Wilbert Paige is smashing success as FM Muhammad shines!!

The first Wilbert Paige Memorial tournament is history and what an event it was! Bolstered by a field of strong players of African descent, the tourney featured fighting chess and several tense battles. When the smoke from the boards cleared, FM Stephen Muhammad emerged as the sole victor of the tournament with 6 points. Losing only to FM Kenny Solomon (5 points), FM Muhammad came well-prepared and was the most consistent player racking up five wins along the way.  FM Muhammad defeated Zambian star, IM Amon Simutowe (4 points) in an interesting game and later outplayed IM Watu Kobese in a positional struggle.  It would be IM Kobese's only loss of the tournament. . . the South African IM finished joint 2nd with IM Michael Schleifer, both scoring 6 points.

FM Stephen Muhammad

FM Stephen Muhammad

Based in Columbus, Georgia, FM Muhammad made the trek to earn the IM norm that has eluded him for a number of years. His hopes are to gain invitations to future IM tournaments and gain the two additional norms for the title. FM Muhammad was pleased at this IM result which also included 1st place in the historic tournament. . . held in the heart of Harlem on 125th street.  He asserts that his best game was his win over IM Simutowe, a game where both sides could've stepped on a land mine. He was also impressed with the play of FM Solomon, who played inspired chess the entire tournament and would be his only loss. This could definitely be a breakthrough for FM Muhammad, who sent a clear message by "norming" the tournament with two rounds left. Congratulations FM Muhammad!!

The official website. . . Wilbert Paige Memorial

Muhammad's best games

Muhammad-Simutowe, 1-0
Muhammad-Kobese, 1-0 (earned IM norm with this win)

Posted by The Chess Drum: 24 July 2001