Friday, April 27, 2012

NEW POSTINGS SOON

It gets worse everyday with Blogger (Google's Blogging tool). Today I see a new screen before starting. I almost created a NEW Blog, not a new blog post.

There are Blog Facilities on my new web site and I will be using them very soon.

Testing has been going on and I am pleased to say things seem to be working now. I have a little more to do. Getting positive feedback from the Riskers.

In the past 24 hours I have been up to 5-6 NEW things. Will be filling everyone in who is on the LEAPFROG "Secret" newsletters list (42). Hope to finish tonight or tomorrow. GREAT possibilities for those who stick with the Chess Butler and Thinkers' Press.

Bob

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

STILL TESTING WEB SITE

There's is probably no web company I can't stand more than Google. If you don't feel that way it is because you haven't had to deal with their schizophrenia. Once again they have changed their BLOG posting forms. It would be NICE (Can you hear me now Google?) if they would come up with some good templates in color instead.

In the mean time, kudos to those Black Gold Card holders for 2012 who have been putting in test user names, passwords, etc. Everything will be righted when we go live and get our SSL certs.

If you who are reading this would like to get a BLACK GOLD CARD and who have never had one before, it is 50 simoleons ($50). With the Gold Card I will send you a Baker's Dozen of benefits for the year 2012.

And yes, you do get favored treatment.

To get hold of me and get the details drop me a line at: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

And as they say at EVERY store you are in, "Have a nice day!" (Was that in Robocop?)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

SEARCHING FOR IMs

Issue #16 for SCORE, the last for the first season, is close to completion (next week it will be done).

In the meantime IM Andrew Martin wants to take a break from his writing chores, at least for us, and I have been looking for other authors. He will be here for our Fall Classic however. If you read the ChessBase web site, as I do, Steve Dowd had some really nice things to say about Andrew's DVDs.

It is hard to find IMs who want to write (work). I am sure there are 1,000 excuses, none of which interest me (I'm not a good writer, I don't have time, I can't think of anything to write about, etc.) I've written to some who do not even bother replying, definitely not interested in those.

Czech Republic GM Jan Markos wants to write. We are working on dates.

GMs cost more (usually) than IMs. I have another fellow who I am to contact again this month who is interested. He would be a real catch.

But I would like to get some IMs. If you know of any, send me their email address, wouldja? I can do the asking as none of these people are intimidating to me if that is an issue you might have. Looking for those who are not lazy and who want to make some money.

REMEMBER SHIROV'S FIRE ON BOARD?
I am waiting for the bid on a special board I have designed solely for training purposes and whose purpose is to reduce blunders. And yes, I believe this will work for you too! It is in 3-color and especially designed to help you focus subliminally. The board, in tube, will also have a book which goes with it, exact title not yet determined. Something like Blunderproof Your Chess. Nothing will ever be 100% effective as long as you are capable of moving but I take a position asking you if this training board will help you reduce your egregious mistakes by 10%, would that be a bargain? Fact is, it will probably be more like 25-35% because there are key squares you must rely on. And you will be surprised at the answer UNTIL you are told what the answer is.

I should change the names of my businesses to just Chess Secrets because I love to unearth stuff like this. I got a "hint" and then did research and what I came up with was a shock, and as far as I know, it has never been presented before, in any form. I will be taking advance orders, and the information will be posted here. But there are a few "t's" and "i's" which have to be crossed and dotted first. There will be some other "traits" to this board which I have yet to mention to anyone yet, though those who recently agreed to keep their mouths closed regarding some TPi secrets know what some of them are.

I will begin selling straight from my offices first (and already have orders). Resellers may get their turn later (we'll see).

Also, I have designed a new Scorepad unlike anything out there, and 10X more useful, but am looking for the "right" printer. I did something like this in the 90s but this has been updated, and there are some changes. The binding is ALWAYS critical.

More things coming which I have hinted at only.

In the meantime I will be sending a message to all Gold Card holders about the new web site... hopefully today!

You can always contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PRETTY CRAZY

Taxes, a crashing computer monitor which needed quick replacement (PC kind, not the Mac stuff), filling some orders, and in general lots of itsy bitsy things to be done.

The games and notes for MODERN CHESS BRILLIANCIES HUSTLED are done. Now adding diagrams. Then will come the layout. Authored by George Gossip and Harry Nelson Pillsbury.

Working diligently on a 2-color version. Going to look into the idea of  a hardback (hardcover) too.

WHAT IS THE PROMISE ONLY YOU CAN MAKE?
What can you say about yourself that only you truly own and do?

Walt Disney promised amazing theme park entertainment.
Cuban cigars promised the best smoke in the world.
Swiss watches promised unparalleled accuracy for a time piece on the wrist.
German engineering promised the best machines anywhere.
MacDonald's promised the quickest food delivery in the business.

Apple promised THE experience in electronic entertainment.
Mrs. Fields promised delectable cookies.
The US Government promises to break its promises, treaties, laws, etc.


What can we say about chess?
Soviet chess promised a new era of world championship titles and grandmasters.
Bobby Fischer promised to beat Spassky and the Soviet chess hierarchy.

What about Thinkers' Press, what does it promise?
I've been giving this a little thought and perhaps you can chime in too.
Since the 1980s TPi has promised the best in chess literature from content to design and entertainment value. Overall BEST!

Does that mean anything to anyone? I think it does when variety is at stake. When creativity is taken to task. When exploring topics in new ways adds to the culture.
There are some chess publishers out there who have some good content, but are weak in design (covers are horrible in too many instances), and not too jumping and shouting when it comes to new ideas.
There must be new things which can be said about chess but that is not a part of most chess publishing environments. I remember when R&D publishing from NJ came out with "slim" books with typesetting almost from the trimmed part of the top of the page to the bottom of the page! Awful. Not looking for THAT kind of innovation (i.e., cheapness).

As cowboys have such a thing at rodeos and the "best cowboy all rounder" chess needs something like that to wear a hat. TPi had the Chess Festival ideas and clinics, the Chess Gangs series, the FAT catalogs (128 pages and more), entertaining magazines (SQUARES, CHESS REPORTS, and SCORE), a novel chess club idea and tournaments such as "Chess Fight Club," the Gold Card for purchases, authors ranging from Korchnoi to Soltis, and a publisher who spent 11 years as a typographer/typesetting upon founding Thinkers' Press.

Bob Long, this maniac, has played chess, and by himself written more about chess than anyone since Purdy and probably more than he did, directed events, had in-house movie days, and something like a baker's dozen of chess publications. He's met Fischer, Spassky, Larsen, Karpov, and many others and sold and played from Nevada to Massachusetts. I've sold thousands and thousands of used chess literature and books. Gigantic lists and shelf after shelf of inventory and some of the bigger collections in the world.

Not trying to put my ass on a pedestal, just trying to think of a way to promote the business with A Promise Only I Can Make! If you have any ideas, send them on. We need succinctness here. Package all that into one promise. (My vote, the best damn chess books, overall, on the planet!)

Once I told someone, with TPi you ALWAYS get your money's worth or money back.

Rita, when she worked for me knew I put the Good Customer Ahead of the Wannabe Customer. We had few whiners, I wouldn't tolerate it.

Outselling the Competition
On those occasions when I was selling around other resellers I sold more than anyone else, every time. That was one reason I was so disappointed when I couldn't get a "promised" bid in edgewise at the HB Global event in Minnesota (2005?). I came up with a "complicated formula" to be the bidder to counterpoint the stupid requirements that Maurice Ashley's group came up with. Apparently the mental muscle wasn't there to evaluate it (this is nothing personal against Ashley who I find to be one of the most entertaining grandmasters in the business).

Years ago I sold magic at a one day magic event in Decatur, IL. Another fellow was there with probably a lot more experience and I outsold him 4 to 1 after he volunteered how he did! Another retailer who was from St. Louis wasn't there that day but we doubled what he he did in one day the previous year. What's so exasperating is that I thought I had a lousy Saturday! I still do!

I tried twice to be the seller of the USCF chess inventory and I would always get stymied by politics, insider trading, bids being exposed and in some cases not even being told as if I was somehow illegitimate. "I coulda been a contender" as Marlon might've said. I wouldn't have gyped the federation or sued them or done all kinds of things to show how I couldn't compete or make money (that is, blame it on everyone else). On the other hand I wouldn't let the the mental midgets on the Policy Board tell me how to make money for the USCF as time has shown they had no clue.

I've always felt I could tell you (customers) something worthwhile about every product I had. So maybe that fits in somewhere. But it's getting harder as some companies are pumping stuff out faster than I can keep up with them (such as Chess Stars and Mongoose Press).

I used to tell my employees I had more irons in the fire than a cattle rustler. I want to change that, slim down, be more specific, not do it all anymore. So I am looking for that ONE promise that keeps them on the trail to this door! If you own a Black Gold Card you have more access to me than does the guy who wants ONE book he has been looking for, for 15 minutes, and can't find on eBay! I do NOT believe Amazon.com, or eBay is the answer to chessplayers and their wants and needs about ANYTHING except the Wal-Mart mentality (I haven't been inside of a Wal-Mart for anything I have personally wanted in years).

If you have suggestions, send on to: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Only qualification is, it has to be true. So saying something like Thinkers' Press promises that every car rental will be your best driving experience just doesn't cut it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

THE CJS PURDY LIBRARY AVAILABLE FOR SALE

A little misleading in the title I think but it's shorter than: "Very fine copies of all the C.J.S. Purdy printed publications: Check!, and Chess World, bound for SALE!"

Doncha think?

Here is an ad I out together which someone might be interested in:


An 89 year old collector of CJS Purdy’s Check! and Chess World has contacted me through an intermediary. He bought, in 1944, a LIFE subscription to “Chess World.” For $200! He has them all. Along the way he also picked up “Check!”--there was only one year that was issued (July ‘44 thru ‘45).From Feb. ‘46 thru Sep-Oct 1967 Purdy published “Chess World.”
Happily the seller made the remark, referring to my company in 1999, that I had evaluated previous Purdy collections and he had referred to TPi as a “chess equipment and book dealer and publisher,” Always gratifying. Many years!
The collector met Purdy several times and says in his brochure to me that all the issues have been bound, including the covers, by plastic ring binders and heavy, flexible, black plastic protective covers (costing him $230!). The binding allows EVERY issue to be opened FLAT to any page, which is not possible with hard bindings which exclude the original covers.
ALL issues are original, no photocopies or mimeographed copies. All are in excellent condition with the exception of a few earlier (40’s) issue which bear some pen notations.
The collection was started in 1944 while the owner was stationed in Sydney, Australia in the US Navy. While it is easily worth the $2250 we are asking for such a marvelous collection, we will sell it for $1,750.00. Shipping is extra and there is a $75 conversion fee for using PayPal or Credit Cards. Wire, Money Orders, or checks (to those known to me, Bob Long) are okay. If you are thinking of becoming a serious “Purdy Collector” this would be a startling beginning.

I was recently approached by someone I know about this. If it turns out the collection has been sold I will refund your money. This is NOT something I would poke around about if you are interested. It's now being broadcast around the world!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

A DAY EARLY -- SCORE 15

In an effort to get 400 things done I put out SCORE 15 a day early. That way subscribers (85) can get a head start before going back to taxes or other non-chess matters.

And... there was a plea for early resubscriptions for Season Two. The first season was $20.00 to encourage chess couch potatoes to subscribe. 35 non-couch potatoes have already resubscribed. The price now is $39.95 (going to $49.95 in a month). One GM is interested in coming on board and so is another one. The first is Jan Markos who told me he loves "written words and not just variations." Me too! Plus he is a young ass-kicker who does a great job of annotating Carlsen-Aronian on YouTube, at least until I got an "error" message.

It's all about "Good Timin' " (as Jimmy Jones sang). There is another GM who is interested in writing for SCORE TWO. I'm well aware that chess publications in the USA are fated for deaths. Inside Chess, a decent publication, didn't last either. SCORE will come out once a month (well, to be accurate, every 4 weeks) so that shouldn't be too inconvenient AND soon you will be able to download the latest copy to your desktop. Some people read it right on the screen which I don't really recommend unless you like hurting yourself.

I recall one guy, years ago, telling me he didn't like to print stuff out because it used up his ink cartridges. I confess to laughing so hard I had to be taken to the Emergency Room. Then, after total recovery I had to book a flight to his town and drop him off of a bridge! I guess a printer is for printing out really important documents like toilet paper with advertising on it. Every now and then I do get something that is so off the wall even I couldn't have thought of it.

So if you haven't subscribed I can tell you it is easy. Get both seasons for $59.95 and while I accept many forms of payment, once that is taken care of I will begin sending you PDFs of the first season from 1 to 15. Over 300 pages so far. Subscribers ended up getting almost twice the number of pages they were originally promised! If you like BARGAINS then don't miss this one.

PS: By the way issue #15 contained an article by IM Andrew Martin on the Rubinstein Nimzo-Indian and the Budapest Gambit. Plus an article or two, one being on "Chess Luddites."

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

FOR HUMP DAY (WEDNESDAY)

Remember "hump day" when you were in college (if you had the misfortune of going!)? On tomorrow's day I will begin shipping out New in Chess #101 to those who are auto-subscribers (thank you men). If you want to get on that future program, let me know (email address below).

Also to be included, since they are going out anyway, are FREE copies of Larsen the Hammer and Horowitz the Interrogator to those who have them coming and who haven't already received theirs (I try to pack them in with an existing order to save on postage). My way of saying thanks to those who have been supporting my little enterprise.

And enclosed will also be a 2-pager illustrating and describing other products such as: Secrets of Opening Surprises #14, The Kaufman Repertoire for Black & White, and Jan Timman's terrific book for endgame nuts and studies fans: The Art of the Endgame. 

Finishing up SCORE 15 for this Friday with some pretty exciting news about a NEW contributor for Season 2. I hope you will re-subscribe and if you haven't subscribed I think it would be a good idea. This new guy is Mr. Practical, and, a GM! $39.95 for the next 16 feature packed issues. And they will be downloadable from the new web site (more about that soon). Stay in touch.

In the meantime, I am at: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Saturday, April 7, 2012

CHESS FISTFIGHTS AT 20 PACES

I'm working diligently on the Gossip & Pillsbury book promised a couple months ago. Since finding the manuscript there has been a lot of midnight oil used to ferret out conclusions in Gossip's 1892 book, Modern Chess Brilliancies.

Years ago I was put onto a copy of this book with all kinds of notes scribbled inside. After a considerable amount of sleuthing I discovered the notes were written by Harry Nelson Pillsbury, within a couple years of his death (because he references Lasker's Chess Magazine!).

George Gossip was not in Pillsbury's league as a player or annotator but there are times when he does shine. And, there are times when Pillsbury answers a note, such as: "No! It should have resulted in Black being forced to draw by perpetual."

Harry starts out reasonably peaceful but as he gets through 75 games (and some mistakes himself, recall he was dying of syphilis) he gets more and more annoyed and at one point calls the author a "conceited ass."

By going through all the games you can tell they were annotated at different times. Pillsbury has left us an annotated treasure. Great players don't often do this.

Thinkers' Press will publish it and I am making every effort to put Pillsbury's notes in red (thus a two-color book) so one can easily find any parts of distinction. Occasionally Pillsbury refers to Lasker, Mason, Steinitz and others.

In the event you don't already know, at 22 Pillsbury, from Somerville, MASS, won the first Hastings tournament (1895) over anyone who was anybody, including world champion Lasker.

This is a book I will be proud of. Every effort will be made to see if we can afford a hardcover edition, and hopefully have it out within 3 months at $45.00. Only a small number will be done since TPi doesn't have the resources to stockpile hundreds of them. Postage is extra both in the US ($6) and Internationally.

Let me know right away if you are interested.

PS: There are some very good games, sacrifices, combinations, and terrorizing attacks... and also a few, shall we say, "What is this doing in here?" Pillsbury asks that too! If you want to know if the guys of yesteryear could attack the answering is certainly, "Yes."

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Friday, April 6, 2012

PETROSIAN AND NIMZOVICH PHOTOS

Anyone have copyright free images they could send me? Petrosian should be easier since he did simuls in the US several decades ago.

Recently I asked several friends if they had a photo of Petrosian and they sent ones from published books. I might've forgotten to specify, "copyright free." I would like to avoid that for a variety of reasons. Besides, we are looking for something more personal... to put on a sheet of poster paper and mount on the wall at the Gentlemens Chess Club.

Petrosian was also at Lone Pine and in Texas too as well as Chicago and New York.

Nimzovich might be harder. Most likely all photographers of him are deceased (but ya nevah know).

I have some photos but am not exactly gushing over them.

Here's an area on the web where Google or Bing are absolutely HOPELESS.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

PS: Today looks like the day that the FOLLOWUP FROG goes out. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

FOLLOW UP PDF IN THE WORKS

To the brave souls who I sent a request to keep quiet on the subjects in an 18-page report and who agreed, I am working on a smaller document which will be sent out via email, but this one is to be kept behind sealed lips too. Thank you.

Useful plans, massive objectives, and a new approach to chess. It will be a filtering process.

Just wanted to drop by and tell you thanks in a public-unpublic way.

More coming soon, maybe tomorrow.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

PS: One other order of business, the One Hundred Dollar FROG. Wow, can they ever JUMP!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

LARSEN ON OPENINGS FINISHED

FM Allan Savage's GM Bent Larsen on the Openings came out as a Special Report from SCORE  in February. Last night the project was completed and runs 24 pages. The variety in reports is making itself felt, especially in this case as the additional 8 pages to complete the 24 page total has 4 photos from Iceland 1972, and several from his match with Fischer in 1972 (which "magically" popped up at the very last minute!) One of the 1971 pictures shows Larsen talking with Isaac Kashdan who was there as a journalist for the LA Times.

There are an additional 16 games, ten where Larsen won as white and 6 as Black. Annotated and some very interested ones, which were not included in the Chess Gangs of New York and London booklet (which, by the way had a record number of annotated games) titled Larsen the Hammer.  Also there was a 1970 photo from Chess Life & Review of Larsen at the table and winning the US Open in Boston, another laurel among many.

It really is a chess feast (and there are additional things to see for which you will have to just get this PDF to find out what they are). While the cost is only $9.95, and in my view, worth every cent, if you are a Black Gold Card holder you can have it delivered to your email box for just $5.00.

I do not play, nor have ever indulged in, April Fool's jokes. The main reason is not that I don't appreciate them but because someone might take it as serious and in all honesty, I don't have time to deal with straightening that out. I do get a kick out of some of them I have seen, starting today! In a non chess climate one friend mentioned he had finally obtained a registered trademark on the color Purple. It was funny. He wrote enough to make it, and the accompanying hooplah, sound authentic. The final tip off was when he asked no one to email him about it until April 2 (he's a famous emailer, etc.)

The Larsen document IS the real McCoy. In the event you also want Larsen the Hammer, that is an additional $12.95 + $3.50 for shipping. Business is never a joke with me.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

PS: A real April Fool's Joke for me would be to announce that my website is finished and UP. It's not, but it's close.