Thursday, June 30, 2011


Vasik Rajlich has been accused of ripping off source code from other chess engines by a panel of many programmers which have concluded a study and they even name Crafty and Fruit as the victims. The banning entity was the Chess Computer group for world chess championship events. They also want trophies back and prize money.

This has not been reported by ChessBase today whose face must be really red as they have sold a lot of copies of Rybka (unless the program under fire is the Russian version!?)

Friend at the Last Chess Clinic, Andres Hortillosa, mentioned it to me today. It's now all over the web.

Rajlich denies it but the evidence looks pretty damning. He replied in one of those very vague ways like a politician who won't come right and admit doing wrong, but using such garbage lines as "In my view I don't believe I did anything wrong." That line, when someone is caught drunk driving because they ONLY had one beer, can still send them to jail if someone has been hurt. It is called "mental reservation" and if you went to at least a parochial school, you knew what that meant. ("One beer MORE than I should have had" is what they mean.)

Andres says there is a good chance he will be at the Red Wing event on Saturday to explain the latest advances in SmartChess (and there have been some).

Four new reasons for coming and up to $350 (almost) in bonuses to be paid out! All the details will be sent out in a streamlined PDF with MUCH new content.

Around July 15th part of my chess business will be relocated to 1101 W. 4th Street in Davenport, IA where some rare chess sets, books, magazines and such will be on display for sale. I figure those who are traveling through the Midwest might be interested in stopping by to see what is what. In the past I have been severely disappointed at those who made appointments with me because---50% of them NEVER showed, leaving me at some location wasting my time; I will have some hours posted here real soon. Probably Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Some morning, some afternoon. Stay tuned. LOTS OF GOOD STUFF including NEW things.

As always: contact:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My email brings me unpredictable stuff. When it is from non-chess people it is OFTEN just plain "lies."

"I've looked at your terrific web site and I can make it #1 by using some of our techniques, etc."

First of all, most SEO (search engine optimization) is a fraud. Secondly, most of the time you don't want the kinds of results you get. I don't even have a terrific web site, it's not up yet.

Time flies and so do the offers I get to establish links, put up advertising, etc. Phoniness is a biggie on the web yet I have been doing web business and email business for 14 years, since 1997! Quality Chess and Everyman Chess author and master Amatzia Avni wrote a year ago and said I was the first true chess blogger, and I think that is the case (though I couldn't prove it).

At the moment I am looking for a way to get all my posts off of "thechessmuseum" blog and onto my hard drive. By the time I find out about some special software I am sure I could just copy all of them in a couple of precious time intensive evenings. There are some good bits in there so if you want to see what went on before "chesstoast" go to

In the meantime I am closing in on Abbazia 1912, the King's Gambit Accepted tournament. If anyone (Andy?) has a copy of Gillam's book which I could borrow for a couple days, I would like to compare it to the mistakes on the ChessBase website and eradicate mine.

is the last day my room block has been reserved at the Country Inn & Suites in Red Wing, MN. Don Aldrich tells me he "thinks" the hotel is too close and yet too far and that's why I am not getting anyone from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Personally, I think he is right. I mentioned to a a NY marketing friend of mine the other day that people are more interested in the cost of the Hotel rates than the content and that it was unfortunate. Yet, when Seth holds an event in an auditorium of 500 people it's a complete sellout no matter where in the country it is because he has done 20 years of promotions through his past and current blog. He wrote back and said "A good point, Bob."

If you want to get away from your everyday view of things, go to:
I urge you to check him out. He's also mentioned in my 2008 book, The Chess Assassin's Business Manual, which, by the way is now out of print. I am thinking of revising and adding to it and changing the title... what do you think (if you own a copy)? Some of the chess games material and recommendations will probably be deleted. Sorry if you didn't get the original. You wait, it's too late.

Still time to sign up for Red Wing. Am working on brochure #3 today and letting people in on the BONUS evening session.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. As far as I am aware, Mr. Craig will not even be in Minnesota during the month of July!

However, June 29th the block of rooms reserved for Thinkers' Press' chess soiree will be lifted. And then if you come, and I hope you do, it will be "catch as catch can," whatever that means.

Yesterday I mentioned a BONUS for Saturday evening being added, a presentation on "management" and how to get all the things done you need to get done. I said "need," not want... big diff.

Reason: One of the most fun things we (you and me) did when we were younger was to go to chess events and watch our progress rise and fall. A friend of mine went to 40+ events in one 52 week year, and they included places like Chicago. His rating went up 300 points AND he was no spring chicken (he was in his 40s).

Everything is pretty much relative. Things cost less in those days but everyone made less too. One secret I learned to performing well was to get to the tournament site, if it was out of town, the night before. I then dinked around, relaxed, at at a good restaurant, and the next day I would put on my "killer shoes," probably borrowed from Jerry Lee Lewis. Botvinnik in his jaunts, and even Bobby Fischer in his, knew, instinctively, the importance of relaxing BEFORE the event rather than relaxing AFTER you were wiped out by drinking yourself under the table.

I do recall many times studying right up to the start of the next round and I can't think of even ONE instance where it helped me! That's a big "ouch." And after putting all that time in, instead of sleeping, I would get frustrated at the board when my "idiot" opponent would take us in a different direction. The actual "idiot" was me.

Take a TIME OUT and Come to Red Wing. Who knows, perhaps by accident, Daniel Craig WILL show up, or maybe Al Pacino (he likes chess). $189.00 to register.


Monday, June 27, 2011


Today, while going to the bank, a thought had occurred to me. Oh, I had been familiar with the thought before, from others, but now it sunk in! Good thoughts sometimes take time, sort of like a marinade.

In my opinion, this BONUS session is worth the price of the WHOLE event and probably 5 times more.

I hesitate to give it a name because 90% of the readers will look at it and say, "Oh, I know what that means, and it isn't that important to me." I've got news for you, that's what separates Genius from Everyday. Genius sees things and KNOWS how to use them to great advantage. The problem with ascribing the name "genius" to someone is basically twofold:

1) "She or he may be a genius, but I'm not. This holds no value for me." Well, that's pretty dumb, because "genius" often comes up with good ideas and their implementation which HELPS others too. If not, what value does it have? None. Genius then exits.

2) When the word "genius" is used it's easy to run into egos who believe they are a genius because of something they once did (the past is great for storytelling, but to make significant progress, what is happening now is the MOST important). In other words, "What have you done lately?" But even worse are the "legends in their own mind" types. These are IDEA people. I am NOT an "idea person," I am an "idea and implementing person." Without the implementation, NOTHING happens, so.... no one benefits (even theft of the idea is at least an ACTION!)

I wrote to a friend and customer and here is what I wrote today:
"I am going to give a Bonus session at the Red Wing event, in the evening, on HOW to get things done, including publishing. It just HAS to be a real SECRET because what I see everyone (almost without exception) doing is NONE of those things. Doesn't matter whether it is chess, writing, etc. Most people are, or so it seems, incapable of harnessing the power of their lives BECAUSE they have seldom or NEVER been in a real ******* situation, and so they fritter away all kinds of great possibilities."

Price is still $189.00. I'm no fool, I know this Bonus Session might attract a few, but way too many believe in "later." Here I am, at 65, and "it's later." I can save you 20 years, what's that worth to you?

PS: This just came in AFTER I posted the note about the BONUS session:
bob thank you for adding the bonus seminar in Red Wing. I will participate in all extras just let me know what I owe you on top of the $189 registration fee

There is NO extra fee for the Bonus Session but it would easily be worth a grand to hear what I am going to say. It will solve many of your problems relating to ALL you have to do. I know, because, I've done it.

As I wrote in "The Critical Secret for Success in Chess and Everything Else," it is MY belief that no one can have more than 2 passions in their life and perhaps at most 1.5. But for some, just having ONE would be a biggie. Reason, the energy and time needed are very big, but, it can be handled. The ONLY extra fee I can think of is $30 for the Yermolinsky simul.

We have room for 14 more.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Now available, here is the packaging. And what follows is on the back of the wrapping cover:

128 Issues -- 2000+ Pages
Fun, but it was work! Lots of hours, photos, articles, a huge number of annotated games (I lost count—600?), great letters, “how-tos,” and all kinds of strong players/writers dropping by such as IMs Gerard Welling and L. Day, FM Allan Savage, NMs R. Holliman and Andy Rea plus our star contributor IM Andrew Martin who wrote bi-monthly for The Chess Reports.
How can you promote a chess event? Just look in the pages of TCR. Chess clinics up the wazoo including the last one.
Who represented some of the best, lesser-known attackers?
Where could you go to get reviews of current DVDs from ChessBase and new books from the major and some minor publishers of chess?
All this was in
The Chess Reports.
Besides the Daily Blog at there was also a chessmuseum blog IN The Chess Reports.
There were “tips” for improvement, short cuts, how to plan, important openings and strategies, but one of the most overlooked parts of TCR were the games. Why? Because IN the notes were the kinds of “tactics” you should really get to know, and which many Club Players miss, way too often.
This was not internet chess, this was dyed-in-the-wool publication material, downloaded every week or two to die-hards who wanted to stay “in the chess know.”

128 PDFs on one CD! You for you!

The regular price of the CD is $199.00 + $3.50 for box and shipping in the USA.

But if you order now through the end of July, you can get it for $189.00 + $3.50 for box and shipping in the USA.

If you subscribed to the last three semesters of The Chess Reports, you can get this CD for $100 and qualify for the FREE "Chess Gangs of New York and London" booklet! If you buy now you will get the Pillsbury booklet coming out in July. If you get it in July, you will get the Capablanca booklet, The Mouthpiece... but it won't come out until September. This is MY way of saying thanks to those who supported me during some difficult times.

The Normal cost of these semesters was $545, so if you act now you will be getting a 65% DISCOUNT! This publication contained some of the most original chess you've ever read, week after week, in colorful PDF downloads from Thinkers' Press. I estimate at least 600 annotated games (there were over 500 on the CD which was created for issues 1-91, and the run went through 128 issues). Openings, endgame stuff, lots of reviews, and articles on HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CHESS--as that was the main thrust of the magazine.


Friday, June 24, 2011


This time I'm showing the cover for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and its myriad of chess columns. This was a fun project to work on, but it pretty much took all Friday afternoon.

Digging up a good photo of the BDE building, cropping it, choosing an appropriate typeface plus subtitles is all part of the project. Then, should we have an "author?" Of course, Hermann Helms wrote these newspaper columns.

The writing of the copy on the back is always a challenge too. Here is what I put down:
Lasker, Pillsbury, Blackburne, Steinitz, Tarrasch, Schlechter, and many more were the legends of their day, mainly the 1890-early 1900s and writer Hermann Helms, himself a strong player, captured them in print in some of their tours.

And some more:
Games of all kinds (2,540 of them): regular, match, blindfold, exhibition, odds, and consultation.

Many of these tactical and strategical games were-masterpieces chosen for inclusion in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, one of the most respected papers for chess lovers anywhere! Its chess editor, Hermann Helms, also started his American Chess Bulletin.

While today’s modern masters have some skills and tools the older players could only dream of, the very cream of the crop (the Laskers, Pillsburys, Napiers, etc.) possessed amazing talents themselves and could compete today (given the opportunity!) Not only that, but many of their games are clearer and more understandable by today’s club and master players.

© 2011 Thinkers’ Press, inc. with entries by Life Master John Blackstone. Some of these games have been annotated and appear in the new TPi series: “The Chess Gangs of New York and London,” available at Thinkers' Press, inc.

Available NOW for $25.00 + $3.50 for S&L in the USA. Price will rise to $10 in August, don't wait.

Contact me at:

Thursday, June 23, 2011


If you have access to ChessBase Light, ChessBase, Fritz, etc. you might go for a CD of bone crushing games by the inimitable IM, and Tartar, Rashid Nezhmetdinov. Yes, he is the guy who beat Polugaevsky with one of the most mind-bending Queen sacrifices ever, and GM Polu was heard to say, in effect, "This game will be all over the world!"

And, it was.

Today a reseller asked me if I had any copies of Super Nezh. Guess that says something about the last time they ordered something from me. That book has been OP for years. But I did something I've been threatening to do, I took all the games that were prepared for the software edition, and burned it to a CD in the ChessBase Format. I took out Pishkin's annotations if he annotated the game only by himself. There are a lot of people chiming in including me. I was on a streak once where I did a slew of his games but there are many more which you might want to annotate yourself!

His games seldom disappointed.

This CD contains 453 games or game fragments, and a big batch of them are unannotated. I was told there is someone who had about 500 games, but I have never seen evidence of it, so let's say this is a "monster collection." Pre-lim price is $25.00 + $3.50 for USA shipping. If you wait a bit, it will be $34.95 plus shipping! Don't wait. The discs have been printed but I haven't designed the box yet. Coming up.

Fact: most would do nothing except ask, "What is it?"

I was married to a woman in the early 90s who was absolutely crazy about Wayne Newton. She would've climbed over a mountain of glass to see him perform. She had seen him a few times and loved his show. She took me when he was in town one time and we were sitting in the FRONT ROW! During one of his performances he comes over and asks me, "Are you enjoying yourself?" I said "I am." He reached out and bent slightly to shake my hand. I didn't have the presence of mind to have him shake her hand instead! He thought I wasn't having a good time because my arms were crossed (I do that all the time, it is false body language). It was a good show, but it would have created a lasting memory for HER! Today I would do it differently. Too late!

She wasn't teeny-bopper crazy, she just thought his show was the best and would do whatever it took to go.

Tonight I heard from our Last Chess Clinic friend Martin Stafford who started asking questions about airports in Minnesota, and the Red Wing event. He said there was a .005% chance he could make it, but... I happen to know that there was a 5% chance he would make it to the Last Chess Clinic in October. New Zealand is a lot further away than say, Indiana.

But he loves the excitement and enchantment.

Perhaps I have only myself to blame. I didn't hype Yermolinsky right, or enough. I didn't get people excited enough to come see him; they've seen his name before. A two-time US Champion? So what? How many of us even know a US Champion from personal experience, a handshake, whatever? Being a US Chess Champion is a lot harder than being 7 foot tall and stuffing a basketball (for years I've advocated a 13 foot height for the rim so we could see some real skill).

What makes Yermolinsky incredible is that here is a GUY who knows what the heck he is talking about. If you've read even only a few chapters of his book The Road to Chess Improvement (out of print) you'll know why in 2004 he told me he had no more books to write because he couldn't think of anything more!! With the exception of a couple small opening manuals for Gambit, he HASN'T written anything more in the "how to" or "improve" line.

But if you come to the Red Wing event July 29-30, you can hear him, and see him play (you). He will Q&A too. But more than all that, you will be meeting a real maestro, a grand maestro. He doesn't do this kind of thing often. When I was walking the tournament halls in Denver about 6-7 years ago  as we passed he said, "Hi Bob." He's friendly and approachable. But what was really great was 2004 when we had asked Dr. Karsten Mueller to come visit the Chess Festival but he couldn't because it turned out he had a brain tumor which would not allow him to fly in high-altitude jets to get here. When we found this out John Donaldson (who came to the 2002 event) recommended Yermolinsky to fill his place, and Alex came!

So what would make you come? Maybe you've been thinking about it. Maybe you want to come, but are holding out to see if "something better" might come along. You never know what you might've missed until you no longer have a chance at it.

Once I was described as that type of person whose "reach exceeds his grasp." Or as Will Shakespeare once wrote, "If not, what is heaven for?" It's all about reaching your potential, getting rid of excuses, and having a good time. Some feel guilty about that.

It can all be done on a credit card and how long will it take you to pay it off? As one person said to me, "If you are used to going to Starbucks frequently, by cutting back right there you could do that in no time." (Howard Schultz is already a multi-gazillionaire.)

I once queried Walt Disney's aspirations. Was he a Man or a Mouse? Yes, he was a Man, but he made a lot of dough because of that Mouse.




Chess Reports 1-128
Late last night I produced a limited supply of The Chess Reports 1-128. I started looking through 10 semesters of folders this a.m. and it brought back some great memories, over 2,000 pages worth.

Lots of quotes, tons of original content (full size pages in color), and produced faster than any other chess publication which had only one editor!

International Master Andrew Martin wrote many articles for us over the period 2007-2011. Here's an interesting quote:

"I have coached so many talented players through the years and very few of them went on to reach their full potential."

FIDE Master Allan Savage noted that TCR was full of "practical" matters.

The originals, downloaded, came to $545.00 and it ran for 10 semesters with 13 issues in each one except the last, which had 11. Every aspect of chess was covered except Problems.

There IS a special price for those who just want the issues downloaded (and no shipping and handling) to their email stations for $217.99, a 60% discount!

As you no doubt see, a CD has been created, in a presentation box, for $199 + $3.50 for S&H in the US.

you can get this amazing CD for $189.00 + $3.50 for the S&H in the US. If you internationals want this (which works on PCs and Macs), add $8.00 for S&H. The offer will be withdrawn after July 31, 2011. Please don't wait.

Two more are burning in the next day or two:
A) SUPER NEZH. A collection of 453 games (and fragments) played by the unbelievable IM Rashid Nezhmetdinov. All the games which were on the original floppy disk have now been transferred to disc. The brilliant games (including the greatest game of all time, as picked by GM Andy Soltis, is included, of course.) and the working games from 1929 to 1973. Lots of annotated games are included too. Boxed price? $34.95. BUT, if you order NOW you can get it for only $25.00 + $3.50 for S&H (in the US).

B) BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE. A collection of several thousand games from the turn of the 19th century. Games from the famous Brooklyn Eagle featured oodles of games from Lasker, Pillsbury, Blackburne, Tarrasch, etc., many of which are not in the big databases! Transcribed by Life Master John Blackstone. Some games annotated. A huge collection of collectibles including simul games which appeared in THE chess newspaper of the day. 
Boxed price? $34.95. BUT, once again, if you order NOW you can get it for only $25.00 + $3.50 for S&H (in the US).

International orders shipping and handling are extra.

Please contact:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NEW STUFF -- Everyman, Quality, ChessBase

A spate of new things are here that I know many will be interested in. They will be commented on in SCORE, the new openings' publication. For the time being I will offer the title, retail price, and maybe a comment or two. ALL are in stock.

Attacking Chess The French (A Dynamic Repertoire for Black) by GM Simon Williams. $27.95, 320 pages, new ideas are claimed and with Williams writing it, that's not hard to believe. He's strong and somewhat unorthodox BUT he does know chess. A book many have waited for.

Analyse your chess by IM Colin Crouch. Retail $26.95, 235 pages. I don't think I would be far off in calling Crouch "Purdy for modern times;" he's that good.

Lessons with a Grandmaster by GM Boris Gulko & Dr. Joel Sneed. $27.95. 298 pages. A beautiful and valuable book of the Q&A type during a game(s) where Sneed asks questions and Gulko (who had beaten Kasparov 3 times in non-matches!) answers them. Larger diagrams (for a change) and the GM's explanations are so useful (and on point) you have to wonder why this hasn't really been done like this before.

how to beat the Sicilian defence by GM Gawain Jones (an anti-Sicilian repertoire for White). $29.95. The anti-Sicilian repertoires are getting larger and larger (which says something for playing the Sicilian!) and this one is 348 (and larger) pages.

Chess Lessons by Vladimir Popov. $25.95, 256 pages. One of the best coaching books I have ever seen! This guy knows where we screw up and explains what should have been differently.

The Cutting Edge Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be3 by GM Milos Pavlovic. $29.95, 216 pages. Huge coverage of: Topalov's system, the Perenyi Attack, the Scheveningen, Vallejo Pons' line, and Main Lines. Terse explanations but a lot of coverage.

Grandmaster Repertoire The Caro-Kann by GM Lars Schandorff. $29.95, 251 pages. "We play the Caro-Kann because we believe we can outplay our opponents." That's Schandorff's comment. 22 chapters.

Yusupov's BOOST YOUR CHESS #3 was not in the package so I will take that as the supplier is expecting it at any time now.

Four ChessBase DVDs of note:

The Catalan by GM Viktor Bologan. This 5h29m video is one I will watch all the way through. I've been eagerly awaiting it.

The ABC of the Alekhine by IM Andrew Martin. 7h30m. My first batch sold out, I will be getting more.

What Grandmasters Don't See Vol. 2 Discovered Attack by GM Maurice Ashley. 3h36m.

Power Play 15: Practical Pawn Endgames by GM Daniel King. Now progressing to the endgames we need to know for faster time controls.

The red type indicates I have some familiarity with the contents and look forward to knowing more. The others will be looked at in the next 10 days. Point being, some know what they want and are looking for and the item can be sold before I get a review out--which is fine with me. Personally, I don't care that much for reviews when done by those who just say the "right thing" so they will get copies for their libraries. Quality Chess does not send me review copies but I still like "Chess Lessons." Everyman I have to ask for review copies.

The foreign press rushes their reviews or comments out -- sends them to my customers, and my customers wonder why I don't have the books yet. It's because the books go by cargo containers and there must be complete plans on filling those containers. Usually their books take 4-8 weeks to get here. There's the Reason.


If you want me to hold something for a couple days, just drop me a line saying that (if you have bought from me before).

Monday, June 20, 2011


Ivanchuk is at the bottom of the crosstable in a recent tournament and probably will finish there. Shirov does this too. Yet, at another event, they can win the tournament. Do their opponents jack up their performance against the two? Do these two take more chances as they start to believe in their own invincibility? Who knows, but they should talk to a psychiatrist not because they are nuts (altho who knows?) but because something is seriously out of whack. Would they even take the advice? Are they capable of taking advice?

In Shirov's case he is paying lots of alimony (3-4 ex-wives) and is always on the hunt at each and every tournament for more prize money.

But I think they play too much. It's not so much that their brain needs a rest as their physical body does. But maybe their brain does need a rest too. Some players such as Anand and Carlsen don't play every event and in general they do well even though their past has shown some bad patches too. Just as there is "sports medicine" maybe there should be some "chess brain medicine." That is, a search for "why?"

This is a new book from Quality Chess by Vladimir Popov. And it's good! As a trainer and coach of the famous Kointseva sisters, he takes us through many examples and exercises to show mistakes made by them and other trainees. Now any strong player can do this but Popov not only tells us WHY something is better, he shows us "background" on how he knows this! What it comes down to, often, is "standard positions." The THING is, "what is a standard position?" That's the rub, and he explains what Botvinnik thought or so and so thought--this stuff works. In other words, again, KNOWING what has happened before in "analogous" positions can be VERY helpful. Popov also shows how to put emphasis on strategical considerations to avoid tactical ones.

I hope to have more to say in a review for SCORE #2, which comes out this Friday. In the meantime, the retail is $25.95, 256 pages. Of course my company G&L CHESS has it available at much less than $25.95. If you subscribe to SCORE ($20) you will get the latest hubbub on the new books.

As usual, contact me at:

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have been working on the first one. I like what is shaping up.

I don't suspect, but know, that "opening theory" probably causes more losses for Club Players against a stronger opponent (let's say at least 200-300 Elo stronger) than anything else under 2200. The reason I say that is because in a game played by lesser lights (the majority of us), there are mistakes. In fact, in a game used in my notes, White had several crushing blows but missed them. I present these for you to look at in the BHO newsletter.

Black kept swinging and eventually White either lost on time or had himself in such an "impossible pickle" that he gave up. But, like earlier parts of the game, he didn't know he could keep on slugging to win.

Fact is, most players under 2200 (not all) are short on tactics. If their tactics were better they would stay in the game. Someone said, if you can LOOK one set of moves further than you normally do, you would win or save a lot more games. How can that not be true?

Anyway, it's coming along nicely. Maybe it will be wrapped up tonight. It will be FREE to those who subscribe to SCORE for $20 (and a little bit more to past The Chess Reports subscribers). There is one other condition, look back a Blog or two to find it. As I have invoked before, everyone would like to have a job which pays them enough to at least have shelter, clothes, food, etc. My job is "chess" Mr. Bond. I've played it for years, sold it for years, collected it for years, etc.

In a few Blogs I hope to tell you about another interest, not of mine, but a friend. Maybe I will eventually find it interesting. It is in SHOWING horses and training them. That costs money--doesn't everything? Find your passion and go nuts! (Last night, for about 5 minutes I was in front of one of those all channel cable or dish systems--get this... for 5 minutes or more ALL I saw as I channel surfed was COMMERCIALS! Apparently (my guess) most of them are all put on about the same time! Can't afford to waste my time on that. As much as I hate mowing the lawn (which I just finished doing), I would rather do that!)

Maybe more later today--going to grandson's BD party. When teaching him chess, or trying to, several weeks ago, I found he HATES losing. Already he is on the right track.


Friday, June 17, 2011


Launched a few weeks ago with about 22 paid subscribers, there are now 51 paid. I'm not fooling myself, the $20 price tag for 16 issues, written by very strong players such as Andrew Martin, Igor Stohl (coming), and FM and "Sniper" Charlie Storey and edited by Martin and Long (sounds like a comedy team) had something to do with it. The price is a hooker. So I hope you will consider it too.

It starts out with at least 4 pages of MAIN line stuff, general overview, what's been happening... and then a MINOR such as particular variations. GM Igor Stohl has hinted that he will be doing the Fianchetto Gruenfeld which Gelfand used to defeat Grischuk in the recent Candidates.

I mentioned by the way that there would be a Black Hole Openings publication. The FIRST to seize on wanting to see a copy of it (when it is produced) was IM Andrew Martin. He is always on the lookout for interest things to comment on. Maybe you are too. Chess books and DVDs have become a commodity. Every lazy-ass on the planet is trying to sell them. If they can't they give them away. New in Chess doesn't do that but US resellers do. So I believe in "value added," but there is a price. I have to work harder to get the extra business and it has to be something good.

What occurred to me is something that crossed my mind before--getting into the "guts" of a book. Often there are little gems hidden in there. Perhaps even the authors aren't quite aware because some writers are "so objective" they can't see or recommend something that will win 9 out of 10 games for you BECAUSE they know a "drawing line" which will reduce your wins to 5 out of ten. This is BAD chess. Most of us want to win. Perfection is unobtainable--though it may be something we strive for.

Hence, as I rifle through some books something will catch my eye, usually by accident. The only things you need to do to get BHO are two:
a) Subscribe to SCORE;
b) Purchase at least $250 worth of chess goods between now and Dec 2011.

This isn't hard for many to do, but I am trying to get those who can buy a Starbuck's latte several times a week for a month and think nothing of it. I get hot chocolate from Borders and their Seattle's BEST, so I understand this, but if I am SAVING that's a whole different matter. It can be done and you will benefit in many other ways such as knowing more about YOUR purchases. I remember once taking a job teaching algebra at a local community college to save up enough money to buy a much more powerful Mac. Takes self-discipline to really get what you want. Buying expensive coffee takes almost no self-discipline at all because it becomes a craving.

For example, WHY is the SCOTCH game played the way it is? I've always wondered that and more of my thoughts, games, and analyses will show in issue #1. The magazine will be irregular, but usually I can group all the info in a few days and make it happen. Amazon won't do that, neither will ChessCafe, Wholesale Chess, or USCF. It's called "value added."

Chesstoast is the name of this blog. Not cheese toast!

Apparently googling has produced cheese toast. That's kind of dumb on Google's part since "chesstoast" should appear FIRST rather than somewhere else along with their question, "Do you mean cheese toast?" NO, I don't mean cheese toast. I do not know, however, how often Google updates anything.

However, the PDF I sent out yesterday about the Blogger site (chesstoast) didn't totally have the desired result. Several wrote and told me that was defective for some reason or the other. What this meant to me is that the attached PDF was ignored and not opened and people were guessing at what I meant!

It may also explain why the PDFs aren't opened by some and read. There is software that determines IF an email is opened... I don't own it. What I did yesterday was design a ONE page PDF which could be seen ON the screen--but apparently, ONLY on Macs, not PCs. Many people own PCs and have become gun shy about opening anything. I hope they open their mail as I am about to do a limited mail offering soon--if I have an address.

contact, as always, at:

Thursday, June 16, 2011


My old friend Don Aldrich, from Minneapolis, offered a suggestion as to why it has been difficult to get people from Minnesota to come to the Red Wing Chess Soiree. To be fair to myself, I had thought the same thing, though thinking something is so doesn't make it so unless at least ONE person admits that in their case, that's their reason for not coming. It's WEIRD economics!

That is, Red Wing is too far and too close! Not close enough so the "party goer" can commute back and forth, and "too far" to want to pay the hotel bill. But, it's almost ALWAYS like that! I live 60 miles from Iowa City, an hours' drive. I played in a chess tournament there a couple times and drove back Saturday night and to it Sunday morning. All I can tell you is I was TIRED--probably played like crap. If it was Des Moines, I stayed overnight in a room in the corner of the Hotel Des Moines where I couldn't have been more cramped had I been in a big closet.

So that may be a reason, but in the end, it's not to our BEST interests. This kind of reasoning can be used in many other places too:
1. I won't buy that book because I can get it at the library (unless it is one Major library that is pretty unlikely);
2. I won't buy that book because it's probably online somewhere (ANS: probably not, just a delaying tactic);
3. I won't buy that DVD because it's on YouTube (a preview segment is not the same thing as the whole DVD nor the experience).

In the current issue to come (#6) of Chess EXTRAS Andy Ansel wrote (many years ago) about the cheapness and laziness of chess players. Truth be told, this is true of other hobbyists too. Funny, yet something as "flim-flammery" as Texas Hold 'Em holds the "opportunity" of quick riches! I was in a Barnes & Noble one day when I saw a young guy, holding his daughter, and thumbing through a book on Texas Hold 'Em. Another genius!

I have a friend who plays in Black Jack tournaments and I've watched him play numerous times. The MAIN reason he does well is because so many of the other tournament players do so well at cracking up (in some cases, actually clueless). Then to spread his expertise he goes to a Texas Hold 'Em event, bluffs his way "almost" into the next round (more riches) until someone calls his bluff and he is OUT of the event. He went to the well WAAAAY too often. He's an average strength chess player (1700). Quick but not-so-rich riches! Cheapness? In chess (the last few years), but not in poker or craps, and yet they are so ephemeral. Lazy. No... what is operating here is "too-good-to-be-true." I've seen players lose $150 at the craps table (locally, here) just to get a FREE $13.00 meal at the buffet! Think about that.

So... I am still attempting to get more than seven to Red Wing. I have decided that I will go through with the event anyway because the people who registered to come deserve it. Most likely the hotel rate will be $120 for those staying overnight, but I don't think they care. They are there to meet people, have fun, work with Yermolinsky and myself, and to get in on the ground floor of what Thinkers' Press will be doing and previewing. These are the chess people who, over the years, I have found to be ardent supporters and absolutely the finest people to be around and have a good time with. To them, it's a chess vacation.


PS: Do you have a Comcast account? Don Aldrich, who does, says he doesn't get my PDFs on Sales, etc. Do you have a similar situation? Comcast has been involved in "throttling" disputes and everything else. They decide who is going to get what, or not. I remember being in a Comcast office in Savannah, GA. Lousy customer service, long lines of people with problems. If you are interested in getting PDFs from me and haven't been getting them, I can send them to you singly--labor intensive, but until there is a better solution (you can download from my web site for example) that will have to do. BTW, my web site is not up yet, but I am still working on it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Encouraging to see 9 have already signed up for the new BLOG and none of them include me trying to figure out how to do so!

Content is always KING and I try to provide even while wielding an axe to go after some miscreant who is screwing up the world. Hey, there's so many I wouldn't know where to start, so, I won't.

For the French Defense enthusiasts the new book by Simon Williams is on its way to us. So is a book by Boris Gulko on the thinking and lessons to be learned from Grandmasters. And in addition GM Gawain Jones has written a book on kicking the butt of the Sicilian Defense (where have we heard this before?). The man who should get the MOST respect, but seldom does is Colin Crouch (he is one of my favorite British chess authors because he REALLY does GET it!): his is Analyse Your Chess, a really torpid title. I would have been in favor of WTF is Wrong With Your Chess? but then that is me. In general the authors do not choose their title as I had to correct GM Serper at a chess camp lecture years ago. We ended having supper together. We don't hear much from Mr. Serper these days, is he teaching chess somewhere?

A new, mid year, mini-catalog went out yesterday with a "discounts deadline" of June 25th, the day after Issue #2 of SCORE. It felt surreally funny the other day when I discovered my business checking account seemed to have a "hole" in it. So now it is time to move some wood (paper pulp). Veteran TPi and G&L CHESS supporter Steve L. came through immediately as he sought some "good stuff" for his son, including some "Power Play" DVDs. Thank you Steve and a tip of my NCIS hat to you!

Also, if you are wondering how subscriptions are doing for SCORE, they are doing well with more coming in the next few days. It has to be the $20 price tag for newbies to my publications but on the other hand, there have been quite a number of compliments from those who said they really, really, like it.  Actually, it is quite similar in style and makeup as The Chess Reports which preceded it, but one thing that helped was the "red" hi-liting that was done to point out important points to those rated 1200-1600. I had done that in TCR, before, but I think the authors of the first issue have stuck to the "party line" about really helping you guys. If you would like to subscribe, it is $20. PayPal or other methods to pay are fine. To enter you into the accounting system I do need your full name and address (with zipcode). There will be other benefits later for doing this easy little function. Ten days ago I had 22 paid subscribers. Now I have 51-52.

I have heard from GM Igor Stohl and will be getting back with him about his topics too. So hang in there for this Openings' guru. Lest anyone wonder about IM Andrew Martin's creds they don't need to worry. He has done it all and has a virtual photographic memory (lucky dog) to boot.

There's probably more but this is all that readily comes to mind.

Reach me at:

PS: In the first issue of SCORE I mentioned an "occasional" publication called BLACK HOLE OPENINGS I think it was. This "magazine" will go FREE to qualified people:
a) Subscribers to SCORE, any level;
b) Purchase at least $250 worth of books and/or DVDs from now until end of the year.

What is it? Idiosyncratic things I have discovered in openings as I review books but for which I do not have the space to report in my regular publications. For example, "What is the best 'winning' line to play in the Scotch?" Yes, there are calculated risks which will pay off the majority of the time! Stuff like that. And something new perhaps on the Alekhine-Chatard Attack in the French. You never know, and contributions are welcome. Yes, FREE except for those two qualifications. Different from and hopefully better than the Forum which appears in the New in Chess Yearbooks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I am emailing a chess catalog today and I will have this new URL to access this Blog in it. I have spent 3 hours reading Google's "rules" about transferring "power" and all that crap when all they had to do was list what I had in my Personal Account (Blogger) and what I had in my Admin Account (gmail). And click Transfer. Simple right? Nope.

The rules are incredible. The reason Apple is so successful wrote author Carmine Gallo ("The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs") is because their fundamental process is to "Keep it Simple." Google is far from simple though they would like to think they are.

So, if I can find out how to open up my "thechessmuseum" Blog I will let you know but I suspect it won't happen. Maybe in the beginning run TWO parallel columns?? I can't "sign in" to the chess museum... they get you so tripped up with user names, names, display names, and different names for different accounts that is like watching your life head for file 13.

Those who registered early on and gave e-mail addresses instead of remaining anonymous, I can find and tell. Those who just look in every day or once in a while but who want to remain anonymous--I don't know who they are.

Today friend Ken MacDonald wrote in an email: "I miss your blog." Isn't that nice?

You can still contact me at:

I listed that email address hundreds of times. Perhaps some will use it to ask me if I've moved my Blog--Yes... only because with time constraints I didn't want to waste more time only to find out that Google erased data from 400 Plus blogs done in a little over a year!