Tuesday, August 30, 2011


so far, to write new and interesting material, one in person, the other via email, for the Chess Gazette.
The in person has not sent anything, so I suspect this position (one of 5-6) will be open soon unless I am pleasantly surprised.

Another has joined the Gentlemens Chess Club. That's four, same number of registrations for CHESS TNT. Hope to get all those numbers up.

What it really takes is YOU, not me. I have already spent the money and made my commitment. Am looking for those who do more than just read about chess from their web browser.

As one guy told me recently, "I am not joining because I already play chess once a week." Well, that is his right, and it is true. But on the other hand he has never bought a thing from me nor attended any Festivals, Clinics, my shop, or anything else. He doesn't support the business I founded in 1971 and he is a "typisch" local. He wants to remain a big fish in a little pond. Lots of them out there.

I remember my friend Harold Martin (no relation to the Martin's in my family as far as I know) who was a dealer in magic in the Peoria, IL area. I said to Harold one time, "How can you stand the ones who don't support you, criticize you, and steal ideas from you?" His response was a classic: "I take their s--- and I take their money!" Great if you can get the $$$ part.

If you think you have a flair for writing, drop me a line. What would be the topic? Hopefully something topical, thought out, perhaps elevating. Maybe something you did in the past or something you contemplate for the future. Above ALL, it must be interesting to more than you and your Mom--stories are best.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Monday, August 29, 2011


On Saturday, in Australia, he died according to Ian Rogers and Frank Hutchings. Heart failure 8 years after some aortic surgery. I think he was in his late 70s.

I will miss him too because I did meet John and Frank in 1998 due to Ralph Tykodi at our first Chess Festival.

John was a big engaging fellow, with dark hair (unlike his bald father, CJS Purdy). At least once he was Australia chess champion. Very strong tactically he had GM Lubosh Kavalek on the ropes in one of the games I saw before making a mistake.

A very fine gentleman, he and Frank will be made Honorary Members of the Gentlemens Chess Club.

Though CJS used John's skills in his writing examples, sometimes it was to show up John's chess shortcomings. The time we (Ralph and I) spent with the pair was warmly rewarding and comforting in the Purdy projects that Thinkers' Press, inc. took on.

The first lecture at the Gentlemens Chess Club will take place this Thursday at 7 p.m., at 1101 W. 4th St., Davenport, IOWA. A monumentally and humorous game between Zukertort and Blackburne. Hope you can make it.


Sunday, August 28, 2011


Yesterday I was in Iowa City, doing some vending at the Iowa Open. Ran into some people who I hadn't seen in years. Some of them hadn't played in a tournament for years either!

When you are one against the "tide" you can't remember who everybody is, but often they remember you!

They wanted to know what I was up to... and it would have been a good time to gather more people for the email lists, but I pretty much stayed with those who found something they wanted to take home.

But I did run into some who wanted to catch up, find out what "Chessco" has been up to... my connection with Chess4Less, etc.

Even though I was a last minute arrival I appreciated the couple of tables of space I was given near the TD, old friend Mark Capron and his partner Steve Young. I got to see, close up, what running a tournament with 88 people was all about, the enjoyable things and the annoying things (Two big oft-repeated questions: 1) "When is the next round?"; 2) "Where's the restroom?")

People still asked me "How's it going?" (meaning, are you making any sales?)... I gave the same answer: "Better if you would have bought something."

The Gentlemens Chess Club idea IS getting around but before they could tell me, "It's too far for me to go," I told them "I have just signed up Jon F. from Oregon!" That made for some laughs, even though it as true! So they wanted to know the story and I said, "His Mom lives around here and he gets back to see her several times a year" (good son). The interest definitely IS up and I am hoping to have room capacity-filled by year's end.

Life is too short to not reconnect. Facebook "tries" to do that while I try to reconnect with those I "know." Some are just collecting names.

There were some really FUN things too, watching the delight on GCC (Gentlemens Chess Club) member Roger S's. face when he won the "rated beginners open (RBO)" with 4.5 points of 5 (I kept calling it the "roast beef open" to tickle them).

Lots of kids were happy with a few asking 2-3 million questions and forgetting the answers the TDs gave them 15 minutes earlier. Sometimes parents coddle their kids too much (don't allow or give them any space) as if their progeny were going to be abducted ANY minute (the abductor would have to be crazy in some cases). The parents should be abducted.

There were 30 people in the Open section (total in 3 divisions) of 88--which is big for Iowa, with 7 being from out of state (mostly looking for the $1200 prize money), and being given a $10 allowance OFF of their entry fee! Not a bad thought.

Watching the TDs do their work gave me some ideas for a new lines of products. Now I need to find some manufacturers. Almost ANY TD worth their salt would want what I am thinking.

Same old issues with digital clocks and setting them or, not having enough clocks to go around. I am amazed that as the price of chess clocks has plummeted these days, more people don't have one (question--could it be they don't want to learn how to set them?). Many people agreed that the TIME DELAY settings are nothing more than a giant PAIN IN THE ass and should be reserved for those with large number ratings. I'm with them on that one. And the variety of "cheesy-looking" and the operation of, digital chess clocks, is astounding.

Sounds like CHESS to me.

Good to be back... now to that part where I can grow sales again.

Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Friday, August 26, 2011


The Marines are looking for a few good men. I'm looking for a few good writers.

For what? For The Chess Gazette, a newsletter I have published, off and on, since the 80s! I brought it back a few issues ago, in 2011. At one time it had over 500 "subscribers" (it was FREE). It still is FREE, but, that might change.

However, I watched an excellent webinar the other night with Mary Ellen Tribby on newsletters and this lady clearly KNOWS what she is talking about. She says I should have people writing FOR me. I've done that before, but now it's time to get reconnected.

I am looking for, great content and, some pretty good authors. This is a non-paying job, it's about getting YOU out in front where people can read YOUR stuff too and I will function primarily as the editor in chief while writing occasional pieces too. I will have a professional organization deliver the goods to readers.

And I can do some things for you too, which I will discuss with you when you send me your chessic resume. "What will I write about?" you may ask. I will ask you, "What do you think you should write about?"

I know lots of people read this Blog even though only 20 or so are registered. You might be a grandmaster. You might have written a book or two, or made a DVD. You may have had some big successes or big flops. You may have won some big $$$ tournaments. Readers will find this stuff FASCINATING--I can guarantee you. There are a lot of things you may be THE EXPERT on whereas I can only report them. I remember, for example, being the VOR (vendor of record) at a US Open when some jerk ran off with the PAIRING cards... if you don't think that caused a commotion, you must've been sleeping.

You might be a writer or editor for a chess publishing company. Just let me know. I am not as interested in yours creds as I am, "Can you write for consumption?" and "Can you deliver on time?" PhDs mean nothing to me, and basically never have. If you have one and you can write, I am interested. If you went to the Iowa Writer's Workshop (very prestigious), great... but can you write for chess players? Maybe better than you realize.

Art you gifted in the area of art? Want more publicity? Contact me.

Chess, in my opinion, is going to take a BIG turn with The Chess Gazette. I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

You have no idea where this is going, but I do (or, think I do...LOL)... and it will be big... BIG!

Bob Long, publisher and editor at Thinkers' Press, inc.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We all get it (emails) and some handle it better or worse than others.

Myself it is quite manageable.

The big advantage for me (and you ultimately) is cost... no printing, no mailing. This, of course hurts printers and... the US Post Office. But many publications wouldn't otherwise even come into existence.

Yesterday or the day before (time flies by so quickly) I emailed copies to subscribers of The Purdy Chess Chronicles #03. One subscriber told me he hadn't yet gotten his. I just sent him his copy. This is where checking on this BLOG is helpful to many because I usually make another announcement here about such-and-such "going out."

Yesterday I was asked when the Next SCORE is due. September 2, as mentioned in all the issues of SCORE. I realize that sometimes it is just "polite" conversation to bring something like that up. When I was younger those kinds of questions use to annoy me because they take time to answer. If I had a web site I could post all that and it would make some more people happy but I have to ask: would you rather see the publication or a web site "talking" about the publication? Most would rather have the content.

So if you wonder sometimes if your subscription to something was left out of the loop, drop me a line at:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Originally I promised subscribers to "The Purdy Chess Chronicles" 24 pages per issue, four issues per year, $69.95.

Today issue #3 was released (on time) and it was 50 pages. The first two issues were 42 and 47 letter size pages, respectively. Promised 72, gave 139. BONUS: 67 pages!

And it contains lots of great content. For example:
1. A few revised ads at the back of the book, not included in the page count!
2. Chess Chats by Lajos Steiner on a position from Botvinnik-Flohr in the USSR championship. Includes a full color painting of Steiner.
3. If you think the National Enquirer has unusual news, you should read "Bled Echoes II and III" from the 1931 event where Alekhine was pounding his opponents left and right. Yugoslav GM Borislav Kostich engaged in a bit of "early cheating" (with that in the news these days). And a verbal/word sparring match between Purdy and Tinsley ("the Times") ensued, dragging arbiter Hans Kmoch in for the ride too.
4. Purdy hated easy and short draws and he lets loose on the Flohr-Alekhine draw where it was said that Alekhine "bullied" Flohr into taking a draw in a position where Flohr could win a pawn.
5. Chielamangus is back and he writes about what a telegraph match is like bringing in eye-shades and boomerangs to the light-hearted humor!
6. In Bits and Pieces of 8x8 you get tidbits of "I didn't know that," a famous part of Purdy's publications.
7. Many wrote good things about Purdy and his publications but a very well known admirer was Reuben Fine and we cover that too. And there is mention of a Purdy Games Collection too.
8. In 1936 at Perth the Australian Championship happened. Outsider Lajos Steiner won with a perfect score... but he was ineligible! 4 of Australia's best, including Purdy, tied for the next 4 places. This caused 3 sets of playoff matches. The Koshnitsky-Purdy match was covered in PCC #2, now the Goldstein-Purdy match is covered in this issue, all 6 games, 4 of them annotated by Purdy.
9. It was 1937 and Purdy and thousands of others were stunned by Alekhine's comeback against Euwe... the details are here.
10. Purdy said, or wrote once, that his magazines didn't have unannotated games--which was true. And now and then he had some really fine games ("gems"), you will see three of them here.
11. Purdy was not just a chess raconteur, clubs wrote to him about opening theory questions, and he answered them. For example, "What does Black do in the French against 1.e4 e6 2.c4 ?"
12. For years the reasons why Fine never played in the 1948 World Championship Tournament have been proffered. But someone who was in Moscow has the reasons and Purdy repeated them for us.
12. There are some Steinitz stories also which help set the record straight.
13. Finally, the topic of Problems shows up and the discussion is on "Bohemian" problems as written about by J.K. Heydon. If you are into "problems," there are some Mates to keep you busy and some interesting notes about the subject.

Hours and hours of reading. If you would like a subscription, drop a line to me at: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

As promised here are some details.
5 rounds
At the Clarion/Highlander Convention Center, I-80, NE side of Exit 246, 2525 N. Dodge St.... Iowa City IA.
First round starts at 10 a.m. Registration is between 8:30-9:30. Entry Fee is $55 on site. Two days. I hail them for the starting time of the Sunday round beginning at 10 a.m., which I tried to get happen for years.
I will be there on Saturday to sell chess stuff.

Monday, August 22, 2011


I will be at the Iowa Open for one day this weekend, Saturday. I will have details of where the event is being held and when I expect to be there.

If you would like to meet, purchase a couple things, ask questions... will be available.

Still working on Purdy's Chess Chronicles #3. It's a gas.



NOTE: Today New in Chess Yearbook admitted that there has been a "logistical problem" and that Yearbook 99 may be available for 98. I wonder what that problem could be!? Sent the shipment to Tanu Tuva? Printed the books sideways? I was told this several months ago and when I relayed to customers I had the feeling that something really wonky was going on, but I didn't know what. Two suppliers have told em the same thing.

Years ago a pasteup guy working for me did a book on Alekhine's Defense wrong. I had it printed and when I saw the book, I had to trash $1200 worth of stuff right away. We redid it right, raised the price a few dollars and the book sold like a boat anchor! The book was good, but going from $12.95 to $15.95 so "petrified" some people that the book was a highlight on the worst-seller list. Now I am sure it is rare as hen's teeth. There is little room for forgiveness in the book business.

Will give address info and other data for this Saturday tomorrow. Have nothing in the cupboard (you'd believe me if you saw it) so am heading to the grocery store. Borders is offering me 50-70% off on what I want to buy there, but as much as I look Borders, I can't see anything there that I want.

Purdy Chess Chronicles #3 may go out tomorrow.

In the meantime, bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thanks to all those who have subscribed to SCORE and who told me in THEIR email to me what they were looking for. Price is still $20.00.


Friday, August 19, 2011


In preparation and with some photos not seen before.

While Purdy participation games are important, so are some of those of his friends and you will see a few accompanied by an interesting story. Purdy and friends were known for their interesting stories.

Occasionally someone would be working on a report of some kind, maybe a tournament, and there would be some comment which had great value to all of us. Sometimes we find a Purdy expression which later saw the light of day in other books. Reuben Fine, the very strong American Grandmaster, had nothing but good words to say about Purdy and Chess Review and Purdy had a very special magazine relationship.

So.... there is some neat stuff coming up.

If you haven't subscribed, it is $69.95 for 4 big issues, averaging 45 pages each, letter-size. I work on a lot of documents, brochures, catalogs, and books but this PROJECT is one of the most fun.

Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Bless her heart.

She wanted to know how the Saturday tournament went.

I told her 6 people registered. I made excuses for the small turn out: August, just two weeks notification, etc. Sons sometimes make excuses as much as I hate to hear them myself.

She was still enthusiastic: "Did you get new customers?"

Well, no, they were all people I knew, but I am working on a campaign to contact business professionals in the Quad City (QC) area to tell them there is a professional chess club in town now: The Gentlemens Chess Club. New blood, new supporters.

My Mom is almost 88 and she said, that was "cool."

She was afraid I would quit after the lacklustre showing. I said "Mom, I have 14 more events lined up and a newsletter (THE TUXEDO JUNCTION) which I am currently working on." I am not good at giving up.

I sent out a copy of the 4-page newsletter to my Ex and she really liked it! But I need to dress it up, reorganize the sections, before releasing it. Then it will go out.

This morning I discussed, with another well-known chess addict (overseas), the possibility of occasionally joining me in SCORE, my openings publication for club-level players. He seemed as enthused as I was.

In the end it really is and always has been about Relationships: with customers, potential customers (prospects), the love of your life, and.... Mom and Dad. Others already know about my relationship with God (first) and if that bothers them (which has never been relayed to my face), they already know that isn't going to change it. I've survived and lived to fight more days because of my Faith rather than counting on any one earthly individual. It works for me, every day.

Join me as we re-excite chess life locally, nationally, and internationally. If you haven't subscribed to SCORE and you don't KNOW what is holding YOU back, drop me a line, we can discuss it.


BTW, "Hi Mom!" "Hi Sarah."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The strong international master Andrew Martin has not only made a video clip on YouTube about upcoming events in Davenport, IA... but he releases a very nice annotated game which will be in SCORE #5 ($20 for a subscription! to bob@thinkerspressinc.com) and it is on the POPULAR but quizzical "King's Indian Attack."

The setup he presents creates great difficulties for White!

Andrew told me he was going to do this and the results exceed any expectations I had. Gives you good reasons to subscribe to SCORE as well as come to the CHESS TNT.

Here is the link: http://youtu.be/R13AVDL2EZE

EVENT: October 21-22, Davenport IA. Details were published in yesterday's Blogs.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Our Fall Classic in the past has been the Chess Clinic. Since last year (2010) was the last one of those, some have wondered, "What now?"

It's CHESS TNT, which stands for Teaching 'N Tournament.

America and Thinkers' Press inc. once again welcomes the popular IM Andrew Martin from London where he can stage his own UK riot here in Davenport, Iowa at the Gentlemen Chess Club, 1101 W. 4th St. I will be posting in the flyers to be sent out various places you might want to stay overnight in based on past experiences with clinics, festivals, and now, the TNT.

I hope to have t-shirts too. The cost is extra but if you want one, let me know what size you want right away. The price may be a tad higher than last year because last year I was practically giving them away and as a matter of fact, I accidentally sold mine!

HOW will this event be run? It's about chess openings and learning some. In England there is a teaching session before EACH round. In our case that will be NITRO Friday with the Ruy Lopez and all of its possibilities. Friday nite starts our event at 7 p.m.

Saturday is the BLAST and it begins at 10 am. and there will be three rounds. These openings are being played:
Round 2: Queen's Gambit Declined (1.d4 d5 2.c4, and something other than 2...dxc4).
Round 3: The Sicilian Najdorf 6.Bg5 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5)
Round 4: English (1.c4 e5).

Clearly, since you won't know, for sure, which color you will have, you'll have to "know" to some degree, both sides.

Game will be 1 hour and USCF rated but not as Quick Play. 5 second delay if your clock is digital and so equipped. Please know how to set it and use. A limited number of digital clocks will be available for sale.

After the game there will be some discussions about what the maestro saw. I will help out on the lower boards from time to time. That would be, Under 1600.

Three have ALREADY registered today (!) and the only place I have announced any details was in SCORE, the chess openings publication from TPi.

From 9 am-10 am I will have sales tables out, and throughout the day. Lots of books, DVDs, equipment, and who knows... maybe a nice selection of previously owned chess books I will be picking up soon.

There will be some cash prizes as well as books and DVDs given away with some liberality.

The Gentlemens Chess Club is my new creation. Right now it has room for 24 players. I expect that to be multiplied to 40 by the time of the event. Comfy tables and PADDED chairs! A/C if we need it and great lighting!

The usual caveats: no phones, alcohol, smoking, computers, boisterous behavior (after all we are in a gentlemens club). If you join the Gentlemens Club, even from a distance, this will entitle you to buy a yellow (lemon color) knit shirt with a black logo on it. I've decided to leave the customizable name (i.e., your name) off of it in case you are in public and you don't want others to know you are STAN, unnastan?

FEES: Unfortunately, ridiculously low in commemoration of the wonderful monetary crisis our leaders and their financial backers have gotten us in.
$125.00 (see discounts below)
$99.00 (Early Bird--if received by September 16th).

Further discounts (only one may be used) if registration is received by September 16th. After that the fee goes to $125 (less $10 if you are a GOLD CARD holder).
$25.00 if you registered for Red Wing, MN event.
$10.00 if you were at the Last Chess Clinic (Oct. 2010)
$10.00 if you own a Gold Card.
$10.00 if you are from Out of State.

Chess sets and boards are provided. Bring your own clock, preferably digital.

Will need information in ADVANCE concerning your USCF ID, and your latest rating.


Hope you'll come. Already the three who have registered are FORMER attendees of TPo events. One is from Minnesota, another from Michigan, and the third is from Davenport!


Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Monday, August 15, 2011


Will be working on this today (yesterday I published some results from Saturday).

1. Calendar for MONTHLY Saturday events.

2. Membership information.

3. Store Open hours M-F including evenings.

4. What will happen in evening hours (teaching, quick play, special event nites, etc.)

Of course everything is subject to change as the tide rises and falls (# of people showing up). The quality (value) of a chess club depends more on who actually decides to come, rather than the manager--at least in the beginning.

I look forward to: welcoming early comers and showing them the "coolness" of this game.

Incidentally, the braggarts didn't show Saturday! Didn't I say somewhere that they wouldn't? Bragging is talk, playing is REAL. Some would get a charge out of beating dead people (Kind of reminds me of the movie "Sixth Sense.")

Have been putting those who are interested on the Membership Mailing List (emails first, post office mail second, if any). You don't HAVE to be local to join. Many people belong to the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco who don't live in California.

As always, contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Congratulations to John Imgrund (Clinton, IA) who took first with 4-0 although second place finisher Steve Lamansky (Ankeny, IA) gave him a real scare before going wrong. The under 1600 winners were tied and that was Kevin Hyde (local) and Ed Reedy (Orion, IL).

All said they had a good time and will be back.

Got lots of emails from a variety of people who had other commitments but who "hope" to be at future events which will be held on the second Saturday of the month (except for October which will be Oct. 21-22). Turn that "hope" into a commitment fellows! Sit down, look at the calendar and make a DATE to come.

A newsletter will be coming out. Prizes were paid, we were done by 5 p.m. There were a number of interesting games. After round 2 we adjourned to places like Wendy's to get something to eat. Hopefully a fridge is in our future. The air was nice, and even more lighting will be installed this coming week (though what we had worked just fine).

And where else can you play that has chess stuff for sale?

Several people stopped by to ask about lessons, training, memberships. All are being set up. I am putting email addresses of those who request it in a special folder for future emailings. If you are one such, let me know. What I expect will eventually happen is this: at the moment I have room for 24, and more than 24 will show up... so GENTLEMEN CHESS CLUB members will have first acceptance!

Am looking at a discount schedule, t-shirts (nice ones, not the stuff one sees at other clubs), these will be KNIT with an emblazoned logo and YOUR name on them. George Eichhorn's idea, I get to choose the logo and color.

The event went well, no histrionics. Would be great to see more locals--you guys don't know how good you have it.

As always, contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Friday, August 12, 2011


GOOD NEWS: In issue #4 of SCORE a bunch of new titles from Everyman Chess and Gmginger (Simon WIlliams' DVD chess company) were featured and reviewed. Great pieces.

BAD NEWS: For the first time in forever, I sold out of all of them: Queen's Gambit Declined, the new Old Indian (a fabulous book), Cyrus Lakdawala's the SLAV move by move, and Nick Pert's 2 volume DVD on The Endgame!

GOOD NEWS: All have been reordered! The first to come in most likely will be the DVDs as I saw this coming several days ago. The books should be here next week.

What's Going On?
There are a number of factors at work. One is seeing the books and DVDs in person such as at my new shop in downtown Davenport, and the other was being at Red Wing. MN. There's nothing like seeing something in person to counter or to affirm what some writer/reviewer has had to say.

I know that NPR aired comments from people in Borders during their demise that some would admit to looking at the books in Borders and then order them from someone else when they left the store. This IS management's fault just like the current fiscal and political crises are. It really pays to KNOW your customer and to offer alternatives. I remember suggesting an idea to an art shop owner here in Davenport. It would have worked but he wanted to do things HIS way (I suspect he is independently wealthy because this was too good to ignore).

In the near future The Gentlemens Chess Club will feature reasons for coming back as a repeat customer since it is always good to take one's own advice and not merely dispense it to others!

It's amazing how the location is shaping up. Room for 24. Pieces and boards provided. Books and equipment around the perimeter. Cool air conditioning. PADDED chairs! And good lighting. There will be more but I will hold off mentioning them until they have happened. People need reasons to visit, I hope I can provide them though I will not play chess with potential customers. There is NO upside to that. If I win, their chance of ever coming back is about 5%. If I lose, even if it is one game out of ten, their faith in me as an expert at anything chess, goes down the tubes.

Visit, inquire, we can begin a chess relationship which would include learning and fun as well as playing. Membership details will unfold soon.

Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011


There is a Saturday tournament at my place, The Gentlemens Chess Club, on August 13, the second Saturday of August. There will be another in September, November, and December. The only exception, for October, will be October 21-22 when IM Andrew Martin will be in town and that weekend the first round is on Friday night and the other 3 rounds are on Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22.

This is to create CONSISTENCY. So....... even if you can't remember the date, you can most likely remember THE SECOND SATURDAY OF THE MONTH. If there are exceptions you will be notified in advance, but I am not too big on exceptions as it just creates more stuff to remember.

ADDED ATTRACTIONS: Eventually we will be adding boxed lunches and drinks once we are "in the air." Posters will also be going up so you can easily see the shop from the one way and no where to turn.

Today, I added two more tables and 8 more chairs. I have no idea what the "crowd" will look like this Saturday (spectators are welcome), but there is room for 24 players Tonight I am reading up some more on the Rules and the new Addendum (ye gads, too many rules). And to make sure I know how MY digital clocks work.

I was talking with Camron this morning, the older gent who was helping me move in tables and chairs, and we reminisced that: most people have NO IDEA what it is like to run a business and that is why so many fail when they DO start a business. You have to have that "no fail" mentality, the same one which is in chess only it is called the "no lose" mentality. Long hours (chess, long study hours). Minimal gain (slow grinding rating gains).

If it were really true that us small business owners were raking it in, don't you think there would be a LOT more small business owners? Mostly there are COPYCATS if one does manage to do something successfully. Kids of parents who run a small business (successfully) know what it is like as Dad or Mom is at it MORE than others might think. Family sometimes suffers--I know mine did.

I know from being in Savannah, GA that August is a bad month to hold or do anything except perhaps to chill out. But for years there has been nothing but complaints that there were no tournaments on the weekend in the QC area. or, very few. Well, I am doing something about that--let's see what happens.

In the next week I should be putting out a more detailed Calendar which not only lists shop hours but evening teaching or blitz hours.

As always, you can find me at: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Kudos to Sarah McCall for coming up with the excellent tagline for the GENTLEMENS CHESS CLUB: "The WAR begins beneath the Bowler." More info on a Special HAT tournament and things like that in the future.

For the meantime the walls my tenant left need some work. So I hope to do some "patchy" painting (white primer) to keep them from looking like the freckles of a brown Dalmation.

Other details for THIS Saturday are:
August 13th.

ADDRESS: 1101 W. 4th Street, Davenport, IA 52801

Time: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Rounds: 4. Swiss pairings. Game in 1 hour with 5 second delay for EACH player.
Rated: Yes, with US Chess Federation membership required for standard play. Bring proof of your latest rating if you have one. If not a member, Memberships will be sold on site.

FEE: $20 this time. Bring cash. Exact amount preferred.
PRIZES: 20% to first, 15% to second, and 15% to Unrated-under 1600.

Room for: 24 players. Boards and sets provided. (Well lit and air conditioned.)  Bring your chess clock and know how to set it. Digital clocks are now for sale at $30 at the GCC.

Address Again: 1101 W. 4th St., Davenport, IA 52801.

Email address: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Phone (emergency): 563-271-6657.

Director/Manager/Point of Contact: Bob Long

A ONE DAY event for learning, fun, prizes and opportunity. This time it's local but out-of-towners are welcome. Rating limit? Must be unrated or under 2200. That should be everyone in the QC area.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Though my personal opinion about all this "privacy" stuff is that it is a "look at me" for many (lawmakers, bankers, medical, and crybabies)... I do respect the wishes of those who do not want to be photographed or have their name mentioned in my materials. There are valid reasons sometimes such as those working for the diplomatic corps or in the entertainment business (we used to sell to actors/writers in various TV shows in Hollywood).

And the real security businesses too such as NSA and CIA. I've met "tap dancers" over the years in the "intelligence" community and it makes sense to not promote this. My own son was in MI for his six year tour of the Army and he's said very little to me about his time in Korea.

So I can keep a secret, but for the rest of us, it's a lot of paperwork, time wasting, and a boondoggle where people want to feel important instead of "getting busy."

The way some people talk about "their" cancer, problems in their families, etc. in public places, it bothers me that they think they are keeping this stuff from employers and potential employers who really should have a right to know... put yourself in THEIR shoes.

Me? I like being busy, but not gossip busy.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Friday, August 5, 2011


At my place, the Gentlemen's Chess Club.
1101 W. 4th St., Davenport IA 52803

Date: August 13th, 2011
Time: Reg. 9:00 a.m. Round Starts 9:30 a.m.
Room for first 16 entries.
USCF Rated.
Time Control: Game in 1 hour, 5 second time delay.
Number of rounds: Four.

Entry Fee: $20.

Returning 50% in prizes for first and second and first in under 1600.

Rating limit, up to 2200.

Bring USCF card and latest rating with you.

Questions: 563-271-6657

Sets and boards provided. Bring clock if you have one. Scoresheets also provided.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

TO BEGIN AT THE GCC (Gentlemen's Chess Club)

Tables set up, chairs are padded, boards and pieces are set up, and there is even a chess clock ready in the digital format.

And there are more tables like this.

I want to get posters up. Would love to have Bogie talking to Peter Lorre from the movie Casablanca (although it would be fun to Photoshop in Capablanca for Lorre's character).

Sarah has suggested Palm Trees, pictures of camels, alligators, etc. (sounds like Florida except for the camel part). In other words, create an atmosphere. Years ago we had discussed setting up a Cuban Night Club in a building we had been looking at. She spent many years in Miami so the "interior decoration" ideas were not far removed.

The building is cool, well lit.

And I am open tomorrow from 10 AM to 1 PM and expect at least one out of towner who will be teaching chess to elementary school students. Maybe you?

More of tomorrow's SCORE is being worked on today... so, I will get back to that. I've been reviewing Nick Pert's Killer Endgames 1-2 and have found the information cataclysmically fantastic! Highly recommended, and I am sold out. So am ordering some more now and they should be here next week.

A calendar is being worked on. Probably our first weekend tournament will be Saturday, August 13th. Game in an hour, 4 rounds. $20 entry fee. Come join us. Questions? Contact:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


This will be the new name of "The Chess Center." In this way I would hope to attract professionals who seldom have the time for much but in the past we have hosted: psychiatrists, lawyers, newspaper people, engineers, real estate moguls, teachers, salesmen, etc. And, women would be welcomed too.

There will be events too unlike anything you have seen before BUT still all chess. More details in future Blogs. I just wanted to establish this here as a first. For example, "Old Hat Day." People come to a Saturday event wearing something old on their head:
a. Old time baseball cap
b. Sherlock Holmes' type Deerstalker
c. Clerk's eyeshade (maybe accompanied with suspenders)
d. Porkpie hat
e. Bowler
f. Detective slouch hat

My ex Sarah came up with some great ideas which will be brought forth. Amazing ones actually including the name.

In the mean time, I have bought 6 ft long tables and PADDED chairs (nice ones) with room for 16 players but expandable to 24, maybe more.

Some seasonal decorations too such as Palm Trees, posters....

All this if my building hasn't sold. If it does sell, I will move to another location, rent it, and spruce the place up.

In the meantime, if you are from out of town, I would welcome you.

Rules? Only three:
a. Must be a USCF member
b. Must know the rules and moves of chess play
c. Behave yourself (no pets, no alcohol, no smoking, no drugs, no computers, no phones, no yelling, etc.) Many restaurants put up with bad patron behavior... I never have, and won't. My method brings IN more customers than it loses, and everyone is comfortable. The local sheriff is only a few blocks away...LOL.

Tomorrow I should have some photos showing the current interior (before it gets dressed even more) with tables and chairs set up, board and pieces on the tables and digital clocks.

I'm serious about this enterprise. In Purdy's day, in Sydney, Australia the department store Horden's (Hordern's?) had space for a club and there were 300 members. I would love to have 50-100 (and don't tell me about the difference in populations* as if I don't know that) paid with No Room for R&R (Riff and Raff). The whole IDEA is Fun and Camaraderie and perhaps I can figure out how to make a living from it.

*In its heyday, the twenties, the Quad-Cities, where I am from, had one of the largest chess clubs in the United States! I've seen pictures of their splendid outings! And they had some very strong players of master level too. I think it was called the Tri-City Chess and Checkers Club. (There used to be national checkers championships held here too!) They existed up through the 50s. I don't know why they disbanded and eventualy formed the Illowa Chess Club, of which I was a member in 1963 (!!) and still play there from time to time. But what I envision is a WHOLE new Chess Club.

Anything is possible IF you think that way. The economy? Did you know more millionaires are created during recessions than at any other time? Everyone is holding on to their money for all the wrong reasons. The other day I was told Borders went out of business because of the Kindle (one reason) and eBooks. Maybe, but during their HUGE Going out of Business sale, there were thousands of people there over a several day period and they WEREN'T buying eBooks!!! And the discounts in many cases were only 10-20% with a few sections which were higher (Business for example, was 30%, Blue Ray was 40%). If Borders would have figured out a way to get people in there who would buy at 20% off instead of limiting it to ONE item, they might still be around.

I had to deal with Borders in the 90s and business was good. After 911 they kept changing CEOs bringing in people who knew nothing about books but no doubt who had an MBA! They were more interested in "diversity" (I call it perversity) and I know because I applied for a position as manager and had to read all their guff. Nothing at all about doing a GREAT job in SELLING books! A business has ONE main reason for being in business and that is to MAKE A PROFIT. Period. Some have misinterpreted that as to MAKE A MOUNTAIN OF MONEY, others couldn't sell at a lemonade stand.

The streets of business are littered with the corpses or the ill-educated doofus who went to college.

As always, you can contact me at: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Players and customers are champing at the bit to know what will be happening in October.

The general format is almost ready. There will be prizes too. It will be a chess training and playing event (rated).

Haven't worked out all the costs and pricing yet, but it's on my mind. There will be a tiered payment system for those who have supported G&L CHESS in the recent past.

Openings will be the subject, 4 MAIN ones.

More details soon.

Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

PS: Hope to have SCORE out by this Friday Noon too.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I knew this would be a fantastic event--it was. I will post more info and pictures over the next week or two.

Friday night started out with a presentation by GM Yermolinsky on Viktor Moskalenko's book Revolutionize Your Chess.

For several hours Yermo talked about the Touchstones in order: T1, T2,..., T5. Questions were asked, comments made (And exercises were set up for the next morning, covering almost two hours). Alex was very favorably impressed with the book and so were we about what Moskalenko was accomplishing. The book, according to the former US champion, had a few spots that could have been a little better, but on the whole it was a very USEFUL book.

The audience "got it." The games, in general, were spot on to the thesis of the book. As to whether the book was a "System" as stated on the cover, it probably wasn't in the usual sense of the word. But you can take the tenets in the book and, in effect, create yourself a "learning system" which WILL help YOU improve. And isn't that what all of us are trying to do. Everybody was enthused about the book and getting more out of it, including the chess curmudgeon, me (Bob Long).

He showed how, with attendee Ed Reedy's help in finding an appropriate example (Ed had read the whole book!), endgame positions ALSO lent themselves to the "microscope." This was nicely revealing.

The game choices were probably (my estimate), 90-95 percent on the money based on Yermo's comments.

As Alex and I were wrapping up the event he promised some additional notes for my attendees and customers on the book and said he was going to reread it again. He was now VERY familiar with the content, unlike some who put their two cents worth in on the internet (and who really don't understand this book). Yermolinsky DID understand what Moskalenko's purposes were! I wouldn't be surprised if Alex incorporates material from this book in his own teachings.

PS: I would pick this up if I were you. It's a "sleeper." Since New in Chess didn't get much press out of this book, it will probably quietly disappear and then be available on the web for some ridiculous amount of money. Get it now. I have several copies and will be ordering more, but even I can't afford to lay in big supplies just to help those who won't get around to wanting it for several years! (This happens to me ALL the time.)

More coming. In the meantime, you can always contact me at: