Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WHAT'S UP??

This is the longest I have gone without reporting to the Blog readers! Well, like Poltergeist, I am back!

Been busy as you may have guessed:

a) Finishing up a very Large book for an author. Details when is ready to have it published. Yes, it's chess.

b) Created the artwork and sent it off to the card printer for membership cards for the Black Gold Card. The real deal! Should be here next week. Just hoping it was done right. I think the members will love this... and that COULD be you!

c) Sent out a large emailing tonight to try to convince folks to spend $50 to get a Black Gold Card which has ALL kinds of benefits, almost 20 of them. If you would like a copy of this 2-page PDF just request and I will fire one off to you.

Anything Else?
Always. If you join the TPIC (Thinkers' Press Inner Circle) you can use the Black Gold Card to save about $25, and the TPIC will give you answers to questions you might have because there will be a newsletter of FROG SECRETS.


Adios for now. Lots to do tomorrow. Successful tournament last weekend. WIshed you had been there. FIDE rated.


bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DID YOU KNOW...?

That there are 34 signed up for this Blog, and a couple months ago it was 18? That sounds like progress (and it is) but there are many who read this blog and remain in the shadows. Google will track you (if that is what you are concerned about) as soon as you peek! They are evil, but, we put up with so much anyway, what is the big surprise? Well, there is one, read on:

TAKING THE FROG BY THE "HORNS"
Are you a customer of The Chess Butler (my retail arm) or Thinkers' Press inc. (my publishing business)?
If so, you might want to contact me right away (email: bob@thinkerspressinc.com). I have an 18-page brochure (I have shown it to some very close friends and they read it through from beginning to end, almost breathlessly (LOL)) you might want to read. But first, I need an OK from you that you will keep it secret until the details are released (and then of course, what would it matter?) The MAIN reason is that there are a number of items in it that are not yet done deals, but are in the works, and by the grace of God, WILL happen... and I mean, cool things. If you are not yet a client, drop me a line and I will send some catalogs.

But first we have to have a relationship so that I know something about you. I'm pretty transparent, been on here and in the public chess eye for a long time. But I want to know more about you.

But there was a "small test." I asked people for their current address because this brochure is being MAILED. 14% didn't mind taking an extra second or two. It's not critical but it did take an extra 30 minutes to look up all the other addresses. I also asked for a phone # and a time when it would be best to call (to keep from playing phone tag, though Verizon sure as heck won't mind!) My customer data is confidential and I don't give, loan, or sell it to anyone. Even old invoices are shredded.

CLEVELAND
The butt of many jokes, right? For example: "And our second place winner gets an all expenses paid two weeks in Cleveland. Our first place winner gets one paid week in Cleveland!"

But all that aside, the last time I was there, I liked it. I was also at the J.G. White Chess Collection many years ago but I am told there have been some big changes. It is huge, probably over 40,000 volumes by now. I want to go there, get some pictures, and do some research too.

But that is small potatoes to my first intention: taking an intense, 3-days, balls to the walls seminar on direct response marketing (mail) from the master, Dan Kennedy. It will run 8:30 am to 9 pm for two days and on Saturday we get a break, 8:30 am to 5 pm! Around 33 hours.

To afford the trip the 18-page brochure unleashes my creative mind and publishing arm to herald what's coming and what's new. To stay in business new things have to be done but mail order is NOT new to me--I've been doing it for years. But I want more depth, better outcome, and a great experience for YOU my friends for another ten years.

Contact me today and I will tell you exactly what is need to move the FROGGIE  forward!

Monday, March 19, 2012

THE ART OF SEEKING HELP

Some people find it difficult to "ask for help," I've been one of them. We are afraid of the "let down" when turned down but most of all, "We hate to hear the lie (the liars call it a "reason") we get from those who, for some reason (er, excuse), just can't be honest."


But aging is a miraculous process, sometimes we try it again and we love the surprising positive results!


Some will say "See I told you so, your former way of asking was not good enough, etc.!" To them I answer, "Why, if you knew that was the case didn't you help out?" Doing the work ALWAYS is the hard part. Ideas and complaints, even glorious ones, don't mean anything unless something is done with them. Which brings me to:


ARE YOU A CHESS PLAYER OR FIDE RATED PLAYER?
If you are, I would like to invite you to Bill Broich's CHESS TNT tournament at the Gentlemens Chess Club (my place), this weekend, at 1101 W. 4th St., Davenport, IA. March 24-25.


Below is a letter I just got from Bill. It shows his depth, interest, and concern. You could help by coming. It's $50 and registering in advance will save you $10 from the $60 at the door. It will help you on your journey to becoming a FIDE-rated player:


"---...So far 10 players are registered for the event in Davenport next weekend.  Four players have FIDE ratings.  It would be great if you decided to play.  We need more FIDE rated players.  I think we can get 14 to 16 players.  Pete, Wes F. and Ben G. are the big dogs.  A Master and 2 Experts.  Joe K. of Omaha might play and he is an Expert.  So, if you were to play you would most likely be playing a Class A, a couple Experts and Pete.  Just let me know when you decide.  You can ride with me.  I'm staying at Bob's place."


You can contact Bill at: broich01@yahoo.com


I hope to see you there. IF we've never met before, please introduce yourself as I will be glad to meet you! For everyone, I should have a packet of info for you as well as a lot of books on display, for sale.


NOW, back to finishing up my Secret 14-page PDF document to those who answered the invite this past weekend (see, it does pay to be a regular customer of The Chess Butler.)


Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Friday, March 16, 2012

WHAT WAS ONCE LOST IS NOW FOUND

The historical book that Thinkers' Press will be publishing, Modern Chess Brilliancies Hustled, went incognito for 3 months. Ironically, while looking for a different manuscript, I found it in a box with all kinds of papers "to be handled when I got a moment!" It was in the foyer and I walked past it everyday not realizing it was there!

However, in two days ALL the games have been entered, but not yet with Gossip's notes notes nor Pillsbury's!

What a magnificent handbook of mainly 1.e4 e5 games! 75 annotated.

Gossip did a pretty good job of including some classics but I hadn't suspected that the VAST majority of these games were NOT in ChessBase's 2012 MegaBase!!! But I am sure they will be in 2013.

This book will be released in a couple months. I am looking into the IDEA of two-color interior to separate Pillsbury's cogent remarks from Gossip's. I looked at all the games and there were some amazing ones including seminal games that have given us what we are doing and writing about today! There will be a CD too of the games.

I call it a vade mecum or handbook for chess expertise and one which I can cannibalize for other projects as there are so many good teaching points but first, I want to do the historical version first as it is quite fascinating. If there was one weakness it is that some of the games have no DATE of where or when they were played but the stuff is still good. It also shows how weak the major databases really are when it comes to relevant but older chess history. If you knew everything in this book you could probably make a "living" as a lower-grade master.

And there ARE some surprises. While Pillsbury acknowledged a couple of contributions from Gossip's pen, he didn't have much good to say about the notes to some games and, some games, maybe especially the ones contributed by Gossip himself. ("Dull game. Nothing in it." --Pillsbury's comment after a 50+ move correspondence game.)

This is a super product and worth owning. Details will be given out soon.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

GOOD NEWS AND MORE GOOD NEWS

ALMOST COMPLETELY SOLD OUT
The special DVD Bundles list sent out yesterday resulted in ALL such Bundles being almost completely sold out and I wish I had more! (I have one Maurice Ashley set left). In the future, bundles of chess DVDs will ONLY be offered as a bundle because the "scattershot" buy Vol. 1 and leave Vol. 2 model just fails when it comes to stocking inventory that will sell

BUT...
I found a few other bundles I had run out of space for advertising and hadn't even thought about. This special list, initially, will be going only to those who ordered or who inquired yesterday. GingerGM videos are also on this list. These are FIRST RATE TO THE MAX.

THE SECRETS OF THINKERS' PRESS
Yes, there are some Top Secret projects underway. I am trying to raise thousands of $$$ to afford to attend a seminar in another city in May. I know this guy and he is the real deal as I've paid $500 a year to get his newsletter (and some people will "worry" about an increase in the subscription cost to SCORE). I am looking for a way to transform my business model into a much better business model. Everything takes money these days doesn't it? The gas and travel over several states, a place to stay, food, and buying special accessories (modules) adds to everything. Chess is my business, not my hobby.

The Need for SPEED!
A recent female business contact wrote me:
"Bob... You are going at Mach 2 and your hair is on fire!"

Back in the day when I was in the typesetting and design business every time I went to one of these events I came back with new ideas and promotions and sales soared! I am willing to let people peek into what I am doing and offering but I have to say, the "buy in" is at least $500. You will get your money's worth as you get "things" in return--none of which are available at this time from me (and naturally, no one else). But you will get the BEST and be the FUSTEST.

One of them is a lost manuscript by a famous world champion. There's plenty more too. At the moment I am working with one investor (maybe more) and a Grandmaster on a Special book. The investor would like his copy in hardcover... I thought, maybe others will too. It will be a Big Book and probably run close to $100 each (hardcover). I am not willing to release this data to anyone unless they pony up (the $500) or are interested in investing (multiples of a thou) in this project which, to me, and others, may help many players improve in the chess arena in a very BIG way. As I go through the manuscript myself I am noticing things I never thought about before in a systematic way. This is a venerable and experienced GM not some 20-year old from Nobodystan.

There is another book I have on the burner and I was looking at it today and amazed at how good it is. I am trying to locate the surviving wife about royalties. I already paid, 10-15 years ago, for the translation. It is amazing.

If all goes according to PLAN (and nothing ever does, but I suspect this plan will go way beyond what I currently have in mind) I will have to hire an office manager and you know, they don't grow on trees.

There are plans for SCORE 2 which will make your mouth melt, and more than 1. I advise you to get your $34.95 renew amount in RIGHT AWAY because after March 24th the price goes to $39.95.

ALWAYS MORE...
That's not all, there is more. Last year I noticed certain problems almost ALL chessplayers were having AT the board. In a recent event I played in, I noticed I HAD IT TOO! So I have designed an "object" to be manufactured (actually two of them but only one is in play in the immediate future) and sold with a book for TRAINING sessions. Am looking for investors for that too. Minimum of multiples of one thousand. Manufactured products sell better than books but a book will be included for complete justification. I have most of the material already chosen for the book and what you find out there will literally knock your head off. But it will ONLY be sold WITH the manufactured product.

And what else? To keep track of all this I found it necessary to buy a Planner--which I did. I have already made an entry in it for JULY! for something to be produced in August. In this case it is to reprint a particular book for which the author has already given permission.

ESCAPE ARTIST AND PR GENIUS
In case I hadn't mentioned it, it looks like we plan to stock a limited number of Houdini Aquarium and Deep Houdini. My friend George raised the question, I looked into it, again (I heard from the maker last year)... and I think it will happen. Are you interested in supposedly the BEST (?) chess engine on the planet?

A full slate today. As before, I don't expect more than 10-15 responses about investment and Cash Flow raising opportunities. Maybe you will be one of them and show us how much you are committed to chess enjoyment and improvement--across the board. NONE of these ideas would ever remotely enter the brains of those who are in a position to "improve chess" visibility. My expectations are that those I hear from will be 35 and older. "Kids" don't anticipate the future much further than their latest texted message even if they MAY benefit from something else if they just waited a minute!

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Those wishing more information will be sent a non-disclosure agreement to sign. We're back in the Big Leagues again!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

STILL HAMMERING AWAY ON WEB SITE

Still entering lots of data and photos... and more to do next week.

In the Meantime...
Am running a special sale today for bundled DVDs. I overlooked one bundle in particular but will enclose a special SALE SHEET for those who do order anything from the bundled sale. This kind of thing happens frequently but those who never order NEVER find out.

Still working on other "secret" projects.

One reason to buy in March-April...
Those who like getting FREE copies of the next Chess Gangs of New York and London books should know that the next one will be "Bronstein the Mechanic." The cover will be a parody of Charles Bronson and David Bronstein. Just handed over the project to son Rob today. Probably be a month or so before it is completed.

All you have to do is buy at least $100 worth of chess goods from The Chess Butler (me) during this time. Otherwise the FREE copy is $12.95 + $3.50 for shipping. I know someone will try to shave it down to $100.01 but others simply just get what they feel they need and it might be $200.00. That's what pays the bills.

When that series is done, I've been playing around with other ideas but nothing firm yet.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Monday, March 12, 2012

WEB SITE UPDATE

Still going like a house on fire.

Lots of entries to make, details to confirm. Been working solidly on this.

Hope to have the "old" inventory up in a couple days. New inventory might take another week.

There will be a Blog so we won't have to use Google anymore.

Other things are on the list and so I just bought... tada... a Planner. I don't know if I ever had one before, but there is just so much going on I want to tell you about, but can't yet until stuff is confirmed.

Andy A. gave me an idea for a future "Chess Gangs" issue which will be even more than his suggestion so stay tuned for that. Also working on some details for this Fall (October's) event. Have to get clearance for everything, raise cash, etc. Invites will be handled on the phone or by written invitation.

That's all for now...

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Friday, March 9, 2012

THE LITTLE GUY ARRIVES!

Josiah Power is six and he is playing in tomorrow's NO FEAR tournament in Davenport IA at the Gentlemens Chess Club. He has a rating of 753 which is not bad for someone aged 6. His brother Clive is 9 and he is playing and is rated 1407 (getting more serious). Dad, Matthew, is playing too and he is rated lower than Clive! Should be interesting.

Here is what Matt says: "My younger boy is only six years old, so if he isn’t afraid to play, none of the adults should be, either."


A gutsy kid. I look forward to the day when my grandson, who is now 7, will play. He has the top grades in his second grade class but so far has shown little interest in chess.


Ed Reedy, Justin Gilbraith, and Earl Zismer have already indicated they will be coming. Me too if there are an odd number (just trying to keep the balance).


Starts at 10 a.m.


Need your current ID, paid up, it's $20 each unless you are a GCC member. Will set some new "standards" in the future for lower rateds or age issues.


NO FEAR. Wear a cap or t-shirt with NO FEAR in it, and you get $5 OFF.


There may be a couple other guys showing up tomorrow too who were in the shop today. Look sharp, be sharp, and kick booty.


I love people who can make commitments! Strongest form of character.


Rounds are 10 am - 1 PM - 3:30 PM.


For questions: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, March 8, 2012

GENTLEMENS CHESS CLUB NEWS

Soon GCC will have its own web site. In the meantime here are a few pieces of news:

1. Tournament this Saturday, 3 rounds at the 1101 W. 4th St. address in Davenport, IA. Starts at 10 a.m. Rated. How's that for brief? Bring money.

2. Tournament begins tonight at the same address... 6 p.m. I (Bob Long) will be playing IF there are an odd number. Mark Flowers will be joining us too. Bring $5 (must be a GCC member for that price). Each Thursday night thru March. I think we won't be meeting on Mar. 23 due to the upcoming weekend FIDE tournament at our location.

3. I have questions in to a printer about a GCC membership cards. So far, no answer. Think I will try someone else; the economy must be booming where they are!

4. Chet Orban joined from NH and I have told him I will be starting a couple "benefit" packages. In a "Member ONLY to GCC members" they will receive a HOT LIST of 4 books designed to boost their chess in a significant way. Author is from Europe. The list will have some explanations for my choices. I have looked at a lot of books, these are great. ALSO, I am setting up chess instruction classes and will be using a different set of books. If you are local or within range, give me a holler if interested. Can also be set up for those who have "distance issues."

5. Another benefit, which some are looking forward to: AFTER A LAYOFF FROM CHESS, HOW DO I GET INTO THE POOL AGAIN? Again, you have to be a GCC member ($50 for the rest of the year) and be active! That is, those who come to the shop, and/or play in GCC tournaments, or are Country Gentlemen (from afar), OR, who have Black Gold Card status ($50 for 2012) will get copies of these PDF materials. The topics will range from setting up a possibly new opening repertoire, tactics, psychology, and other important preparations.

This #5 item will be important for those who want to come to grips again with CHESS because, let's face it, chess is hard to ignore!

Pieces of #5 are already in the works. I will automatically send you PDFs when available. Material will probably range over several months!

Thank you for letting me be The Butler to serve GCC members!

P.S.: Here's the SAD part about statistics. No matter what kind of TRAINING program is offer it is usually 5% who take advantage of it and actually bother to learn something. It's not about the $$$, the time, or energy. It is almost ALWAYS about the INERTIA--which in this case I define as "desire to move forward." YOU GOTTA WANNA! Tough talk is for those  Caged Fighter guys.

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DESIGN MATTERS

There are ALL kinds of reasons why good design matters but I am only going to concentrate on one reason today--ITS ESTHETIC APPEARANCE.

That's right. Our initial perception. You look at an iPod, a Mercedes convertible, or even a finely done chess book cover. Not only does it get our attention with the basic "simplicity" (which often takes a lot of inside work to create) of it all, but emotionally, let's face it, it's a kind of turn on!

Look at the cover on Alexander Delchev's The Modern Reti An Anti-Slav Repertoire. The Art Deco movement of the 30s was "modern" for that time, and in its own secretive way it has still survived, especially when someone wants to claim an "objet d'art" as "modern." This can be aided by a typeface such as, what else?, "Art Deco." Of course there are variations of this face, one designer is not satisfied with the work of another and changes it... yet often the FIRST one is the one with the name "eternal" recognition.

Over time I have seen thousands of chess items in all kinds of packaging. Most of it is average-looking. However I want to recognize Kalojan Nachev, a Bulgarian, with the work he has done on Delchev's book. (For animation, commercials, music and so on check out http://3dust.com/ you will be floored and you KNOW the cost for their productions would be 10% of the cost for junk produced over here--unfortunately [BTW, I am rereading "Hey Whipple Squeeze this," so I am not making this up.]) The type and the "spotlight" style background, plus the color yellow is wonderful to behold. The chessboard and diagram is always a tough issue because there is so darn much "stuff" going on. I might've changed the color of the board and pieces because browns seldom interact well with blues--the pieces, fine. At any rate, the Chess Stars line of new books beat, on average, anything put out by Gambit, Everyman, and Quality. It's not that UK designers don't have skill, it's just that when it comes to chess covers it seems... like they have no skill.

If one looks at a Batsford catalog for OTHER (non-chess) books, the difference is gargantuan. You wouldn't think they came from the same company (and probably don't). When it comes to chess design it's hard to know what to say. Sometimes it should (?) be abstract, other times, it should explain (?) the book. Some of the worst cover designs in chess come from New in Chess. Even the interiors often look sterile and austere. But maybe this formula works for them... but one has to wonder, "If it were done with more artistic skill, would sales be even better!?"

This is a topic which can go on for a long time... but I won't.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Sunday, March 4, 2012

TWO CHESS GANGS BOOK COMING

The last two Chess Gangs of New York and London have been printed and shipped to me, AT THE SAME TIME! (even though each were sent to the printer at times of more than a week apart). Hence the printer has been busy.

The two books, LARSEN THE HAMMER and HOROWITZ THE INTERROGATOR (at last, the revelation) will be shipped to those who have them coming for buying at least $100 worth of goods from The Chess Butler during the months of Nov-Dec and Jan-Feb respectively.

Also, I will be beefing up the BENT LARSEN SPECIAL REPORT on his openings. It is 16 pages now but I will be adding 8 more it. Extra games which are not in the LARSEN THE HAMMER book and some photos you will like of Larsen ON the scene in 1972 at the Fischer-Spassky match. $10 PDF. Drop me a line, okay? If you already bought one, I will be sending you the 8 extra pages.

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Friday, March 2, 2012

"LET'S CHECK" -- THE CHESS KNOWLEDGE DATABASE

Has anyone besides its ChessBase creators seen any review of this feature in Fritz13.

A while back I asked for comment from anyone who had bought Fritz13 and so far have heard nothing. Maybe I am living in a vacuum... have seen no reviews.

Anyone out there know anything?

contact bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CHESS SITE IS UP !!!

But it needs fine tuning and tweaking. Will be working on that more in the evenings.

Immediate goals: SCORE 2 and PizzaPakKit!

Meantime: check yesterdays Blog and send in some questions! A few have.

Bob

bob@thinkerspressinc.com