Sam Sloan, world-class chess gadfly

by ChessBase
8/26/2003 – USCF candidate, taxi-driver, polygamist, gadfly – all these epitaphs fit one of the most colorful personalities in world chess. Sam Sloan has been jailed in Afthanistan, fought Pakistani kidnappers, had lunch with terrorist mastermind bin Laden, fled US courts who want access to his father's alleged $50 million fortune. And you thought that chess players led dull lives?

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Sam Sloan was born on Sep 7th, 1944 and grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia. His farther was a lawyer; his mother a doctor. Sam had a perfect score in his math college boards and was a winner in the Virginia Science Talent Search. He went to the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in math. He is a fairly strong chess player, has lived in many different countries.

He has been married to ladies with names like Dayawathie Pedigedera Rankoth, Anda Baumanis, Shamema Honzagool, Shanti Latha Vithange and Kayo Kimura, from whom he has eight children. In 1979 he changed his name to M. Ismail Sloan, but still uses the name Samuel H. Sloan when appropriate.

Sloan runs the web site, which is optimised for length and simplicity of design. It is essentially a super-blog, started a decade before blogs were invented. We spent a number of hours surfing the site and came up with the following (really tiny) selection of articles for you to read. Some are very long and require real committment on the part of the reader. A stiff drink is useful to help wade through the stories.

All articles have background music, Midi files of classical music. They can be stopped by clicking the "Stop" button of your browser.

Have fun reading the following articles. Some sound outrageous and strain our credence. We have known Sam Sloan for decades and can confirm that each article is more or less accurate.

  • Who is Sam Sloan?
    Tells the story of a man who has spent a lifetime running from a circuit judge of Lynchburg, Virginia, who accuses him of hiding a $50 million dollar fortune belonging to a lady who married his father on his deathbed. [Minuet for Anna Magdalena Bach]

  • Candidacy for the USCF Executive Board
    In July 16 Sam Sloan was one of six candidates for three seats on the USCF Executive Board. After "relentlous attacks" by detractors in the US chess establishment he came in fifth. [Strauss: Blue Danube]

  • Complaint mailed to Chief Executive General of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf
    Tells of a conspiracy in New York and Chitral, Pakistan, to kidnap his Chitrali wife Honzagool and appealing to the ruler of Pakistan to arrange the arrest, prosecution, trial and execution of the guilty parties.

  • Peter Sloan discovers Gata Kamsky
    Sam's son Peter Aravena Sloan lives in Brooklyn, near the home of Gata Kamsky, who was previously the number three chess player in the world and who lost a match for the World Chess Championship to Karpov, after defeating Anand in a match. At the behest of his dominating father Gata gave us chess to study medicine in the 90s. Peter dug up Kamsky and photographed the reclusive Russian player. Subsequently he took down the web page after Kamsky e-mailed him several times and asked him to do so. [Strauss: Blue Danube]

  • Descendants of Lady Godiva
    In 1043 Lady Godiva rode naked on horseback in the streets of Coventry, England. This incident created such a stir that people are still talking about this now nearly one thousand years later. The question is: why did she do it? To protest against taxes, including the tax on horses, Sloan says. And reveals that "so-called President George W. Bush is the 33rd great grandson of Lady Godiva." [No music]

  • Kasparov defeats computer with Sam Sloan's move
    Garry Kasparov easily defeated World Computer Champion Deep Junior by playing Sam Sloan's move g4. Kasparov said in a press conference after the game that he realized that the computer would not know what to do if faced with this move g4 and that the computer would lose. He did not acknowledge Sloan's contribution to his victory. [Strauss: Blue Danube]

  • How I escaped from an Afghani jail
    Sam Sloan was the first person to enter Afghanistan after the fateful coup of April 28, 1978. He was thrown into jail and escaped. The story was too long for us to read, but the passages we did skim were quite fascinating. [Music: Lallo Gori]

  • Osama bin Laden – an old friend of Sam Sloan makes the news
    "I am not positive but I believe that I had lunch with bin Laden in the New Meran Hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan in the Summer of 1981. He did not say much and ate with his fingers. He said in very limited English that he bring money to the Afghan freedom fighters." [Music: Lallo Gori]

  • Ilyumzhinov, go-between from Putin to Saddam Hussein?
    Why die FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov travel to Baghdad on March 15, 2003, knowing that the USA was just getting ready to bomb the place? Kirsan has often said that he is a friend of Saddam Hussein. Is it possible that he was secretly supplying technology and weapons to the Iraqi dictator? [Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf]

  • A letter to the Unabomber
    Sam Sloan and Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) both attended the University of California at Berkeley at the same time, both were in the Math Department in Campbell Hall together, but probably did not meet. Sloan offers to publish Kaczynski's writings on his web site. Kaczynski snubbed Sloan and signed a book deal with Context Media. [Johann Pachabel: Canon in D]

  • Elvis Presley Lobby Cards
    Now pay attention: In 1982 Sloan took his baby daughter to Virginia because the house in which he was staying was surrounded by Pakistanis trying to get at the child. He stopped at a friends house and found some very rare twenty-year-old publicity photos of Elvis Presley. Now he is selling hundreds of them on Ebay. [Presley: Love Me Tender]

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register