Muhammad awarded the IM title!

FIDE has awarded Stephen Muhammad the IM title early today after deciding that he had indeed reached the requisite 2400 mark after his performance at the 2006 World Open. He was conditionally awarded the IM title after scoring his third and final IM norm at the 2003 U.S. Championship. Muhammad eventually earned five IM norms but needed the 2400 rating requirement According to his personal FIDE card, he had a pre-tournament rating of 2386 and gained 16.20 ELO points. While his 2400 rating was never published in the FIDE rating supplement, rules outlined by the FIDE Handbook state,

"1.50c1 Such a rating need not be published. It can be obtained in the middle of a rating period, or even in the middle of a tournament. The player may then disregard subsequent results for the purpose of their title application. However the burden of proof then rests with the  federation of the title applicant. It is recommended that players receive a certificate from the Chief Arbiter where they achieve the  rating level during an event. Title applications based on unpublished ratings shall only be accepted by FIDE after agreement with the Rating Administrator."

IM Stephen Muhammad

IM Stephen Muhammad

After Muhammad's inquiry to FIDE's Casto Abundo and Nadia Ulyumdzhieva, the above ruling was sent to the United States Chess Federation  so they could take the appropriate follow-up actions. After investigation, the following letter was sent to Muhammad and officials of the USCF:

Dear Sirs,

Please note that IM TA for Mr. Muhammad, Stephen, ID# 2003228, SA was considered by the Presidential Board Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria in 2003 and awarded conditionally on rating.

Mr. Casto Abundo, FIDE Rating Administrator, has confirmed that the player achieved the required 2400 rating for the IM title in the interim period (October 2006). Thus, the title is awarded.

The personal card of the player will be updated soon.

Best regards,

Nadia Ulyumdzhieva
Elista FIDE office

GM Evgeny Najer vs. IM-elect Stephen Muhammad at 2006 World Open.

Stephen Muhammad (right) vs. GM Evgeny Najer at the 2006 World Open. Muhammad eclipsed the 2400 barrier while Emory Tate (background) earned his 3rd IM norm in this tournament.

U.S. Chess online runs article on Muhammad!

Posted by The Chess Drum:  19 March 2007