Simutowe playing in Angola’s BGI!

Zambian GM-elect Amon Simutowe will take part in the Cuca BGI this weekend along with GMs Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands and Luis Galego of Portugal. South Africa’s IM Watu Kobese will also present a challenge. Simutowe returns to the continent after a European tour.

This is the 9th edition of the tournament and it will no doubt draw the strongest of players from around the country. International Master Pedro Aderito will be in the field as well as other members of the national team. Angola remains as one of the strongest African federations with several International Masters.

Source: Angola Press


  1. Hi Guys,
    I am at Ground Zero here in Luanda. I can try helping you with brief blow by blow account of the event.

    First off: GM. Tiviakov and IM Kobese never made it to Angola. Several top local players including IM.Pedro himself had staged a mutiny, justifiably demanding appearence fees commensurate to the “outsiders”. Pedro simply abundoned his comrades and took part with a missed round and quickly lost and drew the subsequents.

    GM.Galego arrived, with a round missed, but compensated with a half point bye. He hit the ground running by clocking two wins. He also does very well cheering everyone up especially with some silly hic-upps on the part of the organisers.

    GM-Elect Amon Simutowe is LEADING with full score(4/4). He really stands shoulder high amongst his peers in Africa. Following his games with Deep Rybka 3, he almost puts no piece in a wrong square, I mean “almost” ! Will hopefully show games later.

  2. eita Bra Jacky! nice to hear from you. a bit disappointed Watu didn’t make it….and where is Robat Gwaze, I was hoping to see him in action. Good start for Amon.

  3. Hey Guys!
    Quests are hotting up out here, my trip all the same is fused with business explorations that fail me in updating you regularly. However I will try informing, albeit brief.

    Amon still in the lead, but the GM.Gelego closed the gap winning all, and sharing the spoils with him. So, Amon is a slender half point on five from the GM after seven rounds. Two to go!

    IM. Pedro (Ang.) is having a tough time clocking wins, he is out of the top ten after being drawn by a Caro-Kann youth play. Masango of Zimbabwe is finding choking, loosing to lwly rated players by simply blundering! Top order of Angola prevailing is giving good account of their FIDE top rates. Especially FM.Ramos who held Simutowe to an even kill.

    I will opinion later why Simutowe stringed three draws. I will also find time to give a broader picture. Right now I have to dash for the next excursion! Hope this is ok for now.

  4. Hi dear followers!
    yeah I’ve made it back soonest. In fact had a chat to Amon for a while so here is the low down; Three rounds ago Simutowe was cruizin comfortably then he sort of blew a gasket with apparent reason that he had not been compensated for his travels as promised, while all have been. added that he was warned by ….. not to partake as this is the land of broken promises. He dragged yours truly into the forray to intervene and as you you will guess my concern was firmly in line with his potential financial loss, also but paramount, the imminent self-defeating and derailing off-the-board-shinanigans of taking the eye of the ball ( ending with not Win the event he comfortably lead!).

    Alas, I will tell you, these protege grew-up fast! He retorted to my “do the maths, 1st prize is larger than the flight ticket from Zambia!” argument. Even if they ultimately don’t reimburse him he will ….; “it’s a principle issue Mr. Ngubeni with broken promises, illogical explanations and petty lies…..” These must be confronted head-on. I must say he convinced me but I had my 100% faith in these organisers. He was adamant. The outcome was all too clear; he will have to be out off this world to dabble with this distraction while facing an ever stronger opponent.

    First he stumbled, with a draw against the veteran FM.Ramos +2200 elo. However praise must go to the Angolan as he perried Amon’s timid charge into a Knight Vs Bishop ending. producing controversially contested dead draw. Next was the Portugal franca lingua to Angola GM. Galego. Credit must go to him. Sensing the rattled young, up and coming, pride of Africa chess obfuscated by otherwise trivial issues, to which he had offered solace to both warring parties, he chose not take advantage but took a 13 move draw.
    Against the multiple Angolan champ named Pascoal, Amon seemed to have re-grouped for the kill. But fizzled out and accepted a truce, when after the game it was clear he was full of superior explanation for the opponent during the aftermath analysis. Now that the financial reimbursement has been effected, many wonder if the Zambian can hold on to the slim lead of half a point with 5,5 from Galego and Ramos.

    Judging from the chat I had with him a while back, i must say I am worried that his woes are not behind him. other matters easily drift to his conciousness that are more of just distractions.

    In asking by mail if he will be playing this event he advanced a mature proffer that he wants to bend backwards and play lots in the mother continent. But I am doubtfull of him emulating his world success here home. After all remember the dissaster of the unqualified Africa Individual in Namibia? Well maybe the adage of a prophet not being successful in his/her homestead is correct after all. Lets hope the last two rounds may tell a different tale!

    Please chat or blog as i am aware many here read the Drum. Maybe someone out there can inspire Simutowe on his next trip to India. OOOPs should have never revealed it!

    Hello Ndawana!!! The lone participant from Botswana, you will be happy to know, is leading(Hope you know who it is!). She could have wrapped it up by now had she not collected only half a point from the last two with one to go. Now she must fight for win to take the crown plus the huge first prize cash! Regarding the feminino setion, I am sworm to not reporting. Dubious you may say. But a full report on the entire event will be released.

  5. Why try create a closed tournament with all players over 25 and bit hopeless?? The simplesst thing was to organise an Open tournament for all .What is the point of round robin??appearance fees for what???simply make the event a swiss open and give all a chance.

  6. Hey bra Jackie! Thanks for the updates! U are doin the Zambians a great favour!
    Im happy but worried at the same time for Simutowe.Im sure enormous pressure has built up now that he is only leading by merely half a point!
    I really hope he wins the event.If you can,try spending a few minutes to talk him into regaining his initial self-confidence.He is under pressure!
    Please keep us updated.

  7. Darren, appearance fees are necessary for professional chess players. GM Amon deserve an appearance fee because he will play a major part in the future of African chess and is a professional chess player. Let GM Amon concentrate on playing brilliant chess, not money. He should be paid before he participate in tournaments. I hope he win this tournament. Next stop India, hope he win there too.

  8. THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF CLOSED TOURNAMENT is wrong.An open would easily do it for a place like Angola,to give youths more playing opportunities,simple.What hope is there for all these 25+year olds ??Development should be at grass roots level ,logic dictates that.

  9. Darren,

    I’m not sure why you are arguing closed tournaments. They are universal and may be the only way players can get norms. That is very true in the U.S. where there are few chances to get norms in open tournaments. There is a big difference between the U.S. Open and the U.S. Closed (where I am now). This tournament is so much stronger and exciting. You can have both open and closed tournaments… they both serve a purpose.

    What hope is there for 25+ year olds… plenty. People still have chess aspirations when they pass 25. It may not to become World Champion or even a Grandmaster, but each player has a right to reach for whatever heights they set for themselves.

    Well Drumists, its Over and I am blogging from RSA already. Amon gained his composure and played what he admitted to be the best last two games, like the start, when he was full of energy. He simply gave the two promising and strong provincial players a lesson in positional chess. Needing only a draw in the last his opponent made a passionate and uncharacteristic plea for a draw, even repeatedly. Stooped even lower by begging, all the time to the oblivious GM-Elect. Later Amon snapped at the youngster explaining that it was unbecoming of him and asked if he pause to consider the fact that this will be a FIDE rated event? What about his 2500 quest?

    Looking at the hic-up that saw him deflated, Amon admitted that he almost blew it. I guess with 5000 usd in the pocket he must be breathing a big sigh of relief when we landed in RSA for his well deserved rest.

    The women section followed a similar story for Queen of the event one WFM.Lopang of Botswana. Having led by one and a half up to the midway, the Angolan girls started playing dirty tricks. Verbal abuses and wild accusations against her brought her to tears. She lost points and squandered the lead. With the international players (Especially Amon) firmly behind her, plus assurences from the organisers of their appreciation of her involvement, she played the last round needing only a win for an outright title. A draw was unclear as the RSA top black girl player Mbalenhle Cindi would have to win her some favour in her particular duel.
    Things went horribly wrong early in the game and found herself material down against a good Angolan player. In a totally lost position, she sacrificed a knight for a deep calculated perpetual check. All who crowded her board aplauded her wit in spontenuity, and it was the turn of some tears in amongst the Angolan vixens. This secured her a massive payout and condemed the opponent to pitance reward. She tied for first and with a better tie break, stole back the crown!

    I endeavour to do a full report with pictures and games as soos as i find time! Hope i helped to inform.

    I congratulate the organisers for a JOB well done!

  11. The stated Results under headings of most of the Angolan newspapers and TV sport coverage:
    “SIMUTOWE e LOPANG conquistam Taca Cuca”
    Men Section:
    1. IM.Amon Simutowe (Zam) 7,5
    2. Eduardo Pascoal (Ang) 6,5
    3. Antonio de Sousa (Ang) 6,5
    4. GM. Luis Galego (Po) 6.5
    5. Luciano Oliveia (Ang) 6,0
    6. Ediberto Domingos (Ang) 5,5
    7. Domingos Fernandes (Ang) 5,5
    8. Aristoteles Ramos (Ang) 5,0
    9. Joao Simoes (Ang) 4,5
    10. Erikson Soares (Ang) 4,5
    11. Spencer Masango (Zim) 4,5

    IM. Aderito Pedro(Ang) positioned 19 with 4 points

    Women Section:
    1. Tshepiso Lopang (Bots) 6
    2. Engracia de Olivera (Ang) 6
    3. Mbalenhle Cindi (RSA) 5,5
    4. Valquiria Rocha (Ang) 5,0
    5. Sonia Rosalina (Ang) 4,0
    6. Nelma Lopes (Ang) 3,5
    7. Margarida Sussu (Ang) 3
    8. Luzia Guimaraes (Ang) 2,5
    9. Fatima Reis (Ang) 0,5

    Sorry it’s not in Cross-table form.

  12. Well done champs! thank you bra Jackie, you kept us in the loop. as for the torney organisers, welldone. It is a great start and a learning curve, Im sure you will do better next time. Guys, we need more tournmantes of this magnitude in the region, open or closed, at least 5 in southern africa, 5 in the east, north west africa like dat am tilleng. May the gods bless africa !

  13. There is probably more drama at American tournaments. 😐

    Thanks Jackie! This was very helpful. There is no substitute for having someone on site. This is often a problem in covering African chess.

    I’m glad that Simutowe won, but will be estatic when he is finally conferred his GM title.

  14. Sounds like this wasn’t a closed tournament after all ,wherez the confusion?? If surely there were up more than 19 people it sounds like an open

  15. Open and Closed case!

    It was a pleasure to inform guys. It was a well organised event and I once more commend Angolan Chess Federation.

    On the question of Open/Closed I am sure that not all Angolan players participated. I deduced two clear reasons; One, it was by invitation to Angolan top players only. Past and or present. Not sure about criteria used in these selections. Then there was the issue of local players demanding some appearence fees commensurate to international players. Certainly many boycotted the event. A few even came to watch proceedings!

    To international players it was indeed “Open”. The organisers went out of their way to attract outside Angola players, hence the generous conditions. Their enemy was the short notice. In the near future they have slated a BIGGER event on August 18th the President announced! Let’s hope we see more strong players heading there then.

  16. Open and closed tournament at same time,ROTFLMAO!!I have always reiterated some organisers play up with players’ souls abusing at every opportunity then desperate and poor players do nothing about it.Now where else in the world has this ever happened??Never heard about this not even in Morphy’s day .What a piece of forkery.

  17. I think Jackie is talking about “open vs. closed” in terms of whether the tournament freely invited players outside of Angola. Darren is talking about closed concept in norm tournaments where there is usually a round robin of hand-selected players.

    Foreign players get appearance fees if they have a higher title, higher rating and if they are a professional. Normally, no Angola player would get a fee equal to Simutowe or Galego.

    The Angolan chess Federation (ACF) is under new management with a full determination to rediscover the administration form that gave birth to IM titles in the rapid pace of the 90’s.
    This event was well funded by a beer company Cuca. The event received massive publicity both in print & TV coverage. Players were well catered for in accomodation and meals. Transporting players from Hotel to the playing hall through the rush-hours was a bit of a shlap but otherwise it was all good for visitors.
    The mutiny by local top players was in my opinion was to have been avoided at all cost. I was reliably informed that this was as a result of a breakdown in negotiations, as no amicable compromise could be found. At the center of this tuck of war is the new administrations strategy to stage events inside the country as opposed to the erstwhiles reliance on sending huge delegations of top players and managers to foreign countries. For instance, in at least the last five SA-Open Chess events, Angolans have attended in droves. Just as well entourages were seen in the Africa Continental events. The General Secretary of Angolan chess Mr.Abrao, speaking to me via a translator from their fancy two storey Chess center (The only fully fledged and lavish building dedicated for Chess I am aware of in Africa, even rivaring Turkey!), was at pains to point out that the sponsors are complaining as they were not receiving their fair deal in exposure, in Angola, hence the strategic shift in policy. It obviously should be clear now why most players don’t favour change. IM.Pedro made a compeling counter argument to me with many in attendance. That If top International Chess players come to Angola with lavish expenditures/conditions bestowed to them to assuage their travel, and mamoth prize tags almost guaranteed for their collection, then what’s in it for the local player?
    To the point, IM.Gwaze’s (who has now made RSA some kind of permanent stay and play many small 50 USD prized event plus hassling at a local park for pittance!) trip to Angola was an all expense paid affair, with a promise of thousands of Dollars (USD not Zimbabwean!) in appearence fees because he is the reigning Africa champ. How much then must the 2nd best player (IM. Pedro of Angola) receive? Total aggregate sum, many debating the issue with me screamed sponteneously! Well, ( Answering Ndawana’s question!) the African champ was prevented to travel as he showed up at the airport without his passport, only some flimsy paperwork. His passport? He said was held for some reason by the chess club owner. The club perfomance can be seen on , plus he is a regular on the playchess a rating bordering on 3000 elo (Where GM. Nigel Short is approaching 3100!). In fact I have today received a call to prod IM. Gwaze to refund the ticket already purchsed. I truly hope the two parties; Players and the ACF can resolve their difference amicably soonest.
    The ACF was prepared to do every bit possible to attract top international players, many found it hard to believe. Let’s hope players will respond in kind for the next slated events. Simutowe has done well to win the event. In the end I believe he won the hearts of many young Angolan girls, due to the fact that he is indeed a bachelor, something that was very obvious in their admiration for him!

  19. I understand Pedro’s issue, but local players have to realize how they benefit from strong foreign players playing in their countries and that the travel and other expenses these players incur necessitates the conditions they command.

    What’s in it for the local player? A norm possibility is one attractive feature. Angolan players are getting an opportunity to play stronger competition that may not otherwise be available to unless they spend money to travel abroad. Foreign competition is also good for attracting sponsorship and an international field helps attract media attention.

    Unfortunately, Pedro cannot earn GM norms unless they get three GMs. Is he willing to bear the expense of travelling abroad to get those norms or would he rather have strong foreign players play in his country?

  20. Hi Daaim,
    The point you are making is precisely what the ACF has advanced as inter alia reasons for their shift in policy. It is cost-effective, it will generate publicity thereby attracting sponsors on the local front. Furthermore, visiting players can build relations by performing exhibitions and interviews which in turn popularise chess.
    I firmly believe that in the long run, the benefits of hosting events locally outweighs sending players abroad. This is why many countries will bid to host sporting events domestically.
    The stand point that the Angolan top players took particularly when it comes to financial compensation has merits and must be carefully considered and should not be dismissed as greed.

  21. i am impressed with the updates of the angolan tournament.but i keep wondering why there is terrible starvavation with news on simutowe his blog is occasionally updated and very late. what can i do to get the latest developments on simutowe in time and frequently i will be very happy to follow his performance closely for i wish him al the best!

  22. Well Richard,

    There is as much information as people make available. There are no reporters on the ground and only Jackie took the initiative to post here. I’m not sure Amon wants his every result publicized on this site. However, I will ask him for more assistance in this area. He may not realize the importance of this.

  23. I am quite surprised with negative comments about CUCA BGI Tournament since we did everything we could to provide accomodation, flight tickets and food at cost zero to all SADC chess players.

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