Solomon gets Olympiad double norm!

In the past few years, life has really changed for IM Kenny Solomon. Now married with a daughter and living in Italy, his life has a new purpose. When I interviewed Solomon after the sixth round, I asked him if this life change helped his chess and he stated that it has dual effects. Whether by coincidence or intention, one cannot deny that since these life changes and the move to Europe, Solomon’s game has gotten stronger. This was made evident by his sterling GM norm performance in Istanbul.


GM-elect Kenneth Solmon of South Africa.
Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

In the 40th Chess Olympiad Solomon manned board #1 for the Republic of South Africa and had been in the team since the 1998 Olympiad in Elista. However, this Olympiad will become his crown glory after earning a double norm at the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. It is rare that a player from a lower-tier nation would get such an opportunity to play strong players each round so it is also a credit to the South African team.

Contrary to rumors circulating, a player cannot earn the GM title simply by scoring a 2600 performance in the Olympiad. What occurred in Solomon’s case is confirmed by the rules. According to FIDE Handbook, a GM norm (nine games or better) at the Olympiad counts as a 20-game norm. In other words, the one norm counts as two.

Thus, Kenny adds these two norms to the one he had in Italy and gets the required three norms. He only has to get his ELO rating to 2500 to complete the requirements. His title will officially remain “IM” until he reaches that plateau.

IM Kenny Solomon (FIDE 2414)
Title Player
Nation
Flag
ELO Result
IM Oladapo Adu
Nigeria
Nigeria
2227
GM Zhang Zhong
Singapore
Singapore
2595
GM Dragan Solak
Turkey
Turkey
2505
GM Giovanni Vescovi
Brazil
Brazil
2617
GM Yannick Pelletier
Switzerland
Switzerland
2595
GM Ivan Morovic
Chile
Chile
2575
GM Jaime Cuartas
Columbia
Columbia
2521
GM Veselin Topalov
Bulgaria
Bulgaria
2752
GM Osvaldo Zambrana
Bolivia
Bolivia
2471
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
France
France
2686
Score: 5½-4½ (GM norm)

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

14 Comments

  1. In 2001, when Kenny visited New York for the World Open and Wilbert Paige Memorial, I told him he would be a Grandmaster. He was surprised that I made that comment, but I saw a fighting spirit in his play that is a requirement for that level. Kenny has it and it has served him well.

    The last 50 ELO points will not be easy and he no doubt will set a plan to obtain them hopefully in strong tournaments with no one rated lower than he. He should not do any tournaments where he is the top-seed from this point until he gets the 2-5 rating.

    Congratulations Kenny on the fine performance!

  2. Congratulations to GM- elect kenny solomon. I will eagerly await your attainment of 2500 elo and confirmation as GM. After that, i will want you to keep your rating above 2500.

  3. Congrats to GM-in-wating Kenny Solomon from the Jamaican chess fraternity. We were proud to see how Kenny and Watu tackled the GMs in Istanbul. Watu outclassed the roughly 2700 Bulgarian Georgiev and had the superGM Laurent Fressinet on the ropes before the Frenchman managed to bail with a draw. Keep representing! Not even the sky is the limit!

  4. a 9-game (or more) norm is equivalent to 20-game norm (means an ordinary 9 game GM norm is promoted to 20 game)….. while a GM performance (2600) will earn a 13-Game norm – also, FM Henry Steel, earned a 20-Game Norm, for the IM title.

    1. Incorrect. YOU READ WRONG. The comment is that you cannot earn at GM TITLE with a single 2600 performance. I did not say NORM. Read it more carefully. You cannot earn a GM title in the same way you can earn an IM title (outright with a single result). That was what was being circulated.

  5. I remember kenny solomon from the wilbert paige memorial and I was impressed with his play as well. He is deserving of these GM norms and I congratulate him wholeheartedly for his efforts and look forward to seeing him officially crowned in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button