Simutowe scores 3rd GM-norm in Euwe Stimulans

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Yesterday Zambia-born IM Amon Simutowe scored his 3rd GM norm by drawing his 8th round game of the Euwe Stimulans Tournament in Arnhem, The Netherlands. If I counted correctly, when he gets his rating over 2500 he will become Africa's 6th grandmaster, after Hichem Hamdouchi (Morocco), Ahmed Adly, Bassem Amin (both Egypt), Slim Belkhodja and Slim Boaziz (both Tunisia). Simutowe's success is a nice bonus for an already great tournament; for their first edition the organizers of the Euwe Stimulus had managed to bring together a very special group of participants.

The press release that was published before the tournament started, described the field of participants as follows:

"It will be an interesting cross-pollination between very experienced globetrotters and ambitious youngsters. This tournament formula was inspirired by the important role that was played by the former Dutch world champion Max Euwe as president of the world chess federation FIDE in the seventies, popularizing the game of chess worldwide. Fridrik Olafsson was Euwe's successor as president of FIDE; Oscar Panno was youth world champion in 1953.

Besides Gaprindashvili, Olafsson and Panno there's also the young IM's Helgi Dam Ziska of the Faer?ɬ?er Islands, Amon Simutowe from Zambia and the 17-year-old champion of New Zealand Puchen Wang. From The Netherlands there's the 21-year-old WGM Bianca Muhren (runner-up at the Dutch national women's championship in 2006), IM Willy Hendriks, who will hunt for his 2nd GM norm and the big 17-year-old talent Vincent Rothuis, who will try to gain his 3rd IM norm, and with it the IM title, in Arnhem."

Later the organizers managed to contract the Indian GM Dibyendu Barua, with an elo of 2468 the strongest player in the international round-robin. But it has become the tournament of Simutowe, who scored his final norm already in the penultimate round. He could have done it a bit more convincingly, which he also admitted himself. In the 7th round he was lucky when he beat Bianca Muhren in a drawn rook ending and he should have lost yesterday's game that ended in a draw. Well, anyway, the result is there and it's a great achievement.

In any case Simutowe is a remarkable person because he's said to have reached this level without any external help (trainers that is). So there's still hope: these days you can still become a GM by self-study. But the Zambian should start learning the FIDE Rules of Chess properly, because in his game against Hendriks he managed to ask the arbiter, in mutual timetrouble, how many more moves he had to make!

As always, Peter Boel's round reports are a joy to read and I have not much to add. What I can tell you is that lots of very interesting games have been played so I recommend clicking on that last hyperlink. Or download the PGN file.

The biggest entertainer is Vincent Rothuis, who wasn't rewared at all for his attractive chess thus far. This talented boy is said to deal with concentration problems and to have decided not to play in the Dutch League the coming season, as was mentioned on the Dutch forum Utrechtschaak this week. Hopefully all this is temporary.

The last thing I want to mention is the great initiative of the organizers to invite the participants to write a column for the tournament website. So far Willy Hendriks, Puchen Wang, Vincent Rothuis, Nona Gaprindashvili, Helgi Ziska, Fridrik ?É‚Äúlafsson and Bianca Muhren have written something already. Recently something similar was done on the website of the US Championship, where some of the participants were blogging about their tournament. Hopefully we will see this kind of "chess Web 2.0" a lot more in the future.

Standings with one more round to go:

 1. IM  Amon Simutowe        Zambia           2421  7,0 
 2. IGM Dibyendu Barua       India            2462  6,0 
 3. FM  Puchen Wang          New Zealand      2348  5,0 
 4. IGM Nona Gaprindashvili  Georgia          2364  5,0 
 5. IGM Fri?ɬ?rik ?É‚Äúlafsson     Iceland          2452  3,5 
 6. WGM Bianca Muhren        The Netherlands  2334  3,5 
 7. IM  Willy Hendriks       The Netherlands  2420  3,5 
 8. IGM Oscar Panno          Argentina        2457  3,5 
 9. IM  Helgi Ziska          Faer?ɬ?er          2408  2,5 
10. Vincent Rothuis          The Netherlands  2441  0,5

Today Barua and Simutowe play each other. If Barua wins, this result decides and he'll also win the tournament. Live games at 13:00 CET here.

During the tournament there's also an exhibition of Schaakkunst, the project of Margreet Wevers and Geert van Tongeren (schaak=chess and kunst=art). Schaakkunst made contact with several artists who use the theme chess in their work. They organized their first exhibition in April 2006 and now they are often present at chess tournaments works of chess-art, e.g. during the Dutch Championship and at the Corus Chess Tournament.

Boldriaan: "Stalemate"

Henryette Weijmar Schultz: "The conversation"

Henk Boon: "The Rook"

Ket: "Home"

Most of the work shown is for sale and can be found at the online shop.
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