Pawn and Move Odds

Neil Brennen, who is rated 1573 by the USCF, has expressed disbelief that I can successfully give him the handicap of pawn and move. He is mistaken. Not only can I easily give him that handicap, but I would probably never lose even one game to Neil Brennen at those odds.

This is not only because of the fact that I have a vastly superior IQ to that of Neil Brennen, a gap which he is utterly incapable of comprehending, but because the game of chess is deeper than he can possibly imagine.

Not only that, but I have often demonstrated that I can give the handicap of queen, knight and bishop (all three) to the average casual non-tournament player and win almost every game.

Not only could I easily give Neil Brennen the handicap of pawn and move, but I could probably give the average 1700 player that handicap and win most, although probably not all, of the games.

To put the shoe on the other foot, there was a player at New York's Flea House who could consistently give me the handicap of pawn and two moves (not just one move) at five minute chess. His name was Julian Sussman. He was from Israel. We used to play at those odds for ten dollars a game. I was not a kid. I was a mature player rated about 2100. Sussman did not have a chess rating at all, yet he was able to win money from me at these odds.

I am trying to remember how he did this. This is what I can recall.

Remove Black's King Bishop Pawn.

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nc6 3. d5 Ne5 4. f4 Nf7

Note how black has made use of the fact that the pawn normally on f7 is missing.

5. Nc3 e5 6. fxe5 Nxe5 7. Nf3 Bg4

Now, look at the position. Black has a solid, secure position. White's position is full of holes. Black will soon play Nf6, Be7 and O-O and have a very secure king position. White does not know which side he will castle on, but in either case his king position will be weak and subject to attack.

Julian Sussman was a professional chess hustler. His strength was probably in the 2200-2300 range. I spent years trying but could never decisively defeat him at these odds. I have not seen him in 30 years and have no idea what happened to him.

For how much money does Neil Brennen wish to play me at these odds? Shall we play for say $100 per game? How about one thousand dollars?

Sam Sloan

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