Friends in the world of chess:
The Wilbert Paige Memorial International Chess Tournament will be held at the
old Hotel Theresa building in Harlem from 14 through 23 July 2001. It will
be a FIDE Cat. IV tournament, wherein International Master norms can be
earned. It not only will be the first international chess tournament ever
held in Harlem, but also the strongest tournament in history in which every
player either has been born in Africa or is of relatively recent African
Following is the list of players, with their FIDE affiliates and their April
2001 FIDE ratings:
NM Ernest ("Steve") Colding (USA) 2258
IM Watu Kobese (RSA) 2373
NM Grace Nsubuga (UGA) 2264
FM William Morrison (USA) 2381
FM Stephen Muhammad (USA) 2307
NM Norman ("Pete") Rogers (USA) 2272
IM Michael Schleifer (CAN) 2374
FM Ronald Simpson (USA) 2296
IM Amon Simutowe (ZAM) 2470
NM Kenneth Solomon (RSA) 2290
Average FIDE Rating = 2328.5 (Cat. IV).
I shall be Chief Arbiter.
The time controls will be 40/2, 20/1, G/30.
Rounds 1-6 will take place from Saturday, 14 July, through Thursday, 19 July.
Rounds 7-9 will take place from Saturday, 21 July, through Monday, 23 July.
Friday, 20 July, will be a free day, but the participants will be requested
to interact with children of NYC from 1300 through 1600 hours on that day.
This most likely will take the form of simultaneous exhibitions and/or
question and answer sessions.
Play will start at 1500 hours on Monday through Thursday, 16-19 July, and on
Monday, 23 July. This cannot be changed, because the venue will not be
available until that time. I am asking the players to send me their ideas of
a good starting time for the weekend days.
The assignment of pairing numbers will take place at 1500 hours on Friday, 13
July. All players are invited to attend.
The tournament will be open to the public and three outstanding Afro-American
masters have volunteered to analyze the games during play: GM Maurice Ashley,
Jerald Times (who played at a FIDE 2500+ level in the recent Foxwoods Open)
and Elvin Wilson (current Philadelphia Champion). It is my hope that our
Afro-American and Latino coaches in the metropolitan NYC area will bring
their students to the playing site, where they will see ten people of color
in an international tournament and will benefit from analysis
by other outstanding players. In addition, there will be a daily bulletin
and I shall ask the players to be good enough to do their post mortems at the
demonstration boards in the analysis room. From their reception of a
proposal concerning interaction with the children on the scheduled "free"
day, I feel certain that the post mortems will be held in that way. If one
or more players object to this method of doing post mortems, they will be
assigned a room where they can interact in private.
The prize fund will be US$600 (1st), $400 (2nd), $200 (3rd). The three IMs
will receive appearance fees, as has been discussed privately with them. The
first half of the appearance fees will be paid just before Round 1. The
second half of the appearance fees will be paid just before Round 9. All
payments will be made by personal check or in U. S. currency, depending on
the desires of the recipients.
We must thank Jones Murphy for his full financial backing of the Wilbert
Paige Memorial. In fact, the idea of holding the tournament and the very
name -- memorializing one of our pioneer Afro-American USCF masters -- were
his. In addition, we are indebted to the Harlem Educational Activities Fund
(HEAF) not only for its provision of the venue at the prestigious old Hotel
Theresa site, but also for the enthusiastic cooperation of Courtney Welsh
(HEAF's Executive Director) and members of her staff, as well as for material
logistic support. GM Maurice Ashley not only has volunteered to lead
analysis of games (when his busy schedule allows), but also suggested and
arranged my dealings with HEAF, for which I am grateful. Both NM Jerald
Times and NM Elvin Wilson have volunteered their time to be analysts in the
spectators room. Finally, I wish to thank John Fernandez, Executive Vice
President of the Internet Chess Club, who volunteered to put the games,
"live", on the ICC's website and who will make sure the moves of the games
are sent from the tournament playing room to the spectators analysis room.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the above
email address or by telephone (914) 939-5023. The same number may be used
for sending facsimiles.