Chess Grandmaster Amon Simutowe has been flying under the radar since enrolling at University of Texas-Dallas for a second tour. He is completing his Master’s degree and was spotted in Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Open. The Zambian Grandmaster scored a respectable 6.5/9 and tying for joint 2nd with four other GMs and an IM.
GM Gata Kamsky won the tournament on tiebreaks over three others with 7-2: GMs Ray Robson, Alexander Stripunsky and Sergey Kudrin. Kamsky gave a recent interview stating why he has begun playing in U.S. tournaments once again after making a run in the World Championship cycle. He discussed his run culminating in the match he lost to Veselin Topalov in February 2009. Shortly thereafter, invitations started to become less frequent so he began to “go back to his roots” as he put it.
Simutowe played an interesting game against former U.S. Champion Alexander Shabalov, but went down in an exciting battle lasting 43 moves. There were a number of other players of African descent in the open section including the omnipresent IM Emory Tate (5½/9), FM Farai Mandizha of Zimbabwe (5½/9). Scholastic All-American Justus Williams also scored a strong 5½ with wins over NM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy and FM Ali Morshedi.
IM Oladapo Adu finished on 5/9 while his compatriot Dr. Okechukwu Iwu also tallied 5/9. FM Norman Rogers, NM Glenn Bady and Sylvester Smarty ended on 4/9. David Paulina and Darrian Robinson finished on 3/9. Robinson started with 2½/3 beating two masters, but then faltered losing five straight. However, the lesson is that she knows that she is capable of playing at a higher level.