Another Glorious Victory for 1. g4

Dr. Frank Brady, who plays chess for St. John's University, could not make it to the league match last night because he had to attend a party for his brother's new book which just came out, so he asked me to fill in for him instead.

The opposing team representing Salomon Smith Barney was rated much higher than we were. However, the match was interesting. The games were not rated. Otherwise, I would have gotten 23 rating points for my victory. On the other hand, if the game had been rated, it is possible that my opponent would not have played the risky exchange sacrifice he played.

The result was the best game I have played since 1997, when I beat a master in Dallas to prove to my new girlfriend at the time Passion Julinsey what a great man I was.

I suppose that this new victory was in celebration of my new baby girl Sandra who was born four days earlier on November 11.

In the game below, simply cut and paste into any PGN reader, to play it over on your computer.

The Final Position, Sloan vs. Scott
Black is in checkmate

[Event "Bankers Athletic League"]
[Site "New York NY"]
[Date "2001.11.15"]
[White "Sloan, Sam"]
[Black "Scott, David A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "1952"]
[BlackElo "2131"]
[Annotator "Sam Sloan"]
[PlyCount "71"]

1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 dxc4 {After the game, my 
opponent suggested that he should have played instead 
3. ... d4. This seems to be a big improvement, as the 
pawn on d4 will restrict White's development and may 
provide more compensation for the sacrifice of the 
exchange.} 4. Bxb7 Nd7 5. Bxa8 5... Qxa8 {Several times 
players have played this exchange sacrifice against me, 
but usually in five minute games. I almost always win when
somebody tries this. I once defeated Grandmaster Dzindzichasvili when he
played this exchange sacrifice against me. That was one of my most memorable
victories against a grandmaster in a five minute game. He did not repeat this
but played other lines against 1. g4 whenever I played him again. That was the
only time I can remember ever beating him.} 6. f3 {This move is necessary. If
I play 6. Nf3 instead, he plays 6. ... Bxf3 7. exf3 Ne5 and I am going to get
crushed or mated very quickly.} 6... Ngf6 {The only time anybody ever played
this exchange sacrifice against me in a rated tournament game was master Dr.
Ariel Mengarini who played this against me in 1978. However, instead of 6. ...
Ngf6, he played e5 followed by Be7 and Bh4+. My mistake was that I played 9.
Kf1 and eventually got checkmated. I felt that had I played 9. Kd1 I would
have had a winning game. Unfortunately, I no longer have the scoresheet.} 7.
Nc3 {My original plan was too play 7. Qa4 to delay the knight from developing.
However, I then decided that I had nothing to fear from a knight move for the
reasons which follow.} 7... Nc5 8. b4 cxb3 9. axb3 9... Be6 {He wants to trap
my queen, but I found a good way out. I believe that instead he should have
played 9. ... e5 here.} 10. d4 10... Nxb3 {He can also take with the bishop,
of course. The game is starting to get complicated.} 11. Rb1 Nxc1 {
If he tries to defend with the queen with 11. ... Qb7, I win a piece with 12.
d5. In working out these variations, be sure to keep counting the pieces. It
is often easy to overlook that I am a rook up.} 12. Rxc1 Bd7 13. e4 e6 14. Nge2
Bb4 15. Kf2 15... a5 {During the game, I thought that this was a silly attempt
to try to queen the pawn. However, he says that this was just to solidify his
bishop's position.} 16. Rg1 16... Nh5 {I think he should have castled here.
However, if he does I get a ferocious attack involving Qd2 and Qg5. I am not
sure that Black can survive.} 17. Rg5 g6 18. Nb5 O-O 19. Rxc7 Qd8 20. Qc1 {
He felt that I had fallen into a trap here, and he was almost right. I did not
fully see the consequences of this. However, I was a bit lucky in that from
here on out I was always able to find a way to keep my attack going.} 20... f6
{After the game, he said that he should have gone 20. ... h6 here. However, I
do not agree. I would just go 21. Re5 and he would have the same problems plus
would have created a weakness on h6.} 21. Rxh5 gxh5 22. Nf4 {I was fortunate
to be able to find this move. Other alternatives such as 22. Na7 would just
leave me with a difficult game.} 22... Kh8 {He said after the game that he
almost blundered with 22. ...  Bxb5, falling into instant mate with 23. Qg1+
Kh8 24. Qg7 mate. I have seen even grandmasters make worse blunders than that.
However, 22. ... Kh8 was not the right move. Perhaps 22. ... Rf7 could have
been played} 23. Ng6+ hxg6 24. Qh6+ Kg8 25. Qxg6+ Kh8 26. Qxh5+ {My original
intention was to play 26. Rc1 here, threatening mate. The lines are very
complicated and it would be nice to have a computer work on this. For example,
if 26. ... Qe8, then 27. Qh6+ Kg8 28. Rg1+ Kf7 29. Rg7 mate. The reason I did
not play 26. Rc1 was that I suddenly realized that the bishop on b4 protects
the rook on f8. Otherwise, I would have an instant win with 26. ... Qe7 27. Qh6
Kg8 28. Rg1+ Kf2 29. Qg6 mate, because if 27. ... Qh7 28. Qxf8?} (26. Rc1 Qe7)
26... Kg7 27. d5 (27. Rc1 Rf7 28. Rg1+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Rg8 Be8) 27... Rh8
28. Qg4+ {Now, I think I have him. I think there is no way out. However, there
are a lot of tricks left in the position and many opportunities for me to
blunder.} 28... Kf8 29. dxe6 {It is important to keep noting the power of the
rook. He cannot move the bishop on d7 because of instant checkmate.} 29... Bc5+
30. Rxc5 Bxe6 31. Qf4 {This move is a killer because the queen on f4 defends
both d2 and h2. Otherwise I would be in deep trouble because he would have
Qxd2+ or Rxh2+.} 31... Bh3 32. Nd6 {White still has lots of losing chances.
For example, if 32. Rd5 then 32. ... Qb6 + might cause problems.} 32... Ke7 33.
e5 33... f5 {Black is lost no matter what he does, but this move stumbles into 
 mate.} 34. Qg5+ Kd7 35. Qg7+ Ke6 36. Qf7# {I should not gloat too long over 
this victory because after all White had a winning position on the very first 
move.} 1-0
After the game he said that he had looked up my rating before the game and he had decided to play a wild complicated line because players with my rating usually blunder in that situation.

However, in my case, I think that is the wrong strategy. I thrive in wild complicated positions. To beat me the best strategy I think is to play some deadly dull, drawish line, as I will often get frustrated and attack unsoundly.

Sam Sloan

Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page

My Home Page

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: