The 1st Wilbert Paige Memorial. . . a historic event!!

The Wilbert Paige Memorial will prove to be a truly historic event as all of the participants gear up for the big "throw down." The recent IM norm performances of FM William Morrison and NM Norman  Rogers adds more significance to this historic event. With the spirit riding high on IM Amon's Simutowe's international success and the respective accomplishments of the participants, this tournament hopes to attract media attention, and most certainly hundreds of visitors over the ten-day period.

The tournament is the brainchild of
Dr. Jones Murphy, who asked International Arbiter Jerry Bibuld (at the 2001 National Open) about the cost of an IM norm tourney for African-Americans Masters. Mr. Bibuld provided an estimate and suggested the field be expanded to include other players of African descent. They agreed and the Wilbert Paige Memorial has born.

Both Dr. Murphy and Mr. Bibuld had collaborated on earlier tournaments with similar themes. Dr. Murphy sponsored the first such tournament back in 1994 - the first of two Murphy - ACF International tournaments. Mr. Bibuld was the primary organizer of those tournaments which have served as precursors to the upcoming Wilbert Paige Memorial. This tournament will boast the strongest field of any invitational tournament featuring players of African descent. 

Despite the battles with the U.S. Consulate in initially denying (then granting) a visa for Uganda's
Grace Nsubuga, everything appears to be in order. The tournament, named after the late Philadelphia Master Wilbert Paige, will take place in Harlem, NY from July 14-23. GM Maurice Ashley will provide commentary and will be assisted by NM Jerald Times and NM Elvin Wilson. The following lineup has been set:

(Title, Name, Country, FIDE Rating)

IM Amon Simutowe (ZAM) 2470
IM Michael Schleifer (CAN) 2374
IM Watu Kobese (RSA) 2373
FM William Morrison (USA) 2381
FM Stephen Muhammad (USA) 2307
FM Ronald Simpson (USA) 2296
FM Kenneth Solomon (RSA) 2290
NM Norman Rogers (USA) 2272
NM Grace Nsubuga (UGA) 2264
NM Ernest Colding (USA) 2258

Average FIDE Rating = 2328.5 (Category IV)

The Chess Drum is the official site of the Wilbert Paige tournament and any further details will be posted at a later date. The games will also be carried at the Internet Chess Club (ICC). Come to Harlem and see history in the making!!

Read Jerry Bibuld's press release!!
Follow the action at the Wilbert Paige Memorial site!!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 23 May 2001