Simutowe in Netherlands for GM norm quest!

IM Amon Simtuowe. Photo © Fred Lucas

Round 1: IM Puchen Wang, New Zealand – Simutowe, 0-1
Round 2: GM Nona Gaprindashvili, Georgia – Simutowe – 0-1
Round 3: SimutoweVincent Rothuis, the Netherlands, 1-0
Round 4: IM Willy Hendriks, the Netherlands – Simutowe, 0-1
Round 5: SimutoweGM Oscar Panno, Argentina, ½-½
Round 6: GM Fridrik Ólafsson, Iceland – Simutowe, 0-1
Round 7: SimutoweWGM Bianca Muhren, the Netherlands, 1-0
Round 8: IM Helgi Ziska, Faroe Islands – Simutowe, ½-½
Round 9: SimutoweGM Dibyendu Barua, India, ½-½
Score: 7½-1½ (GM norm)

Official Site: Euwe International (Arnhem, the Netherlands)

Drum Coverage:


  1. Simutowe is playing chess legend Nona Gaprindashvili. It must be quite an honor for him!

    Update: Fortunately, a mistake was made in reporting Simutowe’s game. He had his second black in a row and won! His 14…Qc8-a6! was a nice manuever that netted him a pawn. He won the ending in a technical manner and now stands alone in 1st place. An important victory over a legendary player!


  2. Simutowe wins again after his opponent tried to catch him napping in the opening. Seventeen-year old Vincent Rothuis has lost all three games and has impressed no one with his sacrificial play. He lost to Simutowe in a mere 20 moves.

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5 6.cxd5 Bc5 7.N5c3 Bg4 8.Qb3 e4?

    9.Nxe4! Nxe4 10.Qa4+ Nc6 11.Qxe4+ Qe7 12.Qxe7+ Nxe7 13.Nc3 0-0-0 14.f3 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Rxd5 16.fxg4 Rhd8 17.e3 Rd1+ 18.Kf2 Bb4 19.g3 R8d6 20.Bg2 1-0

    The Zambian master is now on 3-0 and if he continues his march, he will earn his 3rd and final GM norm and would only need to fulfill the 2500 rating requirement. It would be a great accomplishment going into the African Championships in Namibia. He is looking to make his 4th trip to the World Cup tournament. 8)


  3. Let’s hope Amon doesn’t decide to go on cruise control at some point. He may actually be able to run the table!

  4. Interesting game today in Hendricks-Simutowe.

    Willy Hendricks sacrificed an exchange for what was seemingly a strong attack and a dangerous h-pawn. According to the official site, white had a couple of chances to win including after 34…Nxd5.

    White should have responded with 35.Nxd5! exd5 36.f5!! d4 37.h8Q Rxh8 38.Nxh8 d3 39.f6 Kd6 40.f7 Ke7 41.Ng6+ Kxf7 42.Ne5+ Kf6 43.Nxd3 and white wins easily. Who can find these moves in time pressure?? However, white played the natural 35.h8(Q) Rxh8 36.Nxh8.

    After the smoke cleared, black was down a piece, but Simutowe probably knew that he had no technical losing chances after 36…Nxf4. However, the site stated that there was a controversy about whether 40 moves had been played during what was now a fierce time scramble. Arbiter Huub Blom remained quiet when Simutowe asked him twice about the situation.

    Position after 36…Nxf4

    They were urged to play on and with his advanced king, Simutowe took advantage of white’s misplaced pieces and ravaged the queenside pawns. Black’s pawns steamrolled up the board and caused one of the white knights to fall on its sword. The other knight frantically tried to blockade the last pawn, but the king and knight ushered his pawn to victory. Despite the controversy, let us hope that Simutowe can stay focused.

    Now the Zambian is on 4-0 and yes… running the tables thus far. 🙂

    Update… Simutowe sent me the following account of yesterday’s controversy:

    From move 25, I was playing under 10 min to reach move 40. He had more time maybe twenty something, but he also got under 10 when we were around move thirty something. When I had about six seconds and he about a minute or so, I asked the arbiter if we had reached move 40… since I didn’t know. Apparently, I can’t do that so the arbiter said he couldn’t tell me according to the rules. I guessed I had reached 40 and let my time run out. So we had actually made 43 moves at the time I asked.

    He (Hendricks) was complaining in Dutch. I didn’t hear exactly, but it related to the case of me asking the arbiter if we had reached move 40.
    What was strange is that he tried to claim he had got a bad position because I disturbed him significantly by asking the arbiter if I had reached move 40.

    There is a lesson to be learned from this. Fortunately, Simutowe did not lose, nor was he penalized. It is really important that we become acquainted with the intricacies. These rules (including those involving norm requirements) are tricky. 

    I remember learning a couple of years ago that you must play your move before writing it down. I know many titled players who swear by writing the move first, pondering the move and then playing it. Sometimes they erase the move from the sheet and play a different move.

    With respect to norms, IM Emory Tate suffered because he was not familiar with such requirements and it created a lot of anguish when he accepted a draw thinking he had earned the norm. A mistake was definitely made by the arbiter; however, players should take responsibility for knowing the details.


  5. The GMS that Amon will play against next are much older with not too high ratings. With some good play and cool head, our man should be able to pull off the desired norm (hare) from their hats. Lets just hold our breath and wait, anything can still happen here. Meanwhile, Congratualtions to Amon on his wins so far.

  6. Simutowe drew today against Argentinean legend GM Oscar Panno. The game was a French and Simutowe played the King’s Indian Attack. Panno equalized rather easily and a truce was called on move 25.

    There is some interesting commentary on the official site. Unfortunately it is all in Dutch, but it appears that Simutowe was not pleased with his opening and liked Panno’s 5.g6!? Black got good play and in the end as his isolated pawn was left to be taken in order to dominate the light squares. Panno stated, “White cannot live without his light-squared bishop.” Simutowe was able to wade carefully through the troubles and played 25.Bc3.

    In this position, Peter Boel gives 25…Nxc3 26.bxc3 Bxd4! (26…Rc5?! 27.Re1). 27.Rxd4 (27.cxd4?? Bb5) 27…Rxc3 28.Rxd5 Bc6 29.Rd2 Re7. This looks equal. Panno gave some good post-mortem citing a similar position he had against Boris Spassky in 1979. He stated that he thought 40 minutes in that game and concluded that in such positions, one has to give up the bishop for the knight… ASAP! Thus, Simutowe had the right idea on 25.Bc3 and Panno accepted a draw.


  7. The programme that Simutowe embarked on earlier this year is
    bearing fruit. With each tournament he shows improvement.
    I would be very interested to see his rating- progression throughout the programme. It could be a good precedent for other ambitious players to follow.
    He has a more a more technical style than Emory Tate and perhaps a better endgame. I hope he plays more players such as Shabalov so he can get experience and improve.

  8. Hi Amon,
    Greetings. Do keep your focus. You can do it. Look foward to you attainting your goal. Best of luck.
    Keep the beat going. Ronnie RJ Nelson sends his greetings. We are behind you 100%.

    Kids Chess Academy


  9. It’s hard to compare Emory Tate and Amon Simutowe, but here is my two cents. First off we must realize that Tate is 24 years older. Ironically, he has had less international experience (and fewer opportunities) than Simutowe. Tate would easily become a 2550 GM if provided the opportunities earlier in his career.

    Tate relies primarily on his natural ingenuity… his tactical and attacking abilities. He has been playing a lot of different openings lately in order to be harder to prepare for. He once told me of the dilemma about his standard 1.e4. On the attack, Tate hardly has a peer. His attacking ideas are stunning. A paradox for Tate is that he eschews modern theory and seeks to make up his own ideas over the board… albeit brilliant ideas! From this standpoint, he catches a lot of strong players off guard and often delivers a smashing victory. However, he sometimes loses games trivially when he overextends his position.

    Simutowe has a more technical style and has played in some of the world’s strongest venues throughout Europe, three World Championship Knockouts (vs. GMs Krishnan Sasikiran, Ilya Smirin, Ivan Sokolov) and three Olympiads. While Simutowe keeps up with modern theory, he adapts to a variety of situations and plays different openings with white. However, sometimes his raw talent does not shine through with the systems he chooses. Simutowe is very strong tactically, but does not mind grinding his opponent for 100 moves until they resign.

    Both unique players, immensely talented… a credit to chess!

  10. Simutowe just defeated Iceland’s Fridrick Olafsson. Impressive play! Olafsson resigned after his pawn structure was compromised and he was set to lose another pawn. Here is the game:

    Fridrick Olafsson – Amon Simutowe

    1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 d5 4.b3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 b6 7.Bb2 Bb7 8.e3 dxc4 9.bxc4 c5 10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Rd1 Rc8 12.Nc3 Qc7 13.Rab1 Qb8 14.Ng5 Rfd8 15.d3 h6 16.Nge4 Rd7 17.f4 Rcd8 18.a3 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 f5 20.Nf2 Rf8 21.g4 Bh4 22.gxf5 exf5 23.Qh5 Qd8 24.Bd5+ Kh7 25.Qf3 Na5 26.e4 Bxf2+ 27.Kxf2 fxe4 28.Bxe4+ Bxe4 29.Qxe4+ Kh8 30.Kg2 Qa8! 

    31.Bc3 Nc6 32.Re1 Nd4 33.Qxa8 Rxa8 34.Re4 Nf5 35.Kf2 Rxd3 36.Rc1 Kh7 37.Re5 Rf8 38.Rd5 Nd4!  0-1

    In other action today, Nona Gaprindashvili gave a textbook example of how to win a 6 vs. 5 R+P ending while Dibyendu Barua squeezed a point out of a bishop ending.  Very instructive games! The young Dutch players are having a tough go of it in this tournament. Seventeen-year old Vincent Rothuis continues to sacrifice material and attack… to no avail. This time it was veteran Oscar Panno who gave him a nice lesson. New Zealand’s Puchen Wang appeared to have gotten a good position against Bianca Muhren, but after 16…Bxg5, he fell under a virulent attack and was about to be mated in the final position. Barua is keeping pace with Simutowe and is set for a last-round showdown for the title!


  11. I followed the game live. With fifty-eight seconds on his clock I called Edison Raphael to let him know what was happening. I’m sure by the time he logged on the game was over. A nice finish!
    Amon is almost there. We wish him all the best in the following days.

  12. Below is an excerpt from a Zambian Post article written by Laurence Lungu dated 21 August 2007. It was written after Simutowe had won his first four games.

    “This is incredible for me. I was hoping for a good tournament but I did not expect such a good start. What is even more incredible is that I have won three of these four games while playing black pieces as this is considered a disadvantage,” Simutowe said.

    Simutowe has so far beaten international masters Puchen Wang from New Zealand, Willy Hendricks and Vincent Rothuis both from the Netherlands and grand master Nona Gaprindashvilli.

    Gaprindashvilli is a 66-year-old female chess legend who was the first woman to earn a male grand master title.

    “Playing her was a great honour and beating her was something else. She is a former women’s world champion and first woman to earn a male grand master title,” Simutowe said.


  13. I couldn’t follow this last game live because of work but GM Dibyendu Barua of India may be the strongest challenge for Amon out of the whole bunch. He is set to play him in the last round. With the way Amon is playing now, I don’t really see anyone (including GM Dibyendu Barua) stopping him if he sets his mind on winning. We shall see how this will all end

  14. Amon Simply has a much broader understanding of chess than all players out there, you should read his interviews. I think he has a whole new approach to chess that has never been seen before, in my opinion this will take him much futher that the incridible GM tittle. Trust me, those top guys won’t even know what hit them. Just a few years, we will see. GOODLUCK AMON!!

  15. KB,

    He can get a norm, but he’ll need at least 7/9 since the category is low. Looking at his field, he stands an excellent chance. His challenge will be Barua in the last round. He’ll have to deliver the smackdown to his next two opponents. He’s playing very well.

    What good is that he may earn his final GM norm having played three legends (Gaprindashvili, Panno and Olafsson). Beating Gaprindashvili and Olafsson is huge (despite their age)! He’ll be able to tell his grandchildren about this one!


  16. In round seven, Dutch junior Vincent Rothuis (2441 FIDE) has just played 1.e4 g6 2.h4!? h6 3.f4 Nf6 4.e5 Nh5 5.f5 d6 6.e6 fxe6 7.hxg6 Ng3 8.Rh3 Nxf1 9.Qf3 against GM Fridrick Olafsson. You cannot say the young man does not have ambition, but it is hard to believe that he feels this type of chess will amount to many wins against strong players. So far he has 1/2-point in six rounds.

    The key game may be Gaprindashvili-Barua. Simutowe is playing WGM Bianca Muhren and hopes to pad his slim lead.

    Update: Rothuis got mated in the middle of the board in the following position. He’d better rethink his approach to chess opening play, or losses will continue to pile up.



  17. I hope that Amon will keep up the good momentum.
    Even great players like Kramnik are known to falter and
    run out of gas before the end. Amon generates a lot of ideas
    in certain positions.


  19. Good chess today at the Euwe tourney! Simutowe just won a masterful ending against Bianca Muhren in 78 moves. I didn’t like Muhren’s 8…Bxc3+ as it gave white too much space. Simutowe’s 21.f3! was an excellent move which gave him a favorable structure.

    Position after Simutowe’s 21.f3! 

    Simutowe developed time pressure but was able to repeat the technique of Gaprindashvili’s game yesterday by running his king over to toward the opposing rook, attacking the opposing pawns and promoting his own. His handling of the ending was really a beautiful sight to watch and perhaps shows Simutowe’s deep understanding of chess. Of course, he would say he has a way to go, but we can see the talent shining through.

    (See Simutowe-Muhren game here… with light notes.)

    It may be fitting that Simutowe earns his last norm at this tournament with three legends to welcome him to the club. (Note: He will only need to earn 2500 ELO to fulfill all the requirements.)

    As mentioned earlier Fridrick Olafsson manhandled Vincent Rothuis’ crude attack and mated him in the middle of the board. Probably the most exciting game was Puchen Wang’s nice win against Helgi Ziska… another tactical slugfest! Dibyendu Barua dismantled Nona Gaprindashvili’s Caro-Kann to stay within striking distance of Simutowe. His 22.Bxg6! was very direct and strong. Then Gaprindashvili missed 28.Ng5! and her position soon crumbled. Oscar Panno and Willy Hendricks had an interesting game, but did not want to test the waters and agreed to a truce.

    Simutowe is leading on 6½-½ while Barau has avenged his first-round loss to win six in a row!


    Drum Coverage:

  20. I was on and they ran a story on the Euwe tournament with a nice statement about Simutowe.

    They also included a paragraph in information that they got from The Chess Drum, but the source was from 2001. It read,

    Amon Simutowe is perhaps the brightest star to rise on the African horizon in a long time. Born January 6, 1982 in Ndola, Zambia, Amon has burst on the chess blazing a trail of tournament successes unprecedented for a player from the African continent. Already an IM, he took up the royal sport from his brother at the age of 10, won his first tournament at 12, and won the Zambian championship at age 14. He won the African Junior Championship both in 1999 and 2000. Upon his rise came a string of successes including an equal second at the 2000 world Junior Championships where he scored 8½-4½. The young IM has enjoyed success in tournaments throughout the world and has played in approximately 30 countries. Simutowe won a silver medal on board one for the Zambian national team at the 2000 Olympiad (Istanbul, Turkey) and has qualified for and competed in the FIDE World Championship on three occasions. One can say, with a great measure of surety, that this future GM will have brighter days ahead.

    They included an addendum which stated that Simutowe being the brightest star was only in sub-Saharan Africa! They cited Egyptians Ahmed Adly and Bassem Amin as having earned their GM titles at age 18. I told Frederic Friedel of ChessBase that the article he referenced was written in 2001, long before Adly and Amin made their mark. Of course, spending four years getting earning a double major degree in finance and economics has curtailed Simutowe’s chess progress. That said… I still believe Simutowe is the brightest talent African has seen.

    I believe one only has to examine the games and the strength of the competition he has played over the years… the list is too long, but here are a few: Goodricke (IND), British Championship (ENG), Capelle LaGrande (FRA), Bad Wörishofen (GER), Lausanne (SUI), Salou Cost Daurada (ESP), World Open (USA), US Open (USA), Carlos Torre (MEX)… not to mention having played in three FIDE Knockouts and Olympiad tournaments (gold medal). Adly has been tested in a few very strong tournaments (e.g, Corus (C), Groningen, Capelle La Grande, Reyjavik), but checking Amin’s profile at, his international activity is far less frequent.

    Nevertheless, all three are talented and both Adly and Amin are a breath of fresh air on a continent that had not produced a Grandmaster in a very long time. Now with Simutowe on the heels of his 3rd norm, we may see Africa rising. The 2007 African Championships starting on the 31st and all three will be present. It should be interesting.

  21. I am a Zambian chess enthusiast who has followed Amon’s progress with keen interest. I do hope that the young man will finally get the third norm that has eluded him for many years. Stay focused Amon, we are behind you.

  22. Hi,
    Looks like it’s a done deal for the Amon, the man the chess world knows as the Zambezi Shark because of his prowess.
    Chess is considered a minor sport in Zambia but Amon’s competitiveness on the world stage has rendered some kind of credence to it.
    If he becomes a GM – which is a matter of course – he will certainly raise Zambia’s profile.
    As a journalist, I have followed his perforamnce from the time he was 10 and I know he could have attained the last GM norm even at 18 but for his school commitment.
    Now he has shrieked out to make a mark, which is only a draw away, and ofcourse the fulfilment of the 2500 rating.
    There are many more amons in Zambia and how I wish someone can identify them.

  23. I congradulate and spur Amon on to conclude the quest of bringing glory to sub-sahara Africa. GET THE DAMN NORM MAN! Refering to Amon as GM. Simutowe is long overdue! I have just been on the phone with his brother Musatwe who himself is poised to duel alongside him in the Africa Champs diarized for Namibia in two weeks ( I wrote more on this on my site The mood in Zambia is understandably boyant and there is an expectation of carnival jubilation plus a spontenious outpour of emotion reminiscent to when “Chipolopolo’s” (National soccer team) WIN’s on national duty. This can only mean one thing; the growing fascination to chess brought to the fore by this imminent feat, thanks to Amon, spells a great future for the game.
    I recall fondly when a 15 year old boldly asked me to foster him in my family home in Johannesburg. He explained with confidence that he is on a mission to become a GRANDMASTER and South Africa will provide a good launch pad for this ambition. For almost half a decade, Amon worked on chess 24/7 studying and learning. He left the apartment only to sizzle and blaze the chess scene out here winning all the events he participated in. He was nicknamed “The Evil one” for fighting tooth & nail for a point even if he had comfortable leads! However it would not have been possible without the unselfish and generous spirit of IM. Watu Kobese. Watu himself went on to intimate without envy that he has never seen such a talented teenager and Amon is “wired for chess!” to make GM status with ease! Certainly Kobese’s chess mentorship to Simutowe at that critical juncture accounted to the meteoric rise that otherwise cannot be explained. I have it on authority that the otherwise introvert Watu wil be the happiest for Amon.


  25. Three games have finished. Olafsson-Hendricks ended in an uninspired draw and Gaprindashvili-Panno had the making of a tough fight, but a draw was agreed.

    Rothuis lost yet again. This time he had an overwhelming position after catching Muhren in the opening. He won two pawns and looked to be on his way to victory. The only problem was his open king. He was not able to solve this problem and Muhren unleashed a strong attack lead by the powerful 19.Rxd6! While the black rooks looked on from the sidelines, the white bishops zipped across the board and sliced into black’s position. Rothuis made another fatal mistake with 32…Rbc8 and after 33.Be6 and 34.Bxf5 white was winning massive material. Rothuis resigned since white’s bishops and kingside pawns would win the day.

    Simutowe is in a tough struggle in his game against 17-year old Helgi Ziska of Faroe Islands. He seemed to have secured an advantage due to a pin on the d-file, but Ziska found some resources. Still some fight left. Barua-Wang is interesting as white has drummed up a very strong attack. Black seems to have counter measures.

  26. I’m glad tp see that Amon has maintained his focus and determination. It is nice to see him move even that much closer to his dream. He is indeed inspiring a lot of young players and old alike!

  27. Update! Simutowe fought back from a losing position to draw a wild game in a time scramble. The knight ending was very tricky and it appeared as if the Zambian player would have his first taste of defeat. However, things got murky in time pressure and all of a sudden, both players were racing their pawns toward the queening square. In the final position, only the two kings and two queens were standing. Fascinating battle!

    Here is the finale of the Ziska-Simutowe game. White had played the winning move with 58.c7! The position occurred after 58…Nxc7.  

    White blundered here with 59.Nxg6+?? (59.Kxc7 wins) and after 59…Kd6 60.Nxf4, Simutowe found 60…Nd5+!

    Now the game is a technical draw after 61.Nxd5 Kxd5 62.Kc7 Ke5 63.Kd7 Kf4 64.Ke6 Kg3!? (A less exciting draw is 64…Kxf3 65.Kf5 Ke3 66.Kg5 Ke4 67.Kxh5 Kf5=) 65.Ke5 Kxh4 Now the race is on in stifling time pressure!

    66.f4 Kg3 67.f5 h4 68.f6 h3 69.f7 h2 70.f8Q h1Q

    71.Qf4+ Kg2 72.Qe4+ Kg1 73.Qe1+ Kg2 74.Qd2+ Kg1 75.Qg5+ Kf2 76.Qf4+ Ke2 77.Qg4+ Qf3 Draw!

    Barua lost a crucial game after building a promising position. The ambitious Wang fought blow-for-blow to stave off white’s onslaught and lauched a sizzling counterattack. Barua rejected 42.Qxe4 fxe4 43.Rxf6 gxf6 when black is clearly better, but played 42.Qc7?? and after 43…Qd4! was either getting mated or losing massive amounts of material. Barua had been on a six-game winning streak and was looking forward to playing Simutowe for the title. However, Simutowe is a full point in the lead and it will be difficult for Barua to snare a full point given The Zambian’s top form.

    I double-checked FIDE section 1.46 on norm and title requirements and Amon Simutowe has in fact earned his 3rd and final GM norm at 7 points. His rating opposition is 2409.56 and a nine-round norm requires seven points if average opposition rating is 2381-2434. In addition, his performance rating is well over 2600.

    CONGRATULATIONS GM-elect Amon Simutowe!


    Drum Coverage:

  28. I have beeen following you games live. To me this is the wold cup Zambia has won. Amon deserves a diplomatic passport. The tourist Board of Zambia take it up. This round 8 game was really scaring, i was following it live. The president of Zambia should chatter a plane for you. I know how amon plays, he is a wonder boy. You have done as proud.

  29. Michael,

    It was even worse. Amon had seconds left and was blitzing moves at the end. I believe Helgi let his time run down trying to find a win, but knight endings are so tricky and you have to calculate very accurately. The simple 59.Kxc7 wins trivially.

    What an exciting way to end his norm quest. No one can say that he didn’t earn this! All of his games have been hard fought and tense. Many of you all do not know the challenges he has had in the past several months. I have had the chance to have many long conversations with him… including in Trinidad. He definitely had the fire. Amon really deserves this accomplishment and he has done it as a self-taught player without a trainer, nor has he had a lot of resources. Just his laptops and a lot of raw talent.

    What a good way to go into the African Championships! I’m sure the Zambians will have a big celebration, but all chess players in the African Diaspora should be celebrating. 🙂

  30. Way to go Amon. Congrats on your final GM norm! Hopefully more young Zambians can follow in your footsteps and become GMs.

  31. By his example of hard work combined with discipline and raw chess talent, Simutowe has shown young African chess players and many more around the world the blueprint of combining “chess career vs. life’s career” management strategy” :

    1. First prove to the world that you have the wherewithal to play chess – display your raw chess talent,
    2. Then get some of your emotional needs out of the way – by finishing your education first along with the other road blocks of life out of your mind,
    3. Finally, before you get too committed to other cares of life, go after your IM/GM titles if that is what your heart desires.

    GM Elect Amon Simutowe has done all these and much more and the result is the coveted third GM norm. We are very proud of Zambia’s (and indeed Africa’s) Amon Simutowes achievement and wish him many more in the near future.

    Amons third GM norm is a win for all Africans. As a result of this, many up and coming chess players of the African origin everywhere will strive more to reach their highest potential. This can then mean only one thing and that is more IM and GM norm candidates out of Africa will be crowned sooner rather than later.

    A big congratulations and a hug for GM elect Simutowe.

  32. Amon is the best. What i don’t understand is what is needed from now so he can get the final norm, or has he done already before the last round?

  33. Well done Amon. At last you have made Zambia and Africa proud . I have been following your games quite closely. It is very encouraging to have a chess grand master in our midst.
    I wish you all the best in your future chess games.

  34. Amon, Conglatulations.

    I like what Kunle Elegbede has said on Comments No. 30, (on 26 Aug 2007 at 3:15 am) and I quote him.

    …By his example of hard work combined with discipline and raw chess talent, Simutowe has shown young African chess players and many more around the world the blueprint of combining “chess career vs. life’s career” management strategy” :

    1. First prove to the world that you have the wherewithal to play chess – display your raw chess talent,
    2. Then get some of your emotional needs out of the way – by finishing your education first along with the other road blocks of life out of your mind,
    3. Finally, before you get too committed to other cares of life, go after your IM/GM titles if that is what your heart desires.

    The above Blue Print Fundamentals will enable most Black Africans to join the GM Club, and I relate Kunle Elegbede’s word to a wise man vision.

    Daaim Shabazz, Many thanks for enlightening us, n your efforts n HIGHLY APPRECIATED contribution to promoting chess – Just saying thank you is not enough. Keep it up!!!

    Ngubeni, I know you in there.
    To Amon’s fans, thumbs up!
    Congrats once again Amon.
    God Bless you All.

    Solomon J. Simutowe
    Elder Bro.

  35. Am appealing to the powers that be that they look at Amon’s archievements and you use him as a role model to encourage Zambians to work hard despite many problems we are faced with. He first took a rest and persuid his degree and he knew what he wanted. Its indeed a dream come true. I can imagine how the former Chess Federation of Zambia Presisdent Mr. Ncube is feeling. You now have a reason to retire Mr. Ncube, you have done your part. The boy needs a heroes welcome as he arrives in Zambia. A 21 man gun salute. You also deserve a house in Ben Mwinga’s area. Please come to Livingstone. I drew with you and made it in the provincial team and travelled with you to Chongwe for an interprovincial competition as a copperbelt team and plyed you at Zamsure Sports conference in Ndola at an open tournament and we drew. Am currently lecturing at Livinstone Institute in Livingstone Zambia. Iam currently a patron of our club, please Help us with some materials. Email: Daaim Shabazz, help us.

  36. Well done Amon.I can’t forget when you beat Hikaru Nakamura.The guy was moving very fast as if he had a divine right to win against you.

  37. The last round of the historic Euwe Stimulans tournament has already had two results. A “Grandmaster draw” between Fridrick Olafsson and Oscar Panno and an 18-move win by 17-year old IM Helgi Ziska over a disinterested Vincent Rothuis, another 17-year old. The game lasted about an hour.

    It is really a shame that Rothuis had little interest for chess in this tournament. I read after he “sportingly” allowed mate (by Olafsson), he quickly went to the other room to play two-minute chess with friends. How can one show so much disregard in a tournament with three legends? Did someone talk to him? 

    He scored 1/2-point in nine rounds and it does not seem to bother him. Perhaps Euwe organizers should think twice before inviting him back and give badly needed opportunities for people like IM Emory Tate, IM Watu Kobese, or other titled players who are begging for such opportunities.

    New Zealand’s Puchen Wang, a Chinese immigrant, has been impressive. He currently has conjured up an attack against Nona Gaprindashvili… win, lose or draw, he has shown immense potential. Amon Simutowe has a very strong position against Dibyendu Barua and if he wins, it will culminate a spectular tournament. Dutch compatriots Willy Hendricks and Bianca Muhren are fighting what appears to be a drawish position… Hendricks having slightly more space.

  38. Amon

    Congratulations on achieving this milestone. Your are an inspiration to all of us here in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly since you were just here and played amongst us. Keep up your good work and continue to make us proud!! I thought you said that it would take you another three months or so to get your last GM norm?! I guess you’re on an accelerated programme!

    Looking forward to seeing you again in T&T soon.

    Kurtis Chong 🙂

  39. This is unbelievable though expected! Congrats GM Simutowe…
    Above all, I have “loved” the way u have played [I say it as if in the past coz u have won!] playing endgame against Barua…

  40. Update!

    Another tense battle (and ending) is over. Simutowe and Barua agreed to a draw after 83 moves meaning that the “Zambezi Shark” takes clear 1st as well as earning the GM norm with room to spare. Double congratulations!!

  41. CongratulationstoSimutowe.
    He is an inspiration and hopefully Jamaican playerscan emulate him.
    He has shown what can be done when aGMnorm is achieved through hardworkin preparation and a travelplan.
    Hopefully Emory Tate will use this as a template for his future success.

  42. Hey Amon Congratulations on getting your third norm. Now get your rating to 2500 so we cant start calling you GM Amon Simutowe. lol

  43. At last, after a spirited fight that has characterized Amon through out his chess career, the elusive third GM norm is finally tucked away. My hearty congratulations to the young man for the patience, determination, resilience and focus he has shown. This milestone achievement will definitely boost the levels of Chess in Zambia and the rest of the African continent. The immense pride you have brought to Zambia is indescribably great!

    I have all the confidence that it will not be long before Amon fulfills the 2500 rating, and then our lips will proudly utter those glorious words, “Grand Master Amon Simutowe.” I have a bumper sticker on my vehicle which sports the Zambian flag and the words, I LOVE ZAMBIA. After showing the Netherlands results to my friends on campus in Jackson, Mississippi, USA, I am sure they now understand one of the reasons why I am proud to be Zambian.

    At age 5, my son has already started showing an unusual interest in the game and Amon’s accomplishment has motivated me to encourage my son and do all I can to nurture this interest.

    Once again congratulations to you Amon, and I wish you the best in Namibia and the years ahead.

  44. Well! What else can I say?
    Amon,you are the MAN! You have done us proud. You are the definition of an achiever.May shame never leave the faces of all your critics.As for you attaining the rating of 2500,that is now like crossing a stream,you have already crossed the ‘mighty’ Zambezi.
    We as a national are so proud of you. You have lifted shame off our faces.wish you where here to take a walk down cairo road to city market… you could hear for yourself how everyone’s talking about you.You deserve this. Am sure your achievement is the long awaited breakthrough we needed as a sport.Am sure Chess will be treated with the respect it deserves.Remember how you made everyone know about chess?Now you have made everyone respect the game…You are the old time heavy weight champion of this game,man!

  45. :)Job well done.You made Africa proud.
    Determination and passion rip great rewards.
    God is great,if you humble yourself he will lift you up.

    congradulations son of the african soil.

  46. Congratulations to Amon! What a spectacular way to enter the GM ranks… Mission accomplished, and job well done! I know I can get Amon’s games from both the Drum and Chessbase, but wouldn’t it be nice for Amon, or some other qualified player, to chronicle his games in a book and or DVD? I know it’s early yet, but this is all very exciting to me!! 😀

  47. 🙂 Great, Pass on into history without fear , it’s a full court press and you have what it takes to make the dunk!

  48. Congratulations on achieving your goal, Amon. You worked hard for it and you deserved it. Great job, keep up the good work!!

  49. Hi Amon,
    Congratulations!!!! We are all very proud of you.Hope to see you back in Trinidad.
    You have an open invitation- Save Our Children Foundation welcomes you.

    Lesley-Ann Nelson
    C. M. Ronnie Nelson Jnr.
    Kids Chess Academy

  50. Congratulations Amon!!!!! I love chess, and have been a fan of yours since your days at UTD. We always knew that you had the talent and the character to reach grandmaster. I would love to see a tournament with you, Ashley,Morrison,Tate,Muhammad,Adu,Pontus Carlsson and other strong black players involved!!!!!! Good luck to you!

  51. Congratulations Grandmaster Amon! I know it’s been a long and arduous journey. I look foward to seeing you in person at the next major tournament “dinner is on me!”

  52. Simutowe

    Congratulations on your wonderful achievement. We share your joy as chess players from SADC region/zone because you have amply demonstrated that with talent and hardwork you can scale the heights and earn titles that mirror your abilities. You have emerged from the pool of Southern africa’s talent ( Gwaze, Mamombe, Chumfwa, Solomon, Kobese, Njobvu, Mandizha) as a truly an outstanding competitor and a great ambassodor for the game. Well done!!


  54. 1999 African Junior Championship, 1st place (score: 12/13)
    2000 African Junior Championship, 1st place (score: 11/11)

    It was previously thought that Simutowe’s silver medal performance in the 2000 Olympiad got him a GM norm, but it was found that he did not play three Grandmasters.

  55. Great! I absolutely love it! This great chess player is an expert in the endgame. His tactical abilities grow daily! He is a fighter! I am so please with his success!

  56. Thanks a lot for the coverage on Amon. There are a few messages on the blog which imply that Amon has taken long in securing the “elusive” norm. Taking into account the fact that Amon included education as a prime complement to his chess pursuits I believe that he has really done well to get his third norm so soon after graduating from UTD.

  57. Mr Ncube,

    It’s finally great hearing from you.Am sure you deserve some praise for the role you played in Amon’s journey. I will forever be grateful for your role in Zambian Chess. Keep it up and keep the beat going…. 😀

    I agree with you, combining school and chess can be hectic and what is important is that Amon has finally arrived at his long awaited destination. Bravo

  58. My grandfather tells me that a FIDE norms count only within a 7 year period.If this is true it then probably nullifies the other 2 Simutowe “norms” as they were allegedly obtained in 1999 and 2000 .Can someone please clarify this for me

  59. Norms no longer expire. This was changed maybe four years ago by FIDE. I was given this information by International Arbiter Carol Jarecki. I had asked her about IM norms. Simutowe’s three norms are valid.

  60. Thanks Daaim for clarifying that one .I will find out how one qualifies for honourary GM title. Some of our IMs deserve this im sure ,they have been around for a long time.

    “The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.” — Adolf Hitler

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