramatic portrayals, quick wit and creative word play, he intrigued audiences and showed unequivocally that chess is not merely a game to be played, but an art form to be expressed. This book details the life and games of Tate over the course of his 56 years.

    His contribution to chess lies not merely in his level of play, or even his scintillating victories, but in his creation of unique ideas and inspiring dreams. Somewhere on that chess board was beauty to behold, a new story to be told, and perhaps an idea that would touch the soul. Tate told many stories, many of which would reflect an adventurous, purposeful, yet troubled life. This story is of beautiful games, life lessons, mind-boggling conflicts and celebration of a man whose contributions will live on!

    The Book

    Triple Exclam is a hardback, full-color edition that includes 280 pages in 12 chapters and seven appendices surveying the life of Tate. It includes 35 of his games (all annotated) and vintage photos at various stages of his life. The book also includes chapter notes and is fully-indexed. If you are not a chess-player but enjoy biographies, you will appreciate his story.

    The Foreword of the book was done by GM Maurice Ashley with annotations by GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Alejandro Ramirez, GM Pontus Carlsson, GM Amon Simutowe, GM Kenny Solomon, IM Malcolm Pein, FM William Morrison, FM Todd Andrews, FM Jimmy Canty and National Masters Ernest Colding, Glenn Bady and Dr. Okechukwu Iwu. Two games feature transcribed annotations from Tate’s famous post-mortems.

    Triple Exclam: The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior

    Order Details

    The highly-anticipated book can be purchased by following the Paypal button below. A Paypal account is not needed. Buying in bulk cuts per unit and mailing costs, so for groups of friends, chess clubs, and vendors seeking volume discounts (for the purchase of five or more), click here!

    International rates are currently prohibitive unless ordering quantities in multiples of five (U.S. Postal Service flat rate box). The Chess Drum is looking for international distributors to make the book accessible to a wider audience. An e-book version of Triple Exclam is forthcoming.

    Some customers many be skittish about ordering online. In that case, contact me at webmaster@thechessdrum.net with number of copies needed and I’ll send an invoice. Also available for book signings. Make sure you add this handsome book to your collection!



    # # #

    The Chess Drum, LLC is a publisher of chess news content and literature. The organization’s website has continued to demonstrate the universality of chess by covering a variety of topics through news stories, essays, interviews, and photos since 2001. Visit The Chess Drum at thechessdrum.net and follow the beat on Facebook and Twitter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button