Friday, June 15, 2012

TWO BOOKS -- DETAILS

Two titles, one new, one "sorta" new went to the printer today.

1. The "sorta" is Purdy's Chess Bits... and Obits, handled by a printer I used years ago also for his My Search for Chess Perfection. I had run out of them and for some "weird" and happy reason, it keeps on selling. The book, put together by Ralph Tykodi, also years ago, brings together 14 giants of chess back in the day, and Purdy's reporting of them after they passed away--such as Lasker, Capablanca, and Alekhine (the triumvirate of world champions). Then there was Reti, Menchik, Marshall, Yates, Spielmann and others. The challenge for that book was to find appropriate photos of each. I don't know where Purdy got his info on the history of chess (it is very good) but he brought it to life and the whole thing was packed together in 260 pages. The price will be $27.95 + $4.95 for S&H. The cost of shipping these days keeps rising as the USPS continues mired in incompetency and overpaid people at the top (Imagine being rewarded for making things worse?) The thing is, it's a great read! It will fill a void in Purdy literature as the book has been Out of Print for some time and there has been clamoring for it.

2. In additional clamoring I kept getting requests for CJS Purdy's Fine Art of Annotation and Other Thoughts. If you don't recall that was for FOUR books totaling a lot of pages (almost 1,000) with material taken mostly from Purdy's own publication Chess World. After nearly a week of day and night tweaking, it to went to a different printer shortly after midnight this morning. Well, Volume One went to the printer.

Volume One, with a different title, was a combination of Vols. 1 and 2 with the "articles" removed to be put into volume Three at a later date... probably this year.

The reason I separated those juicy and excellent articles was to get to an easier "read" of the games. While at it all editorial comments were relegated to footnotes (so you can move more smoothly through the book). Opening names were expanded as were the venues. The date the game was published is included for all entries. Two column format.

The new title is: C.J.S Purdy's Inside Look at Some of Chess' Greatest Games Volume One. Not much shorter (if any) as a title but I think much more descriptive. Coupled with an excellent high-resolution photo of Purdy from John Upham at British Chess Magazine the cover look is a new one for Thinkers' Press using a typeface I never saw much future for as a former typesetter.

There are 220 games, combined and integrated into three sections: world championship contests, international master level games, and then master-level games from Australia and New Zealand (where Purdy was from originally and where he settled). The book is 340 pages and includes, at the back, a first time in depth promotion of Purdy and other treatises and PDFs published by Thinkers' Press in order to gain a wider reading audience for what TPi does.

A small press run was made to test the waters and it looks like it may be successful as I have already been getting advance orders which I now enter into a spreadsheet to keep track. It is 6x9 in size and should meet the needs of those who don't want to pay the higher-"web" prices.

It's just not in me to slap two books together and release them. No corrections, no fixes, etc. I just can't do that. After the distance of time and working on 4 such books, there was inconsistencies of purpose and those have been resolved. On top of that, the computer files of one volume (#2) were done in PageMaker 6.5 while #1 (a more recent reprint) were done in InDesign. The conversion had its problems and was time consuming. AND... there is a nice index at the back for Players and the Openings.

What we are left with is a nice piece of work and a LEARNING tool that shows why and how you can educate yourself to be a better chess player. There is a ten page section at the front on ANNOTATION, culled from articles Purdy wrote to explain why he did it the way he did it and what annotators should pursue. Purdy was AFTER explanations, the psychology, and the details reported in the foreign presses in foreign languages which often weren't available to those in English-speaking countries, hence, it looks like CJS had "insider" information, thus, the title. The book opens with two pages of references to what you will find in the book... novel for a chess publisher.

I laughed when I read about Lasker raising his eyebrows at a move, or his face turning white (according to Capablanca) when Lasker realized he was in trouble against the same Capablanca in the 1914 St. Petersburg event. Lasker pulled himself together and made a draw, in 100 moves! (Think 1924 and his unbelievable draw against Edward Lasker!) This is NOT the game where Lasker hammered Capablanca in 1914.

Working many nights as well as in the day, it was a lot of solid work in fixing stuff up. My purpose was singular and the layout the way chess books really should be done; hope you agree. I've been told, barring any problems, the book should be available in about 10 business days (in June).

The second volume won't be released until July, probably at the same price point. The Retail value will be $44.95, but the $39.95 price mentioned above is for those who act quickly. There are a couple resellers who may be interested in taking all I will have but if you order first, you will get it first, because while I have been at it, hard, for the past 3 years in regrowing my business, most of them have ordered nothing from me. YOU are my real customers.

If ordering by PayPal or credit card vexes you just contact me at the below email address. If you send checks or Money Orders (yes, I still get orders that way), you can mail me at: Thinkers' Press, 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, Iowa 52803 USA.

Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

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