2007 U.S. Open: Simutowe upsets Nakamura!

IM Amon Simutowe on his way to beating top seed GM Hikaru Nakamura. Photo by Michael Williams.

Zambian International Master Amon Simutowe delivered a resounding defeat to Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura in fine style to increase his score to 6-0. Simutowe told The Chess Drum that his approach is to remain relaxed during the game. His norm chances in this tournament are contingent on playing two more GMs and at least 8/9 score. At press time, The Chess Drum is checking on the detail with the FIDE Commission on Ratings and Titles.

In this game, Simutowe faced the Dutch and immediately the game reached a tense stage when Nakamura belted out 8Ne5. After 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.e4 f4 11.gxf4 exf4 12.Bxf4, Nakamura kept the imbalance with 12 Nxe4!? The game continued on a tortuous path as Simutowe broke on the queenside and his bishops zipped around the board like lasers.

Nakamura was playing very quickly and probably did not appreciate the danger of his position. Simutowe's pieces reached a menacing position after 26.Rc7 and on 26Bxd5, Simutowe uncorked the crushing
27.Rxg7! (position right) At this point, Simutowe had taken a lot of time and had only a couple of minutes left, but the position is clearly winning. On the other hand Nakamura had about 88 minutes remaining, but all the time in the world could not save him.

Simutowe uncorks the crushing 27.Rxg7!

The U.S. phenom played a few more moves before, but resigned shortly before being mated. (see game) Outstanding performance by the Zambian who received a crush of fans and congratulatory remarks afterwards. He now has a plus-score against Nakamura and moved to 6-0 in the tournament. This is by far Simutowe's best result in quite some time and it highlights the days of old when the Zambian was terrorizing his opposition.

Monroi is providing
live coverage and Jennifer Shahade is filing reports at uschess.org. Coverage and blogging available at The Chess Drum.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 4 August 2007

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