Amon Simutowe: 3 Facts About The Third Black Chess Grandmaster From Africa

| How Africa News


At the age of ten, Amon Simutowe was introduced to the game of chess by his brother. Though football was his first love, chess quickly surpassed it as he learned more about the intriguing board game. He has now established himself as a driving force in the game within the sub-region. It’s hardly surprising that he won his first chess event at the age of 12 and the Zambian Under 21 National Championship the following year. The same year, he finished fifth in the African Junior Chess Championship.

His exceptional performance in the game earned him the moniker “Zambezi Shark” after he won the African Junior Chess Championship in 1999 and 2000, with scores of 12/13 and 11/11, respectively. He is presently the world’s third black grandmaster, but here are three facts about the Zambezi Shark you should know.

Losing his mother at a very young age did not deter him from reaching for greatness

Amon was born on January 6, 1982, and his mother died before he turned two. After his brother introduced him to the board game in 1994, he had a strong desire to compete in local tournaments in Zambia. At the age of 13, he had won the under-21 national championship, and despite his youth, he had his sights set on greater things. In 1996, he competed in the Chess Olympiad and represented Zambia in the National Chess Championship. He later won the entire tournament at the age of 14 and arrived at his desired target in 1998, when he became an international master.


He became the first African chess grandmaster in 2007

Amon was named Zambia’s Sportsman of the Year in 2001, but despite his celebrity, he believed he needed to improve his academic performance. He traveled to the United States to study finance and economics at the University of Texas, which he considered as an important step toward becoming a grandmaster. His desire came true in 2007, when he was named grandmaster, the first in Africa and third in the world. According to the Chess Institute of Canada, his intense interest in tactics and remarkable aggressive style launched him into the ranks of success.


He temporarily took a break from competitive chess games after achieving his dream

Amon received a lot of attention after he obtained the grandmaster title, which was merely the beginning of another journey to greater success. He nearly finished first in the United States chess tournament, nearly defeating Nakamura, the grandmaster. According to chess, he had six straight wins in nine games at the Euwe Stimulans event in the Netherlands in 2007.

He did, however, take some time off to relax after achieving the grandmaster title, and he briefly ceased competitive chess games when he finally realized his desire of having his name written in chess history books. His commitment to his studies won him a master’s degree from the University of Oxford. He now instructs chess aficionados on a part-time basis.

Written by How Africa News

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