31 July 2014

Sam Sloan and Gulf News

If you saw my post yesterday on my World Championship Blog, Zonal Clipping Update, C13-C16, you might have noticed

C14: I added a clipping from Polgar & Shutzman's 'Queen of the King's Game', documenting Polgar's exclusion from the [1987] Warsaw event in zone 3.

The heart of that clipping is a quote from Sam Sloan,

Before the FIDE General Assembly vote on whether to allow women to participate in the "men's" world championship, Sam Sloan continued his attacks in "Gulf News" [...]

The phrase 'continued his attacks' meant the second reference in the book to Sloan and Gulf News, where the first was his commentary on FIDE's infamous 1986 decision to award 100 additional rating points to all women except Susan Polgar, who was already the no.1 rated woman in the world.

Sam Sloan is no stranger to this blog. In 2008 I featured an hour-long video clip in a post titled Sam Sloan, Up Front and Personal. A year later, in You Be the Judge, I documented the status of the lawsuits involving Sloan, Polgar, and the USCF. Sloan's involvement with the Gulf News, however, was a fact I had hitherto managed to overlook.

On his own site, Anusha.com, Sloan explains the connection in WHY VOTE FOR SAM SLOAN?, an undated page which appears to have been written in 1996, when Sloan was an unsuccessful candidate for USCF President.

What really made me internationally famous as a chess journalist was the 1986 World Chess Olympiad in Dubai. There I got the chess column in the Gulf News and had the virtually unlimited opportunity to expound on the latest scandals in chess every day. This got me nearly arrested and deported several times, but the authorities finally decided that they couldn't touch me because my column was so popular.

In the next paragraph he discusses the 100 rating points.

The main thing for which I am remembered was exposing the deal to give every woman chess player in the world, except for Zsuzsa Polgar, 100 free rating points. This was a despicable deal which Don Schultz made with Campomanes and Krogius to keep Maya Chiburdanidze as the number one rated woman chess player in the world and to get Campomanes re-elected, even though Polgar was a far stronger chess player than Chiburdanidze. Eventually, my story was published in Chess Life in Larry Evans' column. (It would never have been published any where else in Chess Life.) It was also published in New in Chess magazine. Otherwise, to this day, only a handful of chess politicos would know about it. Don Schultz still says he did the right thing.

Gulf News continues today -- Gulf News, The Middle East's News homepage -- although Sam Sloan left long ago. Another page on his own site mentions that he was 'an accredited journalist from the Gulf News in Dubai' for the 1990 Manila Interzonal, which is the last reference I could find.

Why did Susan Polgar quote Sam Sloan in her 1997 book, then end up on the opposite side of lawsuits 12 years later? That is a question for another time.

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