Euwe Stimulans: Simutowe wins and completes GM norms

8/27/2007 – He is, we believe, the first sub-Saharan African to achieve this kind of success: 25-year-old Zambian IM Amon Simutowe won the GM tournament in Arnhem, a point ahead of the field, without loss and with a 2687 performance, completing his final GM norm in the process. Congratulations Amon. We celebrate this triumph with a beautiful pictorial by Fred Lucas.

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EUWE Stimulans 2007 in Arnhem

The Euwe Stimulans Tournament, a ten-player round robin, started on Thursday, August 16th 2007 in the Dutch city of Arnhem. It ended on Sunday, August 26, with the sensational full-point victory by a player from Zambia, Amon Simutowe, who not only did not lose a single game, but also completed his third and final GM norm in this event. Congratulations Amon!


The delighted GM-elect receiving his first prize in Arnem [Photo Ben Schulte]

Final standings

Amon actually completed his final GM norm with a round to spare, after a dramatic eigth-round encounter with IM Helgi Dam Ziska of the Faroe Islands. Simutowe had 6.5/7 needed just a draw to fulfil the norm, having won all his games but one in the previous rounds.

Ziska,H (2392) - Simutowe,A (2421) [B15]
Euwe Stimulans Arnhem NED (8), 25.08.2007
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Be3 Qb6 6.Qd2 Qxb2 7.Rb1 Qa3 8.exd5 Nf6 9.dxc6 bxc6 10.Bc4 0-0 11.Nge2 Ba6 12.Rb3 Qa5 13.Bxa6 Qxa6 14.0-0 Rd8 15.Ne4 Nbd7 16.N2c3 Qc4 17.Qe2 Nb6 18.Nd2 Qxe2 19.Nxe2 Nfd5 20.Bf2 Nc7 21.Ne4 Ne6 22.Rd3 Nd5 23.Rfd1 Nb4 24.Rc3 Rac8 25.a3 Nd5 26.Rcd3 Rb8 27.Rb3 Ndf4 28.Nxf4 Nxf4 29.Nc5 Rxb3 30.Nxb3 e5 31.Na5 exd4 32.Nxc6 Rd7 33.Kf1 Ne6 34.c3 d3 35.Nb4 d2 36.c4

No defensive play for a draw by Simutowe – the Zambian has played an aggressive Caro-Kann with nothing less than a win in mind. Now he takes a somewhat dubious decision: 36...Nc7? 37.Bxa7 Bb2 38.Ke2 Bxa3 39.Nc2 Bc1 40.Be3 Ne6 41.Bxd2 Bxd2 42.Rxd2 Nf4+ 43.Ke3 Rxd2 44.Kxd2 Nxg2

With the passed c-pawn it is only White now who has winning chances. 45.Kd3 Kf8 46.Ke4 Ke7 47.c5 f6 48.Kd5 Nf4+ 49.Kc6 Ne6 50.Kb6 f5 51.c6 Kd8 52.Ne3 f4 53.Nd5 Kc8 54.h4 Kd8 55.Nf6 h6 56.Ng4 h5 57.Ne5 Ke7. The "Zambian Shark" is staring defeat in the eye. All White has to do is play 58.c7 Nxc7

...and now recapture with the king. Maybe the player from the Faroes was a bit put off by the subtleties of lines like 59.Kxc7 Kf6 60.Nxg6 (or 60.Kd6 g5 61.Nd7+ Kf5 62.hxg5 Kxg5 63.Ke5 h4 64.Nf6 h3 65.Ng4) Kxg6 61.Kc6! or 59...g5 60.hxg5 Ke6 61.Ng6 Kf5 62.Nxf4! Kxg5 63.Nxh5 Kxh5 64.Kd6. What do normal humans do in such situations? Discard everything you have calculated and go for an inferior line: 59.Nxg6+? Kd6 60.Nxf4 Nd5+ 61.Nxd5 Kxd5 and now the game is simply drawn. 62.Kc7 Ke5 63.Kd7 Kf4 64.Ke6

64...Kg3. Simutowe could have also opted for 64...Kxf3 65.Kf5 Ke3 66.Kg5 Ke4 67.Kxh5 Kf5, which is a theoretical draw. 65.Ke5 Kxh4 66.f4 Kg3 67.f5 h4 68.f6 h3 69.f7 h2 70.f8Q h1Q and the draw is sure. 71.Qf4+ Kg2 72.Qe4+ Kg1 73.Qe1+ Kg2 74.Qd2+ Kg1 75.Qg5+ Kf2 76.Qf4+ Ke2 77.Qg4+ Qf3 ½-½. [Click to replay] One GM title for the Zambian player, if you please!


Dam Ziska and Simutowe analysing after their game


Pictorial impressions of the Euwe Stimulans


Amon Simutowe won the tournament and a GM title with a 2687 performance


In second place: Indian GM Dibyendu Barua, rated 2462


FM Wang Puchen of New Zealand, rated 2348, came third


WGM Bianca Muhren, Netherlands, rated 2334


Watch this object change: someone shows Bianca a novelty trick


Bianca analysing with Oscar Panno, with Kibitzers Eric de Winter (organiser)
and IM Herman van Riemsdijk (seated)


Oscar Panno, 72, legendary Argentinian grandmaster

Oscar Panno was the first top world chess player born in South America, following the traditions of José Raúl Capablanca. He won the World Junior Chess Championship in 1953, and the championship of Argentina the same year. He became a grandmaster at the age of twenty and had an Elo rating of around 2580 Elo in his prime. He played many very famous grandmasters, occasionally losing to them brilliantly.


17-year-old Vincent Rothuis, Netherlands, rated 2441


IM Willy Hendricks of the Netherlands, rated 2420


IM Helgi Dam Ziska of the Faroe Islands


Ziska's round eight opponent Amon Simutowe


Simutowe in action


One more – we simply can't get enough of her

More chess (and other) pictures are available on the Fred Lucas web site


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