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.


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