By RONALD CHAWE -
REIGNING national chess champion Andrew Kayonde says he will this year chase down at least one of the three Grandmaster (GM) norms he needs to become a GM.
Kayonde, who is also International Master (IM), said in an interview yesterday that he would pursue two main fundamentals that will give him the GM norms on his road to becoming a GM.
He said first he would identify and make sure he enters events represent realistic chances for increasing is world rating to the required level to get him a GM norm.
Kayonde said the first step is to strategise towards attaining the ambition and that already, he had registered to take part in the first GM Norm tournament taking place from June 2-12 in Budapest, Hungary.
“To become Grandmaster, there are two fundamental things I need to do. First, I need to attain an international rating of 2500 which means getting an additional 90 points to my current 2411.
“And secondly, I need to get three GM Norms implying a 2600 rating performance in three separate events with GMs from at least three different federations in them,’ he said.
He said provided he make it into the national team after trials set for next month, he would participate in the African individual chess championships and later represent Zambia on Board-One at the Chess Olympiads in Batumi, Georgiain September
The five-time national champion also said that is Zambia hosts GM norm tournament this year as the Mukubulo Chilufya family did last year, he would take part in it.
Last year’s event held at Henry Courtyard Executive Lodge in Mansa attracted four GMs coming came from Russia, Israel, Egypt and India while the six IMs came from the host country Zambia and Uganda.
He said such an event presented pragmatic chances for improving the rating and getting the GM Norm that he wants to hunt down.
Kayonde said based on his performance, he feels he can attain the GM status that Zambia gravely covets.
He however, said over time it has become clear to him that issues such as negotiation of tournament conditions, networking and attempts towards self-promotion require quite a significant level of direct involvement and time.
He said with increasing demands from other aspects of life, striking a fine balance between chess personal life was becoming possible.
“Grand Master level chess is not easy and to have any real chance of attaining it and staying competitive, I figured out that I need to spend more time training instead of worrying about the administrative aspects which may at times be very draining,” he said.
Zambia only has one GM in Amon Simutowe.