Monday, December 31, 2012


Wishing you all the best for 2013.
People want bigger or smaller government and I would be reasonably satisfied if we HAD government.

In the end guys and gals it's up to us because the people in Washington have waited, once again, to the last minute (or second). They could've worked this out a year ago but everyone is afraid to put their toe in the water. I am betting that if the major players were locked in a cell and threatened with execution (in other words, these millionaires would have SOMETHING at stake, their life) by midnight if they didn't have a viable plan worked out, you KNOW they would come up with a compromise.

On To Something Else

I want to thank my customers who hung in with me through 2012.

I want to thank (seriously) those who responded in the last few days to my sales just before the New Year.  It raises much needed cash, shows me who is still alive, and allows me to start the new year with some new thoughts and ideas.

Tomorrow or the next day I am sending out an investment idea because my shop/building is on its last legs (to the banker and property tax guy). Ya now, you work extremely hard to keep making those payments and when you fail (such as with property taxes) someone else comes along and makes the payments. By the time you make the payback, more insanity has taken place. Bankers want me to have a regular income (or, in my case, income) and I am tired of bankers (doubtful, that's only a euphemism), people who want my building and have no $$$ (I have no idea what they are thinking!) Dreamers without practicality probably. Maybe we all start there.

At any rate... thank you and now I think I will go make some scrambled eggs. Seriously.

PS: So far it looks like it's the building in trouble, losing thousands of bucks over the years, not the business (meh)... I'll still be here in 2013. Make note of that.


Blogging is a time-saver for me and apparently something some like to read. I guess there are blogs out there with thousands of registered readers and mine has only 36. The funny thing is I suspect most chess guys are voyeurs and seriously non-committal types. They duck in now and then and then leave. Some are afraid Google will track them--my gawd are YOU that important?

It would be nice to get advertising to support what I write but it will only happen if thousands of people "hook up." I'm afraid that my blog is not a gossip-column about who in chess is gay, who is suicidal, who lost their ass in 2012, etc. It's really about what is happening at The Chess Butler. Go to TMZ for all that other stuff.

Here's the deal. In my recent emailing I mentioned having only 4 copies of Modern Chess Brilliancies (Hustled) left, the book by Gossip and Pillsbury, at $59.95. Well now I have 1, maybe 2 (I am still straightening out the mess on my work bench). Hardbound. Was reading it this morning. Some of Pillsbury's comments are priceless. Probably your last chance.

Contact me today (I am amazed at those who contacted and had forgotten all about it!! Life in a putty knife factory is a must read for all H. Allen Smith Comedy Devotees).

Friday, December 28, 2012


Will be downtown today from 1 pm to a little after 2 pm if you want to stop by.

That's: 1101 W. 4th St., Davenport, IA

And tomorrow (Saturday) from Noon to 2 p.m.


I hear from people all over the USA who wish they had something chess local (like me) where they could stop by and pick up books, sets (equipment), and chess stuff including some conversation, but here, in the Quad-Cities, you don't see that.

It's not a case of familiarity breeds contempt it's a case of cheapness and short-sightedness. I knew another bookseller (non chess) in the QC area who told me after he had closed a store on the other side of the river how people would call him up and lament the store closing even though it had been closed 5 years BEFORE those phone calls! Time flies, people forget and I do not forget the idea of CONVENIENCE.

Ya know, I am well aware people work during the week, and some on the weekends, but not every day, 24/7. It becomes a matter of "I oughta pick up that book on the endgame, but, nah, I wanna stay inside. Maybe next week." The next thing we know, they are gone. Two seconds worth of regrets then on to Wal-Mart: big parking lot, lines at the cash registers (I've had checks rejected for NO reason!)

Before I hear from someone who says "That's why it is easier to order online." True and untrue.

You can't inspect the goods online. You can return stuff but that is as big of a hassle as going somewhere.

What You Don't Know
But here's what a lot of people DO NOT KNOW. Studies have shown that online shopping has a tough time HOLDING the attention of the potential buyer who may flit from here to there, start comparison shopping, have difficulty with some of the web pages (many in fact) or not like the terms being offered. And so they leave, maybe never to return. In fact the stats are really against the online buyer. I wish I had the paperwork in front of my face, but someone popping online to ACTUALLY purchase something and then following through is NOT good except for last-minute gift decisions and even then... NOT good, not the right color, weight, shipping is too much...

I do some online shopping but not much and never chess. Many of these sites (not "sights" as I see so often) need a CONCIERGE... someone who really knows something about the products. I think, for a short while, that would be a FUN job to have. I said for "a short while" because I know eventually it would lead to some "taking advantage of someone else's time)." Shame.

A new short list of exceptional used books is going out today to those who hold the 2012 Black Gold Card--first! Then what is left will be shared with others who might be interested. You'll be glad you are a 2012 BGC holder.

For 2013 it will be the RED GOLD CARD and it is still $50 even after the beginning of our 5th year of doing this. I've got a whole page of BENEFITS I will be sending out soon.

I sent out a reminder catalog of special SALE prices good through December 31. I always get some last minute purchasers (and that is fine with me) and as some items are in serious limited supply, I urge those who want to save BIG to get that email, print it out, dive in, and fire off "ye olde order."
Thanks gang

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


On Friday at 1 p.m. until (?) I will be at the shop at 1101 W. 4th Street to meet with my old friend Art Hernandez. With Art I have to have to NEW and OLD stuff out for him to select and of course we trade stories... we both have lots of them.

On Saturday at the same location in Davenport, Iowa I will be open from Noon to 2 p.m. for more of the same.

Chess sets, books, maybe magazines... all the schlepping back and forth does get old. If we don't have new snow you can park in front of or at the side of the shop and get a chance to see how the cities' roadgrader tore up my lawn moving snow off of the street. In some post, maybe years ago, I mentioned how the drivers of these monsters can run over anything. I knew one guy, a short dude, who went he got into one of these earthmovers would ride high in the saddle and get as big (puffed up) as he thought his "you-know-what" was! The incarnate Little Big Man!

So if you are looking for a Last Hurrah before the year is over... stop in. I never know who will show because many more people read this blog than are "officially" tapped into it!


Bill Murray and Robert Duvall were in a terrific movie called Down Low.

But I have something a little different in mind: Chess Garage and Chess Attic, the low and the high. It will be two different strata of catalogs. One for the inexpensive stuff (Chess Garage) and one for the more expensive (Chess Attic). Work begins next week--and work it will be but I hope to convince you that doing business with the Chess Butler is the best there is.

In the meantime the Nov-Dec catalog I released with the ridiculously low prices will be updated today and released again to the end of the year. That is, prices will be good through Next Monday, Dec. 31. Some of my customers told me they would pick up stuff "later" so, later is here.

Three Gems Disappearing Fast:

The first is Modern Chess Brilliancies (Hustled) by George Gossip & Harry Pillsbury. I have 4 left at $59.95. A great 100 page book in hardcover full of notes left by Pillsbury probably from HIS personal copy. Great fun, great reading and it will be a collectible (telling you in advance).

The second is The Chess Assassin's Business Manual--a collection of business stories and chess stories about the businesses I've run. If I remember correctly it runs about 300 pages, 7x10 in size. Also includes lots of photos and artwork too from 1965 to 2008. I've thought about splitting the book into two parts but, no time so far... and maybe update, but, no time so far.

The third is My Search for Chess Perfection by C.J.S. Purdy. Lately with my work on 1 BOND Street (the new magazine about Purdy and His Friends) I have been reading through the pages of MSFCP again and some ideas are percolating. There will be a shelf life to MSFCP as I run out of storage space (this is a way of saying that if I had a wife this stuff wouldn't be stored here!) Why? Because as time passes I hear more complaints about Amazon and eBay and NONE of us are going to live forever... so I have to pick what I intend to do in the remaining years. At the moment The Chess Butler (me) offers excellent service even though I am downsizing my inventory. Life may be at a crossroads for how I am going to handle everything, efficiently. What's my fear? That people will give up on chess as an outlet of fun because of all the idiotic people out there who are selling chess stuff and have NO concept of service or payment! So while I have them, MSFCP is $33.95 + $6.00 for S&H (until Jan. 1, 2013).

I look back at 2012 in all its mustiness, violence, business insanity, and of course the bozos nonpareil (Congress and the president) and I am hoping for a better and prosperous 2013. So if I don't write again until we are in 2013, Happy New Year.


as Christie said when I walked into Barnes & Noble the other day, "Oh here is my favorite curmudgeon!" We talk books, movies, and music (no chess). Great big gal but very knowledgeable for someone in her mid-forties. We make each other laugh and of course that helps get everyone through the day. Most entertaining would-be and real authors are somewhat curmudgeon-like in their "off moments."

Back soon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I was at my shop Friday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. for a continuation of Thursday last week and selling items from the Dale Suilmann collection.

Two people showed and both were buyers.
Isaac Newton (his real name) got a very nice rosewood and boxwood set, 4.25" King and weighted like Samson's butt! He was able to check out all the pieces in advance (which you can't do on eBay). He put all the pieces on a board (a common request of mine)  to verify they were all there. The set weighed almost 5 pounds!

Ed Reedy picked up three books (Ed doesn't care whether the notation is Descriptive or algebraic--I like Ed).

Am open tomorrow morning for a bit at 11 a.m. for John Hartmann (Omaha). Anyone else want to stop by at that time?

Always glad to meet my customers. Still taking orders via email and phone (563-271-6657). Keep my phone with me...a pad and pen would be a good idea too!

Today I taught my grandson (8.5) how to play chess! His Dad helped a bit. Alex seemed to have a great time. I suspect we will have a winner here!

PURDY -- 1 BOND Street
Keeps selling every other day! More info coming. Have to get off now, the internet is "crawling."

Monday, December 17, 2012


Ridiculous and Freedom
I am thinking of designating Mondays of my week as "ridiculous" and Fridays as "freedom."

I need to buy stuff for my customers so Monday would be a good day to do all bill paying, one day of the week. That way I would remember. I get a lot of really dumb stuff in my mail and I have to start sorting it faster and it's not just from insurance companies. My bank is a pain in the ass, for example. I am getting constant reminders from credit card companies and internet companies to use them (GoDaddy for example requires having a full time proctologist!), change to them and there is NO good reason to do so. My current CC company notes I have "reward points" coming and wants to give me choices from well known gift cards. Yet I hesitate because I see when I go ostensibly to THEIR web site, there are too many requirements they want for me to get the damn card! They want to know about my loans, other credit cards, etc., etc. With all the database mining these days and computer retrieval stuff out their they could assemble all this crap themselves but they want me to verify with THEM what I already know (and they do too), Yes, there are people with similar names, and maybe from the same town, but we don't have the same Soc. Sec. # and if they deny having that info, we know they are lying. Would other members of my family misuse these emails. I am sure it happens. They should be instantly executed! There is no family or quests at my offices... you would think they would know that also!

Now Friday is interesting because for years I have wanted to take off Friday for at least Friday afternoon. Not too successful with that one! In fact, this Friday I have another 1-5 p.m. sprint of displaying more of Dale's collection (and maybe some other things I have). It's a great place to get an inexpensive wooden chess set or a very expensive wooden chess set... maybe in a terrific box. Or magazines, or bound Chess Life volumes for many years, Chess Digest, and tons of other books like Olms (in the flesh and more than you probably recognize).

It seems that everyone is holding their crotch and waiting to see what the "fiscal cliff" will bring. It's going to bring more taxes in some shape or form. Everyone was getting a deal AFTER the Clinton administration but it is doubtful if any was "socked away." I know I didn't it was tough enough as it was. I can tell things are different now as I hear from Staples every day, Vista Print, and lots more. I am doing "Unsubscribes" right and left and it's not helping much. My emails are shorter. Everyone is offering deals except:::: TADA, the grocery stores! Now the grocery stores have a special way of hiding their "deals." In just the last month prices are going up all over the place like 20%!!! (If you haven't noticed I pity you, you aren't paying attention.) Then they have gas-saver fuel cards (so you will buy stuff you don't ordinarily buy!), rewards cards, cheaper breakfast on Thursday mornings, etc... which brings the price down to what you were paying two months ago! But for those who don't pay attention or don't care about these services, the grocery stores make more, even though the gas prices have fallen like a rock (that one is amazing in itself).

I remember the "old" days when I would get out a Chernev or Horowitz book, put some music on listening to Gene  Pitney or Roy Orbison and just enjoying myself (at home). Kill a couple great hours that way. We can still do that but now there are organizations who are having 1-3 meetings per month. I got two notices today about a special supper tonight and 2 last week (maybe more). There are dumb people out there who forget (raising hand) who who don't care enough to put it on a calendar and then forget to look at the calendar (me again). I would rather work on a Purdy project or SCORE or a new book because I know that provides LASTING pleasure of more than one evening. I am going tonight because some is going with me (that I can remember) but I hope there are no speeches or other crap. Just sort of: "Glad you are here, you deserve a time out and we are paying for it. There will be 4 entrees to choose from. Thanks for coming. The END."

I will say that once in a while someone will make a toast or small speech and they are fun to listen to, but not often. If any of you belong to LINKEDIN you know what I mean when someone suggests that I (Bob Long) has endorsed me in the area of "Public Speaking." By a financial advisor who I recently "unsubscribed" myself from. I hardly know this guy and know of NO instances where he has heard me speak!

Tuesday through Thursday and Friday morning (plus weekends)... I work harder than you can imagine. Last night I finished the basic proofing of SCORE 24 from Igor Stohl at 2 a.m. Got up at 9 a.m. and haven't had a shower yet, but, it's coming! His article on the Meran and Anti-Meran is a super Christmas present to subscribers and soon I will be telling you why and the subscription rate is just a smidgen for something that is almost a book and at the perfect time of the Holiday Season. As I said, more in a few days and I hope you subscribe. Minus maniacs like last Friday, there are a lot of good things going on and soon I will be filling you in, in spades. Whew!

Friday, December 14, 2012


As Friday passes slowly into Saturday I think about ways of enriching, inspiring, and changing people's lives at this time of the year because most of us really do want "Peace on Earth," but 1 out of 25 people (on average) do not care about anyone but themselves.

As I took Ethics and Logic in College and have read my documents on the same subject over the years I have come to realize the Great Morals collapse of leading to "anything goes" as it appeared from its spectred from the 1960s.

Innocent, never hurt anybody kids, getting killed by a depraved maniac who had his demons today and HIS own type of "logic" for doing so.

I sat in a doctor's waiting room today and wondered, out loud, to a lady sitting close by, a legal Greek immigrant. She and I talked about "decay." I said, "What is next?" The answer is: "nothing." Nothing will be done after the services of all those kids and adults because we are surrounded by cowards who can never agree on anything, who are afraid of the gun lobby (which apparently has no conscience, hence the one in twenty five), who are afraid of having their "rights" taken away (which they gave up in the 60s), and who are afraid of REAL legislation mandating that everyone be subject to "mental illness scans over time."

You know who would object the most?
The politicians and social workers who have sold out (this includes a broad swath of positions and not just social workers). Did you know that if you touch, or violate the egg of a bald eagle you are subject to a $250,000 fine and possible jail time but, if you wipe out a fetus which is in the same parallel situation, nothing will happen to you? It defies ethics and logic because of the 1 sociopath in every 25 people who pretend to find a reason out of anything--morals be damned--IS it legal?

The Greek lady lamented that her daughter registered herself as a democrat to vote for same-sex marriage without realizing what that really entails. Justice Scalia queried recently as we slide down the slippery slope into depravity, when will murder and beastiality, etc. be OK? As we go it is a matter of time.

This is not a ramble as you may see it, it's a subject that will affect our current kids, their kids, and down the line. Smoking dope is now being legislated as OK because it "doesn't hurt anyone" even though it does. The residual effects stay in the blood stream a lot longer than a few minutes. Do you want a doctor who is using this to be operating on you? A UPS driver using this driving a big truck around on the streets just because until he hasn't killed somebody (yet) and how that translates into "he never will?"

We have forgotten to understand what EVIL really is and where it comes from. I heard from a European GM today and who had mentioned to me his daughter was quite sick and I said that I would pray for and suggest that he do so too. He replied that everyone in his family was okay with prayer but he had fallen off the wagon and that perhaps he should mend his ways.

Hey, it's never too late.
So today is a day of a date for me, working on 1 BOND Street and fixing up the typos, and watching the incessant coverage on TVs in doctor's offices and elsewhere covering a tragedy that most likely NO ONE will do anything about. It will be on the cover of TIME, the Sunday morning "talking heads" shows, etc. And they will DO NOTHING.

The politicians wouldn't submit to a "mental health examination" because they pass laws exempting themselves saying "We are your leaders you just don't understand, we are trying to help." I've got news for these guys without a conscience, "Quit worrying about getting re-elected, worrying what your friends and constituents believe (we already believe that our "leaders" are losers) or think. It's really, really sad that these kids will have no more Christmases. It could have been your child or grandchild. Maybe it was.

And one thing I thought about, a lot, "Why are these things happening in affluent neighborhoods, in schools where parents and kids have everything, and why these killer "kids" are so unsatisfied and insecure and have no moral compass?" How can we allow traumatic assault weapons (I know what these are as I studied this stuff when I worked for DoD)?

Don't dismiss evil as a cause. Get right with your creator, the one who allows these things to happen and who wants US (that's right, US) to get back on the track we were once on. People ask, "God, how can you let this happen?" WE let it happen because we live in a "fantasy world" of "do no harm." God as warned us, plenty of times, WE choose to ignore him except when WE are suffering the pain. Until these state and federal politicians eventually SUFFER from such outrage, NOTHING will be done. They keep putting up defensive systems for themselves, but not for us. You cannot LOCK OUT evil unless you have WILL.

Most of us want to continue to sell, teach, do law, farm, work, pray, and live... but crap keeps getting in the way and we are always called to do something about it. We just concluded this divisive election and I don't see us any closer to truth and compromise. We elect representatives and they do not represent anyone but themselves and even there they do that poorly.

The 1 in 25? That's what is estimated to be the number of sociopaths in any group and sociopaths do not care. They have no conscience and in business, or the military, in science, in instruction, people are AFRAID of them and ignore them hoping they will go away. They do not.

No concern.
It's time for real leadership. When I was interviewing for a job by going to a headhunter business I was told one thing that BIG US businesses were looking for was leadership and there was such a shortage of it because greed and power kept getting in the way and there was no concern for others, businesses (such as working conditions, patent theft and tons more), the American, or even the foreigner.

We build these monstrosity buildings in Washington D.C. and populate them with people who are "just doing their job." I suspect, don't you, that they no longer know what their job is. As long as they want what they want the COST doesn't matter, the implementation doesn't matter, and the results will "come around." How come this never happens? We live in a Utopia which isn't a utopia.

It is times like this, and I know it sounds corny, where a simple game like chess can eschew politics, can instruct, can help our logic, can straighten our ethics (no cheating at chess), and have some entertainment for a brief time while getting to know others.

We can't despair but we can pray. When WE can feel helpless, like after 9/11, we can still pray and let the Big Guy do the rest and bring out the wisdom in the rest of us. But like in chess, HOPE is not much of a strategy. If we do nothing else, we can still pray. Not tomorrow, but at this moment. Stop for a moment and do so. We don't need a day of prayer, we need a lifetime of prayer.


Thursday, December 13, 2012


When I sell or am open or go to tournaments I always expect and hope to do well or I don't go. That doesn't mean my expectations are always met but that's what I go into the fracas feeling.

Some years ago when I was in the magic effects business I went with my Demo Man to an event in Decatur IL for a one day convene with magicians. I loaded up my LTD and we drove a long way. At the end of the day John and I were depressed. We had enough stuff with us to sink the Bismarck! We didn't know we would have competition, we weren't told that. It turns out we sold 4X what the other guy did and twice as much as the Pro from St. Louis we replaced. We weren't satisfied.

Shoot for the MOON!

I've had an organizer fire me when she told me where to sell and how to sell. I was not  invited back the next year because I ignored her! For the next couple years they invited various bozos  who it turned out she couldn't stand (maybe they DID what she told them to do!) either. Well, she invited me me back, eventually, and their percentages were up again! And we got along just great. Really.

Probably what annoys them is when I say, "You are the organizer, do I make suggestions about how you can do a better job?" The answer, of course, is no I don't.

Today Mark Capron paid me a compliment. Mark said they had a record turnout at the Iowa Open this year, about 130 or more. Said he copied an idea I once had about charging out of towners less in Entry Fees! (What a concept!) Unfortunately he lost the site for next year because the NEW hotel management accused chess players (falsely he adds) about ruining the ceiling in one of the rooms and they complained about it a week later after OTHER groups had been in that room.

So today was a success. The most people I had seen in my Gentlemens Chess Club "shoppe" in many a moon and not only that, they made it worth my while to hang around until 5:00 p.m. Of course I am now bone-tired.

Lots of chess sets, dvds, and books most of us haven't seen in a long time lead the way. Lots of war stories. fun, cookie eating, and renewing old acquaintances.
Even a couple guys were there to look at my building and asked about the "leasing rates." Who knows?

I must say that Dale Suilmann's chess sets were a very fine lot generating many questions and even a sale with maybe more coming.

Going to do this one more time before Christmas: December 21 from 1 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. because I am a glutton for punishment. Different sets and books too--that's how much stuff I have. Should be able to let you know next week what to expect. Nice to see Scott Johnson and his son Matt too for the first time.

Wished I had remembered to make some hot chocolate.

This is the part of chess the "internetters" have forgotten about--the camaraderie of meeting, face-to-face, good friends and old friends.

Thanks for coming guys.

PS: By the way Charles Dickens stole that headline from me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Many cool, older, and memorable items will be on display, for SALE (I have to throw that in to disappoint those who treat things like this as something I "aimlessly do" with all my spare time--don't ask me to explain it--I can't!)

Thursday afternoon at 1101 W. 4th St., Davenport, IA. From 1-5 p.m.

Lots of books, many in original hardcover, and lots of chess sets, too many for me to have them all ready for this Thursday so I will try to make a representative selection.

In the book realm there are all kinds of ENDINGs books by Averbakh, Smyslov, etc. in DN and alg. not. Batsford and Pergamon.

Middlegame books 1-2 by Euww and Kramer.

Kasparov books, autographed... I hope they never release these in paperback because they will almost be non-sellers.

Chess Informant books on combinations, the middlegame and many of their other projects I'm sure.

Bound Chess Life's, CHESS, Helm's American Chess Bulletin, Chess Digest and who knows what else?

At this time prefer to sell complete sets rather than one here or there. If I was selling your collection (who knows? I've sold famous and infamous ones) would you want ME to divide it up and have left overs? This is a "consignment sale" too much in the way of desirables to be able to afford to buy like I used to do in the 90s. But... the good jazz is here, all in English it appears.

Hope you can make it. Maybe do something out of the box for a change, eh? I am. I'm going to my shop when I would rather work out of my office and will be lugging things down there and back. That's hours lost right there.


PS: If there is something special you would like me to hold for you because you can't make it, let me know. I am already creating a MENTAL "watch list."

As to the 1 BOND Street series of 6 by Purdy, the subscriptions are trending upward. Several more today. Someone asked me if there would be a Gold Card price and I said the $99 is it. The Butler price will go up at the end of the year. NOW, for a brief time, if you are  a customer, of any kind, you can subscribe at the $99 price. I know some will forget (probably people like me) and ask if they can get the "favorable" price later and then that defeats the purpose of rewarding those who ACT NOW. $99. The GOOD stuff.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Near the end of this week (Fri.) my Gentlemens Chess Club calendar which I had sent to many --says I will be selling "stuff" during the time I was open.

That has been moved to Thursday and for GOOD REASON.

What is that?

THE EVENT! It will be from 1-5 p.m. Thursday afternoon AND it will have lots of books, chess sets and magazines (many bound) there. (Address below.)

My good buddy Roger Sadeghi (he is a professor of physics and lives in Switzerland) said it was CRUEL for me to hold that even here so far away from him and crazy air fare. I admit, I had to agree with him.

One reason for this stellar event is to see if I can get locals and those from within a 200 miles radius to show up (car driving). That's 3-4 hours. Since Dale Suilmann, the fellow who is disposing, drove 12 hours round trip, in one day... I think we can say that Dale had the more difficult task.

Mention of the Life and Times of Mikhail Tal autographed book made one good fellow I know, Rick R., reschedule his work flow! Way to go Rick. See, it can be done! (Of course I always knew it could be in 90% of the cases).

So... mark that on your calendar--this week!

Also, I will be open for a while on Friday the following week. Haven't yet determined the hours. I hate to stay there all day at 1101 W. 4th St., Davenport, IOWA and have no one show up. This time, there are amazing reasons to be here. Ebony and non ebony sets with great PRICING you gotta love it).


1 BOND Street is ready to go except for the cover design which I am hoping is finished tonight or tomorrow. It will be 6 issues of at least 40 packed pages (the first one is 42 pgs. + cover). Some of the coolest CJS Purdy stuff ever. $99 for a LIMITED time for those 6 issues. If you want to buy the individual issues as they come out, they will be $24.95 each, in PDF form.


BTW, already three subscriptions have come in. If you loved the Purdy Chess Chronicles you will really like these. Lots of little known or unknown stuff and games which are not necessarily in ChessBase!

Friday, December 7, 2012


Recently I had been done some on-the-side research into Purdy's writings. I discovered that there was a lot of good stuff that hadn't been made public by the late compiler Ralph Tykodi. He was primarily concentrating on annotated games by Purdy with some occasional forays into suggestions by C.J.S. Purdy.

But as I dug through his Chess World and his earlier Australasian Chess Review some really great stuff popped up. (Check! only lasted one year.)

Did I write GREAT?

Absolutely. In one particular article from 1950 he says the most common question he got from students, friends, and his subscribers was "How can I improve?" Purdy's writings had some amazing magnetism because he not only said and did the right things he also had examples to... exemplify. Most of us today are lucky to ever get a letter from anyone and we get few emails because, these aren't thoughtful times--these are get it done quick and easy times because we have no patience; sorry to say.

When people travel only some can write a good travelogue and Purdy was one of them as he represented Australia vs. Manuel Aaron from India to become the Asia-Pacific champion, but it was not to be. He lost to Aaron 3-0. He was stunned. He wrote about it and it was pleasant as an experience for me to put it again into words. It shows HOW to recover from disaster that is personal.

1 BOND Street

Will be the title of the new publication to replace Purdy's Chess Chronicles (a name I never really liked). It was where in Sydney he had his shop, which housed books and sets, where he did his writing (also on the train), and where people came to see him. He was always late (mostly) in getting his publications out but I have no Purdy monthly ambitions.

The magazine will be at least 40 PACKED (smaller type) pages making 60 pages of the Purdy Chess Chronicles! But, the format will be the same size as the Chess Gangs of New York and London. It will be released once again as a PDF but a lot to read and enjoy. What a marvelous word: enjoy. Equivalent of 60 pages!!

It is a TON of work to produce even one copy and I wish I were a typist--I would get them done more quickly. However, once I started I didn't want to stop.

There will be 6 issues and I have asked his son in law Frank Hutchings for some more possible photos, pictures of the shop, more artifacts, etc. Let's see if he turns up anything.

The going rate is going to be $24.95 per issue and I can charge it on your credit card every two months (I will keep separate files). If you are REALLY into what this Australian had to offer however you can save $50.oo by subscribing to 1 BOND Street for $99.00. At the end of 2011 I wrote that I would probably be creating each magazine for $29.95 so there is a deal of savings for those who WANT ANSWERS as well as pleasurable reading.

I've learned from experience that 1 in 50 people who write for a Sample issue ever subscribe. I suspect they also get lots of catalogs too. Time wasters, frivolousness. Too old to care about wasting time--aren't you? Take a chance, if you don't like it I will refund your money and you can keep the first issue. You might think that is THE SAME THING as a SAMPLE issue but it isn't. Tire kickers are AFRAID to try something because while they are ripping off the publication by having no intention to buy, they are afraid you will rip them off if they send money. I am hoping that when they send the money and see the first issue, most of them will CONVERT! This is not my original idea, but it is when it comes to chess.

Send me an email with instructions on how you want to pay and where it is to be delivered. First issue will be out next Tuesday or Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I am getting inquiries and from some I didn't know out there. I do look through my shelves and report on what I have. Waiting for the actual orders to come in.

Perhaps one or two are hoping I am desperate (I am desperate for space and to clean my place up!) and will let them go for under other "online" prices. This isn't exactly my goal. My goal is to help out collectors or "completion addicts" (I once was one so I know the feeling) not to drop the price for someone to sell it to someone else for a much higher price (resellers without being resellers, or perhaps, resellers without a country!)

When I get a chance I will eventually create a LIST because there are books that few know I even did! While Chess Digest was putting out lots of openings monographs years ago, I had nothing to do with that except I made the diagrams for Ken using type fonts on a Compugraphic system--this was in the 1980s when I was obsessed about chess fonts and publishing.


Eclecticism probably describes my chess business the best. I also do posters and if you have a favorite chess player you would like a poster of, say 5 foot tall and 2.5 feet wide I do those. In general, just one, and for you. (Some pictures are very hard to find.) If you have a favorite picture, perhaps one you took, talk to me (563-271-6657).

They are $199 + shipping IF I can find a decent picture. To find hard to get pictures I may have to pay someone and thus the fee will be more, They are usually in 2 colors: black plus a background color. I can email the file to my printer and then go pick it up when it is done.

Of course this is a very novel present and to hang it on your door or wall in double thickness poster paper, that is definitely the "cat's meow," even if it was Alekhine's cat "Chess."

I work on these "off and on" but if I can find a suitable picture (will run it by you) I would say 10 business days or less.

Just an IDEA! contact bob:

PS: Is my email address "insufferably long?" I know people do not know what a "thinker" is so I must have a lisp (as far as I know, I don't) or "gravel" in my mouth when I say it on the phone... but really? I have one for the Chess Butler but I haven't released it yet. Besides, the Butler is retail, TPi is everything. You know who complains the MOST? Yep, people who want something for free! You guessed it didn't you?

Saturday, December 1, 2012


When these are gone, that's it!

Lots of commercial bills to pay so I am selling off "most" of the private Thinkers' Press Library. These are the books (I have a lot of titles but not sure I have EVERY title) I set aside (when I think of it) in quantities of 1-2 in case I need reference points for future publishing.

I already had an inquiry this morning for Vol. 1 of the first in the CJS Purdy Fine Art of Annotation series. These books are like new or mint if you will because I just take a copy from the box and stick them on the shelf.

At this time I do not have time to make a list so please don't ask for one yet. Some will no doubt just want to know what I think some titles are worth. I don't, as I write preceding, have time for that. If you are looking for a certain title and I have it, I will quote you a price. Please do me a favor and give me your name and address. I have to quote postage too so knowing where you live is pretty helpful.

If, for example, you are looking for a copy of "Exploring the Chess Openings" by Hugh Myers, if I have it, I will quote you a price.

For the vast majority of titles I was the editor or publisher. If for some reason you want me to autograph the book I will. Books must be paid for before I ship. Credit card, PayPal, and checks and money orders are OK. It really will be FIRST COME FIRST SERVED. I will not hold or set any books aside as that invariably leads to piles of books on my work table and people trying to save on postage--this is not about that... for collectors.

Contact Bob Long:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Name your favorite chess movie or chess movies.

Don't repeat, please, what you heard someone else say. All non-chess people know or think about is: "Searching for Bobby Fischer."

If you want to ADD "why" you feel that way, fine!

REASON: I want to build rapport between chess young people and us "older" types. I want to pass this information around in 2013, probably June at my next event. One celeb, Jerry Nash, title certifier for the USCF and scholastic whiz, has already pencilled his name on his calendar. Jerry is an old friend of mine. I have asked another fellow whose name I will reveal if he can do this too. Would like to have a woman on the panel too and if you have anyone to recommend, do so. I can think of a lady I have read about in one of the southern states.

EVENT TYPE: Something that will affect us all including our kids and grandkids. Initially the event will have a $199 registration fee, be one day, there will be handouts or most likely a CD, maybe a free item of considerable value, and an entertaining venue. I don't have a name or further details, right now looking at interest. If you are a chess coach or have done chess coaching you could be really interested.

TENTATIVELY. One day event, say 9 - 5.

Contact the guy, me:

PS: Too often people feel like their ideas and thoughtful opinions don't count but this time the "politicians" are being left out of this (well, they can pay $399 to come). You probably love it already! This is not for USCF delegates either but they can register. I am trying to get a handle on size and whether a microphone will be needed. And there is always a must in the "comfortable" seating notion too. Most likely a Saturday so you might have only a one night stay.

Do you want to be put on the "I would like to know more" list. If you have wanted to come to a Bob Long event but for one reason or another couldn't make it, I think you will get a kick out of this one.

PPS: Remember, send me what chess movies you really liked (and saw!) I won't make any suggestions to you. If you haven't seen any but would like to, I can make some recommendations. I've been trying to get Bob Basalla to update his "Chess in the Movies" book but his email address now bounces back. If any of you know him and can update me, great!

Contact the guy, me:

Sunday, November 25, 2012


What an interesting day!

A friend invited me for lunch after church and to go target shooting! No problem with that but too cold for me.

I then moseyed back home and took in some knowledge from a ChessBase Magazine DVD. Really, quite good stuff this GM Rogozenko guy.

I printed out a 30% off coupon and trundeled out to Barnes & Noble to see about picking up a book I had seen the day before on "Manipulating the Media." I forget the exact name, but by Ryan somebody. On the back cover Robert Greene was promoting the book. In the book the author was promoting a Robert Greene book... no, this was not lost on me.

I spent some time looking at it and came away feeling jaded. Apparently, many blogs are "fixed" in the form of making money for promos, advertising, PR, etc. and it's all about "eyes." I had known that but it is more widespread than I realized, but, maybe not so much in chess! Chess is uniformly dull and hard to write about (don't give up yet, see more paragraphs.) I tossed the coupon away.

In my newest book (here's my plug but that's why MY blog exists, to plug MY stuff and trot out some decent information from time to time) The Critical Secrets for Planning at Chess and Anything Else, I refer to an "Exit Strategy" or writing for money, and to do it about chess! Can chess be raised from "dull" to something exhilarating. I think so and I hope the American entrepreneur who was "given reins" by FIDE for the World Chess Championships can do just that! Whether he has total autonomy I do not know but I am against this nonsense about making chess an olympic sport, it already is--the chess olympiads. Most anything can be done but it takes discipline and drive and that 10% talent thing.

Recently I asked a friend if she had read "Fifty Shades of Grey" and she said "yes." Maybe all three, written by a former TV Executive, E.L. James (probably a pseudonym). It's very HOT right now although I am not sure why because the back cover blurb is pretty "typical" of erotica and romance novels. All the women are reading it. Guys, find out if you need to KNOW something!

There is a real "lust" for something NEW all the time and in the end it doesn't matter as already hundreds of copies are available on websites in previously owned editions. I don't peruse or "see" chess like that. As I was watching Rogozenko's video on the Richter-Veresov I was fascinated by what I didn't know. And it bears repeat watching.

Speaking of writing and "promises" I will be sending out tonight the two unpublished chapters of Critical Secrets to those who bought #2. I am doing a final read through to catch typos or to clarify.

If you are entitled to one (and you can get these PDFs if you buy the book--$59.95 + S&H) give me some feedback will you? I had learned a long time ago NOT to assume the worst. One student of mine stared at me while lecturing like he was from the 4th Dimension. Afterward I asked, "Did you get anything out of this?" He said, "It was fantastic, you saved me a lot of time by the direction you took!" I sure wouldn't have guessed that! He apparently was really sucking it in.


Thursday, November 22, 2012


I did something different for Thanksgiving this morning which I haven't done for years--I went to a Thanksgiving Mass at 9 a.m. (when I would have preferred to sleep in since I seldom get to do that).

Interestingly, the church was almost full! Even the presiding priest said he hadn't seen anything like that in a long time! Maybe, for a change, everyone is thankful instead of selfish (don't bet the farm on that but I am having a "silver lining" in the cloud moment!) Yes, things could be worse, but the Gospel told it all:

10 lepers came across Jesus on his way to Galilee (?) They asked him to heal them. On their way to show the priest they had been cleansed, one came back and said "Thank you." Jesus asked, "Were there not ten? Where are the others."

The crazy part, the one who came back was a Samaritan, a foreigner! This was not lost on Jesus.

So I felt especially thankful this morning for all of you who take your time to read this bit of blurby and who keep coming back, even Ron Suarez who keeps telling me I am "insulting" and yet he reads it again!! and again!!

I love you all and for those who do business with me as The Chess Butler, I thank you especially, you help me keep the wolf away. But I am afraid that Lionel (the wolf) is after my refrigerator!


Bob Long

PS: As I have noted elsewhere, my home/office address at 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport will be open tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for some refreshments, maybe a little chess, and chess sales! Thank you all. Maybe I can find some Holiday Music.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Let me put it like this: What would you give them as a chess gift (if you do that sort of thing?)

Now the tough question: What do you believe they could really use?

There is a difference.

Links and blogs are things people point to. Are they really a "gift" gift? Or, does it make you feel like you have to do no more.

The problem with eCards, eGifts, and eMails is they require little effort. If you really want to get someone excited, MAKE EFFORT about them.

As you may have noticed the past few years I put no prices on the back cover of my products. That's for emergencies or sellers in a different country who have to raise the price to cover the shipping costs. NIC does it, not everyone else does.

But if you wanted to impress someone that you bought them a really expensive gift, even though you got it at half off, with no "sticker" on the back they wouldn't be that impressed would they (if you are going for that)?

On the other hand, if when they got something in their hands and saw the Quality Build of it, they would already "know" that it wasn't obtained from Half Price Books.

If you would like to send someone a copy, numbered and in hardback, of my recent book Modern Chess Brilliancies (Hustled) by George Gossip and Harry Nelson Pillsbury at a very attractive price to you, drop me a line! The ONLY pre-requisite (besides paying for it) is that you must have bought YOUR copy from me at Thinkers' Press. I know that is limiting for those who didn't but it is a reward for those who did.

However, if you don't have one, I will sell it to you for $59.95 and an extra copy to you at a very favorable price (assuming I have any left). Then there is postage which I will keep as reasonable as I can depending on where you live. At this time of the year I prefer to send Priority.
If you want to know HOW you can do all this, just drop me a line:

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I've been playing around with the idea of putting analysis and diagrams in my Blog on several occasions.

Do you know if ChessBase or one of its programs has an Export feature to allow this to be done in some sort of HTML?

If not are there other non-commercial programs available to allow for this. I have seen several on the web which allow for the "playing" of moves just be clicking on a move in the game score. ChessBase, whatever it uses, seems ideally suited.

If anyone "knows" of various tools for doing this, you may see some Blogposts which have some fascinating variety in them.

That's all for today. Had some dental work this morning, feeling slightly woozy, but intend to have some "gambit" openings shown at the Gentlemens Chess Club tonight. You are welcome to come, please bring a gambit to show us!

P.S. Yesterday afternoon I saw SKYFALL. It was good but got even better half-way through. Let's face it, Javier Bardem is one of the great "baddies" out there, Sure did hate to see "M" have serious problems. Judi Dench is one of the best in anything she does. Also glad to see people loosening their grip on Sean Connery as Daniel Craig is "owning" the role... mostly business, no fooling around. In a gambling den but NOT gambling so much as setting up his next "mission." WHO is the Javier Bardem of chess?

Monday, November 12, 2012


the question recently posted on ChessBase's website about what player had beaten more different world champions than any other... but I was so busy preparing for the Fall Chess Classic I didn't have time to get the latest Chess Gangs title proofed and printed.

In installment #10 of the Chess Gangs of New York and London, in the introduction of Keres Machine Gunner, you would have read it WAS indeed Paul Keres.

This is the same Keres about whom Reshevsky wrote that he was too nice of a guy to be a chess killer. Bzzzzz.... the buzzer goes off. Wrongo. Mr. Keres also had more consecutive Chess Olympic gold medals than anyone else in chess history.

In 19 encounters Reshevsky beat Keres 6 times and lost 4 (and Reshevsky was 2-1 in their mini-match of won games in the 1948 world chess championship). I think it was from Reshevsky's POV that since Keres did not have the edge over Reshevsky and Reshevsky never became world champion, then Keres was not up to the task either. If so, that kind of thinking is always of the fallacious variety.

There was one odd thing though, even though Keres and Petrosian tied for first in the 1963 Piatigorsky Cup event, Reshevsky beat Keres both times! It is true that Reshevsky was an amazing calculator and had great will to win, but Keres knew more about opening theory than almost anyone in those days. So what was the difference?

It would have been interesting to see a match between those two. I don't think the outcome would have been like Fantasy Baseball.

The new 41 page book is available NOW. It is $12.95 + $3.50 for first class shipping. If you were one of those who spent $100 or more in the months of July-August-September, you will get one free. That program is still running.

For more info:

Thursday, November 8, 2012


For the Fall Chess Classic 2012 I produced with help from two friends a chess pad with Merlin the magician on it, holding a Bishop (his comrade-in-arms) over a drafting and planning table. It's also on the t-shirts which I ran out of. Naturally people want t-shirts now, even though it was mention probably 2 zillion times before AND my printer has said OK. That's rare!

Some of you told me you wanted shirts for others or yourselves. I have temporarily misplaced that list AND the mousepads, but I know they are around here (or at my shop).

An extra mousepad is $17.95 + $5 for the shipping. They are thicker than usual and colorful and do not have dopey looking animals or fish on them and best of all, no plastic-assed surface! (Bob W. from Omaha said "It's far better than the mousepads here in Omaha!")

T-shirts. I screwed up in everyone's favor (but mine) on the t-shirts. Apparently the quote given to me was for white cotton and I ordered BLACK. The Black is way cooler however because the blue background against it really POPS!

S-M-L-XL at $25.00 each (sorry, the black is 3 bucks more). The XXL and XXL are $28.00 each (sorry again). You have to add $9 for shipping as that is what the Post Office wants in the US of A. (Sorry for the last time).

Another Tiperoonie
My overseas manufacturer of the Grand Turk set which I sold before it got off the ground at the recent Fall Chess Classic says my next order is ready to be shipped! It was a surprise, a little bit, until I thought about this: HE ABSOLUTELY KNEW I would order more. Here's what Greg had to say about his Grand Turk:

"A few days ago, I entertained a young lady in my apartment and showed her the chess set. She knows nothing about chess (and, alas, isn't interested in learning) but she thought the pieces, especially the "black" pieces, were beautiful. I simply enjoy playing over games with the set, because they add something artistic to my studies. I am a very satisfied buyer of this set."

Satisfied customer. You can't buy a better recommendation than that.
I am hoping that when I get the next set order I can do some photoshoots with people looking at or handling the set. People can TRUST me all they want but they have to TOUCH for themselves or perhaps see someone else doing that for them. A video would be perfect.

Occasionally I run into "'big-time'chess set collectors" who are not really collectors, just PWM (people with money). When they say the color of the pieces "bloodrosewood" instead of "budrosewood" it's kind of a tip off don't you think? Maybe ebony will come out "eubonics." Haven't heard that yet though. Been watching too many movies with Leonardo di Caprio in them.

For Those Reading This
Why not register so I can see how many of you are reading this? I know many do, quietly, all the time, because now and then I hear from you. The most vocal (few, but maybe once or twice a year) are the cranks. You know, the complainers who never purchase anything except on their terms in their time zone from their cave!? Then they send an email longer than Isaiah (from the Bible). It ticks them off too when I say something about them but won't give their name. Is it illegal to write "dumb ass" in a Blog? I 'spose not since there is a movie review website called

Anyway, how about jumping in? It only takes a minute. I know of a number of titled players who read it, but don't want to "join." One GM told me he didn't want to get on all kinds of mailing lists. This is an aberration. If you don't leave an email address, how can you be on them? Older GMs are not the most tech savvy people on the planet and the younger ones think they already know everything. It's my job to get along with ALL of them and yet somehow I am still not bald!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Chessbase has announced they will be shipping Houdini 3. It takes more than 15 seconds for stuff from Germany to get to the US. So give it a minute.

My guess is the price will be normal for CB engines, about $60-65 (maybe less, the Euro is taking a pounding).

Do you NEED it now? No. Does anyone? No.

Will it be helpful? It will be to me. Currently I use Deep Rybka 4 authored by Rajlich. The author of Houdini is French and I recently read his story. He acknowledged "help" from all the right sources. When I was in NYC in 1987 on a typographer's tour (a true joy) I met French typographers. Very nice fellows. I like French people. Can't stand their government. But it's hard for me to stand ours too.

So hitch up your shorts. "We" will have it.

PS: Why is it not necessary to have it now? Answer: It's NOT going to make you a better player. It might be nice for analysis tweaking, but in the end, you are still going to have to do the work of studying.

PS: In the meantime, I have a copy of ChessBase 11 which arrived AFTER my Fall Chess Classic. $179 for a brand new, crisp package. Includes shipping to any point in the USA. Also, you get one year of use from the ChessBase Playserver.

Anything Else?
Of course. Volume TWO of C.J.S.'s Purdy's Inside Look at Some of Chess' Greatest Games is within a few days of going to the printer. It's about 326-330 pages. Price is $39.95. Add $4 for shipping in the USA. Now, back to work.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Over the years many people have presented ME with ideas of things I should do. NONE of those people volunteered to help me do them either in energy, money, or time. I can't get more than a handful of people to even tell me what THEY would like in a publication even one they are paying for.

I think it was marketer Denny Hatch who said "Ideas are a dime a dozen." They are. Doable ideas are worth a lot more.

When I have an idea for someone else, I only present it to them IF I think it can be done by them. Let me give you a for instance.

When I was in Savannah, GA in 2008 I saw the first book of the "Twilight" series in A WINDOW. It had a red Queen (King?) on the cover. My son Nate's stepdaughter Maya was crazy about this I found out when I got back. People that eat up this romantic vampire stuff are really out there but in a moment where I wasn't kidding her I said, "I know how you can make a pile off of this." I suggested she write a book on "Comedic Vampires." Well, she pretty much told her Mom that I didn't take her seriously, but I did. Now you can't take a step without stumbling over all the books and movies out there with a comedic vampire twist or plot (zombies too). I might even pick up, "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer." Now she's got a baby, no boy friend, and one of those "Will I be doing what I am doing now for the rest of my life" jobs.

Sunday Afternoon
In a chapter from my new book, The Critical Secrets of Planning at Chess, as a Metaphor, for Anything Else ($79.95 available again soon from TPi, currently out of stock), I mention a novel about escape. I also mention why most chess novels are total worms (one reason is that the authors know next to nothing about chess but that is only a MINOR reason!)

Before I get to more, let me pause for second about my book (I am a bookseller after all). Just the other day I was reading Mark Joyner's The Irresistible OFFER. I noticed something really familiar, on page 5.

Why hadn't I noticed this passage I am going to reproduce here before? Because I tend to skip around when I read books on business and even on chess (and anything else except novels!)

Mark wrote in Chapter 2: The Core Imperative of Business:
"The focus of the following pages is nothing less than the 'Core Imperative of Business.'

"By extension, one may say it's even the core imperative of anything you do in your life, but business will serve as an apt metaphor for now."

Do those two sentences ring a bell? (Look at the title of my recent book) In my book I use chess to describe other possibilities. Joyner does it with business. Taken in a sensible way, all these things relate to each other! If I present a "secret" about chess it can often be transformed to an idea about business, planning, education, selling, buying, etc. My book explains how in a dozen chapters.

But as I started out at the beginning of this blog, ideas are one thing, sitting down to puzzle it out and get it to happen is another thing entirely.

Hence, on the Sunday afternoon workshop I asked the 3 teenagers who came to the Fall Chess Classic if their parents ever ask them to do things that make NO sense to them. They giggled and shook their heads "yes." These kids are more likely to DO something amazing than those who listen "intently" and as soon as they are out the door it's "Hey, let's get something eat!"

The other day Ken McDonald (my ole buddy from Canada and Florida) sent me a URL and asked me to read the first paragraph. It is what I have been preaching for eons. Drama, excitement, rah rah, etc. is nothing without "movement." The author, a successful writer (now) said he sees lots of screenplays which are junk. Misspells, no cohesion, chaos reigning supreme. Authors too. Apparently all this "texting" isn't helping those who can't spell in the first place. Compare: a good-speller who texts, and a poor speller who texts. Which one is going to get the job? Poor spelling texting is akin to Hillbillyisms (and believe me, I have gotten chess manuscripts which were horrible and NEVER saw the light of day!) Remember this, an Idiot doesn't KNOW he's an idiot!

I printed out what Ken sent me just for reaffirmation of what I am doing and that there are others out there who do GET this type of stuff.

NO ONE has asked me why my books are so expensive. But when only some are buying them I have to think I have some good thoughts about that myself:
1. I don't like giving away things that are valuable. The reader must pay. Good secrets are valuable such as "How do I know what the really good chess books are to study?"
2. If the buyer paid a lot the chances of him/her letting someone else photocopy it is reduced (sideline: Years ago I was at a record store in another city looking for a certain tape by Air Supply to buy for my girlfriend. When someone suggested to her that I make a copy of mine she said, "Oh no, that's not going to happen. He believes the artists deserve to be compensated. He won't copy anything." The clerk was surprised. We finally found they did have ONE in the store and I bought it.)
3. For that kind of money you might ACTUALLY read it. You might look at it again another time, maybe the RIGHT time, when you actually need to know more.
4. I print small quantities and feel like I deserve to be compensated for all the time I put in on the book. It's not necessarily true that a lower price will sell more books and that I will make up for it in volume. One person who couldn't (?) make it to the Fall Chess Classic still wanted to get the book for $40 (the Fall Chess Classic price). I said "No." He was steamed. "I guess you don't want to sell the book" he exclaimed in exasperation. "Oh no, I want to sell you the book for $59.95" I told him. See he was privileged. People were all the time giving him deals of some kind or another and so he felt "justified" in making others dance to his tune. My question: Where's the quid pro quo in all this? Outside of a small handful of tens, what has he done for me?
5. I subscribe to two very expensive newsletters (but not the MOST expensive newsletters). I also read tons of books on everything to help me expand on what I write. This stuff costs money.
I might break even if I sell another 100 books. But you know what? I am doing something. DOING. One of these days maybe some corporation will find out about this and I will start giving seminars. I could probably make that happen, if I had the time.

If you want to know more about DOING get this book. My stuff is always 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Give it a chance. Not to beat MY chest but I did donate money to the American Red Cross at my bank today for those in NY and NJ who got the heck beat out of them. It was that easy. I just made a check out to The American Red Cross. They gave me a receipt. Show others why WE are Americans. Help them out. Do something--and speaking of doing something by one of my readers/subscribers, Jim Perry is donating $250 in a gift card to Laz Munoz (Staten Island) after reading this blog the other day.

Some of us do care and are unbelievably thankful this didn't happen to us.

Help out, you'll feel great. I am trusting the Red Cross to help those who really need the help.

PS: I like P.S.'s. SOmeone once said they are the part of the letter most people read first! About the ESCAPE story. You'll have to get the book to find out what most likely would sell to chessplayers and maybe others who like tight drama, puzzles, and time rushing and pulse-pounding plots. I told the idea to a well-versed woman writer I know and she said she would like to work on it (she loved the concept). Well, you and I both know how that turned out. But, to the person who DOES do something, think screenplay, think book, think mystery. Think greenbacks. The reason some younger people are successful at this kind of thing is that they have less to lose: no reputation, little money, but a new experience. If you think you are young at heart, give it a whirl.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Many of us are fortunate that we were not in the path of the recent hurricane just like most of us were fortunate that we were not in the Twin Towers on 9/11 or the "like" from the other cowardly attacks.

I just received this morning the woeful news of Lazaro Munoz, a friend, customer, and attendee at the Last Chess Clinic (2010). As a person who has sold "collectibles" of various kinds since 1968 (!) the thoughts of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes is never off my radar. My sympathy and prayers go out to all such victims not just because of something they have acquired and had fun acquiring all their lives, but because for a while it grieves the heart in all such losses. Sometimes, though it is hard to believe, it lets us loose from certain "material things" which have "trapped us" for years. What good is it to have a fantastic library or collection, for example, compared to losing a great friend? Fortunately that did not happen to Laz. Here's what he wrote:

"Hi Bob, our house was severely damaged by 70ft tree during the storm.  We are living out of hotels right now because my relatives are still living in homes with no power.  We came out of it with no injuries so we have [that] to [be] thankful for; our nephew who lives with us was lucky that he got stuck on Long Island due [to] the train shutdown or he would not be with us since he lives with us in the attic room that was completely demolished.  Part of the roof in the living room fell down on us, but nobody was sitting where the debris landed.  We cannot reenter the home to gather what we can until the tree is removed.

"Please hold any subscriptions for me.  Right now I don't even have a chess set.  I am on emergency leave from my ICCF games.

"As soon as we can get to a more stable location I will file a temporary change of address.  Right now I talked to the mailman and they are leaving at my "former" next door neighbor."


Bob Lynch (NJ, and attendee at the Fall Chess Classic) told me he finally got home on Thursday (he left Sunday morning) and everyone was safe and sound.

Over the past few days a lot of thoughts about what this all means has raced through my mind. CNN has writers who keep harping on "climate change" when the reality is:
1. Take care of problems NOW;
2. Worry and "fix" the "future" later.
These "writers" somehow think that anyone gives a damn about their views when many can't even "read" them if they tried.
Bad News is not really on most of these folks' minds right now, survival and "what's next?" is.
The media NEVER seems to get it. They act like they do, but like our local WQAD television station--when they have a choice between an auto accident or someone's house burning or showing something uplifting such as the arrival of a well-known entertainer, they will choose the tragedy.

On the Other Hand
When I was in North Carolina years ago I was amazed at "gawkers." These are people in cars who stop traffic while they survey the scene of a car accident, backing up traffic for miles! And the ones behind them do it too! You don't want to get caught in such a traffic jam. This is some kind of perverted visceral entertainment for people without a life (it sure isn't empathy).

Now, I will drop Laz a written line for delivery to his next door neighbor.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Someone once said that "Ignorance is no excuse" when it is something you should have learned in school or in life.

Then someone ignorantly said, "If you need to know something look it up on the net!" That is not necessarily true is it?

You must know some things in order to competently ask for something else. Even using a dictionary requires using some words--which are IN the dictionary.

So how come when it comes to chess people say anything, then repeat it, and then it gets repeated until it is a "fact?" Er, correct that.... it becomes a mess.

What I would love for viewers to do is send in things they have seen and heard but for which they know are incorrect. This is not an Edward Winter test and as of yet I haven't thought of publishing a collection of these.

Fact is, this happens in every discipline. In Amir Aczel's A Strange Wilderness he recounts a story that "when K.F. Gauss was 'two' he..." I have read other ages such as 3, or 4. Who is right? Does it matter? Well, yes it does because one of these days someone is going to say, "When Gauss was in Mina's womb..." How do these perversions begin? I have read a lot about Gauss but this is the first time I have "heard" he was two (or younger)  when telling his Father he was paying his workers the wrong amount.

Gauss himself was reported to say he could calculate before he could talk.

You want to see something get crazy? Let's say, somehow, a Gauss craze is started. Not a bad idea. But NEW (?) material would come out of the floor boards. Some people who love the attention and want it desperately and are willing to do and say almost anything to get it. Fraud? Criminal conduct? Those thoughts come later.

In chess someone told a friend of mine, he told this on the internet, that playing 1.b3 was for idiots. This is sheer ignorance of 1.b3. Nimzovich played it, so did Larsen, Bagirov, Carlsen, Nakamura and many others. Are these guys idiots? Fischer played it. He's projecting his own lack of knowledge. How "bad" is an opening if you have lost to it?

I have been trying to prevail on Andrew Martin to give us an article on the Gooli Crusher Gambit. Is there anything about this on Bing (No!) or Google (I doubt it). Everything is JUST NOT THERE. Now that I have mentioned it, Google MAY index it. But if you look it up you will see this article.

Send me articles or bits and bits of bad commentary on, chesscube or anywhere else. Let's see what turns up. I recall, for example, this jerk instructor when I was in grad school. He was "in charge" of the chess team (which I was also on). He saw an opening I played in the Bishop's Opening and asked where I got "that." I said, "William Winter's 'Chess for Match Players.'" He completely dismissed it because it wasn't in MCO (Modern Chess Openings) though I don't think he knew that for sure. He then went on to completely make a social ass of himself when he said "Robert Byrne knows all the lines in MCO." I am sure that was news to Grandmaster Byrne.

Just like there was a big wall in "Escape from New York" for criminals, there should be another city, walled, for those who completely embarrass themselves time after time. Joe Biden would probably be in that compound.

Send in things you have read or heard (newspapers get things wrong continuously. For example they love to call a tournament a match.)

send to:

Send them in as you find them. Maybe in a year we can compile these.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Dr. Tom Michlowski was responsible, indirectly, for us changing venues on the event for the Fall Chess Classic.

Tom, a psychiatrist for the State of Wisconsin, set up 5 nights to stay at the Quality Inn, near other hotels and motels. When asked why he chose the Quality Inn and what he was there for, he mentioned the "chess event." Quality Inn owner Mike Jhola wanted to know that if he contacted Bob Long (me) would he consider letting this QI host the location and rooms.

The next thing you know Barry, the manager, is contacting me. He presented a compelling case for having it out there. Free conference rooms, a sales room. I already had that at my location. But, they were providing the air conditioning (if needed), the lights, and the cable service for the big screen TV.

They were willing to take their completely renovated inn from its "Heartland Inn" status and show me completely clean rooms, plenty of parking, closeness to eateries, a great staff (thank you Kay, Selecia, Jessica, Donnie, and Mays), and a hot breakfast in the morning to $72.99. I did NOT ask for any compensation so those who stayed there got a really good rate. There were a bunch of hotels/motels nearby who were half to 60% their rates, but Mike was anti-bed bug in his demeanor. And due to his diligence, he had people rate their experiences with Trip Advisor and they were #2 in the Quad-Cities. Even though the downtown Blackhawk was rated #1, the rooms were $160 and far from the Interstate.

Mike's been in the US Navy and the Hotel business for many years.

Rome wasn't built in a day (they say) but Mike wants us back next year. I shudder at the thought of arranging another event. Yet, those who came, superlative.

More people soon. I couldn't have done this event without a number of people such as Ed Reedy who helped me move stuff and set up tables. No man IS an island.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Sunday afternoon I ran a workshop from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It wasn't hard to open up with this line: "The way this event has gone, those who haven't been here before are probably wishing they had been!"

More information will be published in the upcoming Bob Long's Chess Views (a week from this Thursday). I will have some more on here this week.

But first I want to tell you that the Karsten Mueller presentation from Hamburg Germany went off without a hitch! Absolutely fantastic, hilarious, instructive, and after 2 hours without a break and incredible focus by the 18 guests I had to reluctantly break it up and Karsten got two rounds of applause. From quick beginner stuff we all need to know to medium level which the previous built on and then some material which will be on his new DVD, #11: Rooks versus Bishops or Knights, Bishops versus Knights, etc. And when he wanted to send Justin Gilbraith to Antarctica for an incorrect answer (lots of meaningful exercises) the audience roared.

Andrew Martin kept the hilarity going (Carlsen-Vallejo Pons) and that afternoon he and Andy Rea were there for advice while games were in progress! The next morning there was a blitz event which was won by Andy Rea over 2nd place Arshaq Saleem. Andrew Martin was the director and TD.

Mr. Greg Delaney bought the GRAND TURK set and reportedly is overjoyed with the brilliant boxwood and deeply hued budrosewood set. Two more have been ordered. Swooning by people who hadn't even seen it!

You know how to tell if it was a good event? If the organizer went home really, really, tired. And, I was.

Thanks will be handed out this week to all the very fine people who showed and I am starting with Jon and Barbie Fortune from Portland, Oregon. They are real chess aficionadoes. Husband and wife chess fans traveling all around and friends of mine for many years--met them first at a chess camp years ago.

Of course everyone is talking about next year. As I said at the beginning these events are about two things: entertainment and fun for the attendees because if they don't have fun, then there is no profit (that's part (b)). So (a) MUST succeed. From what I was told by everyone, it was incredible.

Maybe one of these days I can convince others to come--you know, those who keep saying to me, "Maybe I can make it next year and we still don't see them next year."

Next year the TWO DAY event is NO MORE. No more two day two night events. Don't know for sure what might happen, maybe one day. I really do want people to have fun, at a lower price. This year was amazing, I'll tell you more about it soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


The books showed up inside my door yesterday: The Critical Secrets for Success at CHESS and Anything Else! I blew a lot of time last night re-reading my own book! I will take them to the printer this morning for shrink-wrapping and hope to pick them up tomorrow.

It's more chess history, more of my life, solutions, and a great deal about how to take the subjects of plans, planning, ideas, risk, and a belief system to the next level, make one more alive, useful, and "magnetic."

I found a couple typos, hope you will forgive me. I had looked at the book so many times I was going cross-eyed.

Lots of possibilities and what is really important, directions about where to find the "good stuff" because unless you read as much as I do, it's not obvious.

SInce I won't be shipping these until next week (except for those who will pick up their copies at the Fall Chess Classic) I am relenting on getting this book for $59.95 (+$7 for first class shipping). Get it by October 28 (a Monday) and you will get that price.

Gotta run, picking up Andrew Martin today.

As always you can contact me at

Saturday, October 20, 2012


There was lift off about 10:30 a.m. (CDST) in a two-way link between Davenport, IA and Hamburg, Germany this morning. We could see Pascal Simon (who will technically direct GM Karsten Mueller next week at the Fall Chess Classic at 9:00 a.m.) The Playchess server worked, as did Skype, as did the Hi Def TV. Bigger screen installed next week.

That's a load off!

In Other News
SCORE 22 is coming out this week, probably Wednesday. A great couple articles by GM Jan Markos (who is in Israel at the moment). What I liked, more aggression!! He tells us why Caro-Kann players "hate" 3.f3 and he shows us how to "subdue" the Petroff. Andrew Martin shows us a terrific game between Grischuk and Kamsky in an Alekhine's Def. request from subscriber Gary White.

All the good stuff. $49.95 for 16 issues. More filling, great taste!

PS: Keres Machine Gunner has gone to the printer (Chess Gangs 10). When all 12 are in there will be a contest to take all 12 "chess gangsters" and create teams. I will append their "peak" ELO (based on Mr. Sonas' results) and we will have those who are interested do some match ups and use the Monte Carlo method on a Normal Distribution, we will declare a WINNER. More details later. ONLY from Thinkers' Press, innovation when it matters.

PPS: Still not too late to come to the Fall Chess Classic. I have some funny stories to tell which are only for attendees ($300). Don't forget the Endgame Mastery of Karsten Mueller (grandmaster) and the SECRETS #2 book at the lowest price, $40 (but you have to be here). I've already sold a lot of copies at $59.95 (people who for whatever reason can't make it). As always 100% satisfaction guarantee. Good for your future at ANYTHING. More later. Another book or two are in the works but not part of the Merlin Secrets series.

Friday, October 19, 2012


This morning I received an email from my friend Patrik in Sweden. Here is what he wrote about the new book (which shipped yesterday) The Critical Secret for Planning at CHESS and Anything Else. (I should have it Monday or Tuesday.) Here is what he wrote:

I need a little something to really convince myself that I will benefit from the Merlin II book. 60USD is a substantial amount of money.
cheers, Patrik

Here was my response, which I think is significant:

It's not the price Patrik, it is the NEED.
The book is designed to help people be successful at Planning anything, especially changes in their lives using chess as an example (metaphor).

I cannot apologize for the skull sweat I used to write it for 50 copies (maybe 100 one of these days). It took me away from other projects but I think in the end you will find out more about me and yourself. That's the purpose of the big PDF I sent out last night... and I must not have succeeded with you (true, right?)
The book is worth more but I wanted to make more than one sale!

Still, I am an encourager. Chapter Zero is worth (right from the get go) the price of the book even though another book must be bought. If you aren't making enough money now to afford the things you want, then the Evaluation form will show that and then point you into the direction of Mr. X.

Best of luck in your decision,

The above letter was slightly modified to further enlighten.

If you come to the Fall Chess Classic the cost of this 219 page 7x10 book is $40.00. Or $59.95 if your aren't coming and you order by October 23... Plus postage ($7 priority). And there were other options in the PDF.