Sunday, July 29, 2012

STRETCHING IT

Three items of importance, especially the first two:
1. Modern Chess Brilliancies (Hustled) has gone back to proof. I installed a too low resolution piece of art on the cover (100 dpi) instead of the 300 dpi one. What confused me was when the artist took the art and named it "Final." I mean, that sounds like last iteration, right? I should've checked... it wasn't. $40 down the drain.

Being ultra careful, I redid it (more work than you might imagine because I have to fit to THEIR template when doing hardcovers with lamination. Anyway, that went back for hopefully LAST inspection.

2. Let's see. Actually two items. Bob Long's Chess Letter went out Thursday. My new publication taking the place of the "older" Chess Gazette. Hope to have SCORE 19 done Wednesday morning for Friday delivery. If you like lots of powerful, interesting reading, drop me a line at bob@thinkerspressinc.com and I will give you the details.

3. Was supposed to have a talk with a GM today about a future book. But, he postponed as he wants to "sharpen" up the MS. If I told you the topic and author you would flip out, but I don't do that until the deal is IN play and maybe not until release. But I just wanted to let you know it isn't the Portisch project. That's also on the agenda.

FINALLY...
Interest is starting to pique about the Fall Chess Classic with me getting PAID registrations and questions, all of which have been answered in the materials I send out. I suggest printing this stuff out but by saving "ink" questioners can waste everyone's time by asking what I have already published. I solve this problem by putting documents in 3-ring binders. In fact, I am thinking of getting some for sale, putting a nice logo on the front and perhaps "solving" a problem. I do it with newsletters I get from others or I can never find anything.

I find some of the commentary in the newsletter business amusing. With some newsletters costing $500 a year (and mine is a puny $30) occasionally some deadhead will write in and complain that there is TOO MUCH other stuff (non money-making ideas) in the letters. I don't agree--I can suck out all kinds of worthwhile things. I think what is amusing, as several writers have said (even to me), "They can complain all they want, they don't do anything with the ideas they do get!" What some of these lazy people really want is to put something that costs $50 on auto-pilot, get out their Laz-y-Boy, grab a beer and wait for the mailman to deliver them checks. I knew a guy who had a huge library and was going to sell all his "valuable" stuff on eBay. After about 2 sales, packing issues (even using Duct Tape????) he gave up. He valued HIS stuff at MORE than any real person would. He was making $75K a year to boot and didn't need the money. I think a Zippo Lighter would have solved many of his problems.

The event Oct. 26-28 is $265.00 now even if you have a Black Gold Card. I can send details if you need them. Should be a great show.

At the moment I have begun putting a lot of time into some other projects including the big release this October, Book 2 in the SECRETS Trilogy. It has so much good stuff in it, I just hate to give out some of these secrets! I do! But on the other hand, I know 95% of the buyers will collect it, maybe read it, and do NONE of it. W-O-R-K, everything is including a secret for getting you to work a "system of improvement." Forget all that stuff about 21 days (wasn't that Covey?). I suggest 40-60 to make it stick and almost effortless. A guy I know in the information business say 49 days, so if you average mine, that's 50. Hence 7 weeks will do you a mountain of good. But then I show you what you have to DO and HERE is the GOOD part: I'm doing it myself. I can't suggest to others to do something I won't do myself. There is a lot of cheap talk out there, especially on the internet. Do you love those 'tards on CNN who write the opinion pieces?

Spent some time today talking to the actress on the phone who is on the cover of Rudel's latest, ZUKA. She's a babe, sweet, and was in no hurry to get off the phone with me (her SO was talking to my son Rob). A pleasant voice she, however, is called the SCREAM QUEEN in the horror-flick business. I met her once about 5 years ago and she said she still remembered me. I hope my fly wasn't unzipped!

Anyway, unlike people who have been authors with me, she actually bought a copy of the book for her shelf and portfolio. Her name is Leanna Chamish and I always get a kick out of her acting and charming self. She also sent me an email telling me how fortunate she felt in getting one of the last copies (I've ordered this book twice and am about ready to put another order in). I suspect David Rudel is doing well on this book because for quick sales this is outdoing all the others except the first one, the legendary ZUKE. If those two (ZUKE and ZUKA) spawn any kids, I suggest naming the first one, BAZOOKA (remember Bazooka Joe?)

More later friends. Stay tuned for the good chess stuff, in spades. And if you get a chance and want to play through a truly amazing game, look up Botvinnik-Larsen 1965. The way Botv. stops Larsen's advanced pawn is truly incredible and should give us all hope.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

EVERYONE'S BLOG -- THEIR BLOG -- MY BLOG

About every week or so Google's pretty much "worthless" Blog "template" makes me sign in to my own blog. Waste of time.
Then I have to look around to find the "feature" to start a NEW blog.
At some point I see the following message:

"Add blogs to follow in your Reading list
You are not currently following any blogs. Use the "Add" button to enter blogs you'd like to follow in your Reading List.Learn more"

I wonder WHY I don't "follow" any other blogs. Could it be:
1) I don't have the time (like you);
2) I'm not interested;
3) Most of them are not worth reading.

However, however, however, I WANT to turn over a NEW leaf, maybe turn over a whole tree!

(In answer to my Question it is "All three.")

But I want to start promoting things that Thinkers' Press does in the publishing realm, such as today I sent out 700 some emails to people who I think (and mistakenly think) might be interested in the PDF, "Bob Long's Chess Letter." Issue #1 numbered #164.

Here are the Qualifications for the Blog thing:
1. It must be about chess or to do with "thinking."
2. You need to send the URL and NAME of the creator (lots of these chicken-s--- bloggers leave their name out so they can go OFF (rant))
3. You must give me some reason why you like their blog and I don't mean, "I like it." I would never hire anyone who was that simple minded.

QUALIFICATIONS
Here's some details of possibilities from a Gary Halbert Newsletter of many years ago.
Gary got a call from his "friend" in NY Jay Abraham who wanted Gary to write a stunning ad for him. Gary did. The ad said, in the last 7 paragraphs, to qualify for a consultation with Jay (free) "you must meet 6 qualifications." And a phone number was given.

Jay got 600 "qualified" replies (at that time Jay charged $2000/hr for consulting--he was a proven winner--and this was almost 20 years ago--and Jay is still around!). Jay answered NONE of them! Jay told Gary they were all flakes! Gary explained that if someone called Jay only 5-6 times they really weren't interested!

My point! That's not me. For one thing, charging $500 for a consultation is a challenge for "my" authors--that's why almost all of those who do it on their own are severely disappointed (and for good reason) with their project. Everyone screams they don't have THAT kind of money. It's amazing how many of them lie. What they mean is: "I don't have that kind of money to spend on a project I am really unsure about in the first place." In other words, severely RISK averse. Don't want the Humiliation I often go through with the many projects I launch. These folks are non-starters, non-achievers (except, in their own mind).

Jay, Gary (deceased), and myself, enjoy being in the company of those who UNDERSTAND RISK and don't spend all their time playing Devil's Advocate (another phrase for "doing nothing.") Here's the Nutshell version.

So... TWO THINGS
1. Let's see what your BLOG suggestions are and I will credit you here (after I check them out).
2. Wanna write a book? Wanna get it published? Want some cheap consultation? This $500 is for one day, smart and insane questions will most likely be answered. The $500 figure will disappear when I am so busy you won't be able to get hold of me for this and for $2,000. For one thing, I am done with FREE advice (perverted form of consultation) to those who pick my brain and then go off and do the book themselves or with someone else (why they don't ask THAT person is obvious to me--they trust me, but not with their money--I don't need them.)

I've only seen ONE book published in the past 10 years where my ear and phone time was bent and it came out looking half way decent. I don't know how that happened, I suspect many others were also asked (maybe a committee, or, just blatantly ripped off my formatting--but, I have so many different ones as you will see if you spend $29.95 and subscribe to my Chess Letter). But it was a waste of my time. Probably not theirs, they value their own time at less than $0 per hour.

Here's my number: 563-271-6657. When I answer don't say "Is Bob there?" Who else would it be? If I don't have my phone with me, or forgot to ramp up the volume, leave a message. I'll get it when I wake up.

Question: Can you tell I am very, very (or is it "veddy") busy?

Friday, July 20, 2012

HOW COULD I FORGET?

My son Rob asked me about my post for a book he recently designed the cover of (I know, I ended with a proposition, too bad).

Leanna, Mitch, Zuke
I thought I had put it on my Blog, but couldn't find it (I have a lot of projects going!) The DEALIO is that actors he used wanted to get a copy of the book (as well as SEE it!), because they were on the cover, got paid, and wanted to see what the "Madman from Maryland" came up with (I just made up that moniker).

It's a FAT book, loaded with good info and my first order of these SOLD OUT. Some more came in a couple days ago so here is some extra info (and by the way someone I sold this to recently, locally, is going through this book like a man possessed--he really liked it).

It's about: (Fight) the King's Indian, Gruenfeld, and the Dutch Defense with ZUKA by David Rudel. A lot of energy, time, and swag was put into this 441 page behemoth. Leanna, Mitch, and I'm sorry I haven't met the new guy (Zuke?) The book retails for $29.95 and we have it for sale at $28.95 + $4.00 for S&H.

Rob. in his own Photoshop ways. took 3 actors and made 5 combatants. Cuts down on your postage bill. Lots of poses, costumes, weapons, etc. But he said it was a fun gig.

Also on the cover it mentions that the "Dangerfield Attack" is included (how to handle the Dutch Defense) so if you buy the "big" book you don't need the one with Rodney Dangerfield on the cover but I have found that collectors want BOTH! Same author.

Zuke and Zuka
Originally when we plumbed the depths of the Colle-Zukertort system ZUKE was introduced (from Duke Nuke 'Em). And good old Zuke has graced several other covers since then. Zuke is now a definite brand in the hands of his author, David Rudel, who is now living in Hungary (don't ask me, I haven't asked him). It was only a matter of time, commerce, and good chess rationality before Zuka came along to help deal with the Most Awkward and Most Wanted "Usual Suspects."

The Jokester Star Rodney
Have fun with this and thank you guys for your poses, and Rob for his electrifying "fire power" on the back cover.

Joan Dangerfield was nice to let us use the image of her late husband on the cover and one of his jokes ("I let my wife make the first move. She went to Florida.") Can't you just hear the joke in your own head? Don't overlook the "gladdening" faces on the black pieces and pawns.

The full title of the book is another "short one," Dismantling the Dutch Defense with the Dangerfield Attack.

Retail, $15.99. Obtained from Thinkers' Press it is $14.99 plus $4 for S&H (all this is for USA, if elsewhere the S&H will be a little higher).

If you want the two together I can help on that at $40 + $5 for S&H.

Here's where you can order: Thinkers' Press, 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803.

Payment? Checks, MOs are fine, so is PayPal (my account name is bob@thinkerspressinc.com)--I do take credit cards too. You can call: 563-271-6657.

Questions? bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, July 19, 2012

THE FALL CHESS CLASSIC -- STEROIDED!

At this very moment I am emailing info on the Fall Chess Classic to be held in Davenport, Iowa Oct. 26-28.

Some mentioned to me they didn't have the data they needed to make reservations, etc. Actually The Chess Gazette and SCORE magazine had info (at least some) and I included more info to those who sent orders in... Kind of makes sense that I would invite those who were buying from The Chess Butler OR Thinkers' Press. So to cover the rest, and as National Inquirer might say, "For those inquiring minds," more details are being released today.

Then, Saturday I will be MAILING (you know, the postage stamp thing?) to 54 people who I think might have an over-riding interest in attending to see GM Karsten Mueller, IM Andrew Martin, NM Andy Rea, and me, Bob Long where we do and tell what we do. It's $265.00 up to and including July 31. More after that.

So here's the deal... if you are interested but are wondering if just maybe you might not be on that "54" list, drop me an email (bob@thinkerspressinc.com) and include your street address (some people really resist this one... as I wrote recently, elsewhere, the names and accompanying addresses are KNOWN all over the US for everyone... I am just trying to make it easier.) I will mail you one as Pronto as Tonto.

This looks to be the best event since 2004 and definitely a great one to follow the 2010 Chess Clinic (the last one) at the Clarion Hotel in Davenport. We aren't Las Vegas but these days even Las Vegas isn't Las Vegas. But we have some great hotels and restaurants (I've tried them all!) and I put them on the list (PDF).

Great gifts, gimmicks, instruction and PERSONAL attention! These days that's hard to get. That's why I am limiting attendance to 24 (possibly 30 if I am pressed but that's it!)

Watch your email box (of course you have to be on my email list--so make sure you are even if you don't register for this Blog!) So... if you are a lurker (and there are many) I think it would be MORE fun to be with the "in crowd" as it is definitely one of the BEST in crowds, chesswise, you will EVER come upon... and even that one guy who read this blog and told me he will never read it again, has been known to change his mind (right?).

Actually, I'm easy to get along with and could present you with a list of people who would agree, longer than your arm. But what makes my events so comfortable, interesting and fun, is I make sure the clods don't attend. But that's not you, right? Then come along for a great time and don't wait until the last minute. There will come a day (maybe this time?) when more people will want to get in, and we won't have any "last minute issues" just some disappointed folks who wanted to come but couldn't get in. Next event probably won't be until 2014! (Not joking.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE STUPID

Some time back I had redone the Bobby Fischer t-shirts which were made in 2002 (I think), in glorious color.

Gratefully, it produced several orders.

My main reason for producing it was not so much income but because:
1) I liked it and mine was finally wearing out after a couple dozen (or more) washings;
2) I knew others would like it as it also included some other heroes (Lasker, Capa, and Alekhine);
3) I was on great terms with the printer who was also working on my "BlunderBust Training Board" (made in America);
4) I had in mind a couple gifts to some business friends and one really close friend;
5) And, the designer, Bill Hannan, was going to start work on another shirt for me. A second shirt in the trilogy line (1st one was Merlin for the Critical Secret for Success at Chess and anything else) because a second book is coming out this Fall (October 26-28).

They were produced in sizes L and XL.

Naturally I knew I was going to hear from someone who asks, "What about us XXL guys?" Well, glad you asked. I decided to do a small number of those too after being asked. And I wrote back to that fellow (twice) and never heard from him.

Yes, I am aware we are in the stage of America where people are getting chubbier and sassy, but, I thought, "Why not? Take their dough before their cholesterol puts them on their back, but... at least they will look great in a nice, new, and crisp t-shirt with art of one of the greatest chess players of all time."

I will be picking them up this afternoon.

Here is the pricing gang 'o mine. Robert's Rangers:

L and XL, $20 each. That's 20% off the $25 retail for these beauties, in white cotton.

XXL, $23 (because, there's a lot more material needed to make one).

And I can't forget, because t-shirts is a NON-media item, shipping to places like NY and California costs a lot more. Add $9.95 for the shipping and handling (I have to put them in a box, right? I remember many years ago ordering some clothes from someone and they returned them to me (they were a gift) in a paper BAG! All scrunched up, but it probably saved them $2.00. Complete turn off eh?

PLUS, I put these babies in a clean polyethylene bag.

One other thing
All ready to ship. I only made up less than a dozen of these, so if you are a procrastinator, you won't get one. Instead they will be selling on eBay, later on, for some ridiculous price (none of it my doing, I don't have the time for that).

So I was stupid for taking the word of someone who said they wanted one but who couldn't be responsible enough to write back (oh, I am sure he is on vacation (but, between you and me, he has his laptop with him!)). Don't be similarly mind-blanked by putting it off.

You can save $$$ and also get a gift for someone favorite in your life.

PS: I am aware there are women who have worn the very large t-shirts I've sold, as nightshirts. So you can let your imagination roam on that one!

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Yes, we take PayPal. Just go to the PayPal web site, login, click on the tab "Send Money" and fill in: the above email address as the person to whom you are sending it to (me). It couldn't be much simpler (oh, I know it could, but trust me, this works).

Friday, July 13, 2012

CANCELLATION THIS SATURDAY

July 14, 2012 was supposed to be a big deal at South Park mall in Moline, IL.

Chess players from the Illowa and Gentlemens Chess Club would be there tantalyzing passersby to play, ask questions, and if they felt like they could make a donation to the Alzheimers Association of the Greater Iowa region, so much the better.

I referred to is as "protecting brains."

Early this week I received a NINE page contract from the Mall in which, of course, everything IN the deal favored them except one thing--they weren't going to charge us for the prospect of bringing more customers into their mall to recharge the atmosphere it once had. Nice of them.

But on the second page, item #7 (I actually wasted time Monday evening reading this piece of nonsense) it said we had to have $2,000,000 worth of liability coverage! This was not mentioned in the initial face-to-face meeting or I would have cancelled it right then and there.

My PR person was quite new at this and she didn't think of it. Her Dad used to be a biggie in the Mall business and he said, "It wasn't always this way but our society has become so litigious." Yeah, it has. Even churches and other places where someone might play chess are getting into the act.

I won't bother you with all the other details of why this TEAM event won't happen tomorrow. I cancelled it. This is another public announcement to that effect so that if you were going to show up but didn't say anything to me, now you know why it won't be held.

CLASS?
Last night I met someone new in the area. From out of town but working in Davenport for awhile. Seems like a nice guy for what I could draw out of him. After I lectured on two games (Capablanca-Bernstein 1914, Smyslov-Tal 1969) all of us began to play some chess and he asked me, "What's your rating?" Truth be told, I only get asked this question by lower-rated players. My stock answer is, "Before I answer, what's yours?" He told me and my stock reply is, "Mine's North of that."

No bragging just, "Let's get on to something else." The lecture should say something about my quality of expertise. The others liked it.

In a previous life a looker I was dating said to me, "I can see why so many chess players have no girlfriends." Women pick up on this stuff immediately, guys, not so much. Guys  want the babe (and tell me I am lucky!) and then say or do something to wreck all chances of that. There must be a book in there somewhere.

I've said it many times. If psychiatrists are looking for fertile ground on explaining human behavior they should go to chess events. Even simuls! Every possibility of Psychology Today magazine is there. And they are not easy to sell products to either because the "play's the thing." Not improvement in play, but the PLAY!

Of course my readers and customers are different; that's why I like you guys.

Contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

LACK OF IMAGINATION IS NOT A SIN

And to get an "imagination" is not easy if you have already convinced yourself that you are dull and will never get it!

What's really bad is those who believe they are NOT dull but, who are!

Their life is one of excuses, "bad luck," and being "out of form." To be really out of form is to not do anything about "lack of imagination" but I ask you this, if you don't have it, how would you really know? Maybe someone (parent? or teacher?) may have said so, which was not really their place, was it? (You only hurt the ones you love!)

IN THE LAST TWO DAYS…
I have received 3 emails from what I call "cardboard cutouts." Two were from out of the country, across the pond. I'm not going to divulge their names but, if you ask them, they are "biggies."

They weren't really being negative, that would require a teeny bit of imagination... they were worse. There is that old axiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Think about this, if a person is unimaginative how would they know whether something is broke or not? Worse yet, if by some miracle, say a discovery inside of a cereal package, they discover something is broke, how on earth would they be able to fix it?

Aha, this is where "creeping imagination" comes along... they ask someone else to solve their problem!! What is weird, I dare say, is the unimaginative guy gets paid more than the imaginative guy! As Andrew Martin would say, "Bollocks!"

But the imaginative guy probably won't be the lower paid.... forever, because, he has, imagination.

One friend wrote, "Why is it people will pay $1,000 for an airline ticket, pay $2,000 for a car repair, spend $500-1,000 per night at the Crowne Plaza, and bitch about the price of the room service hamburger there, which is maybe $20.00?"

15,000 Recipients!
Here's some weird news. About 15-16 years ago a catalog came in the mail. Illustrations, survival gear and food (I didn't order this BTW). What struck me is that many items were manufactured for this company and they had 15,000 people who WANTED to receive their catalogs, and were on their mailing list! They did not wholesale. Probably the year 2000 was a banner year for them!

Some more. I know of a guy who admits in his marketing letter (unfortunately, he is now deceased) that he had over 100,000 people who were on his mailing list and thousands who paid $197 a year for his marketing newsletter. (I know another company with 20,000 subscribers (how to make more $$$) at $500 per year!!)

I know of another company, overseas, whose owner told me he had 60,000 names on his emailing list but he had trouble with a lot of them ending up in spam filters. He billed himself as the "biggest thing" since sliced bread in the chess business.

I have no trouble believing these people or these numbers. But only two of them, the $197 a year guy (in 1988), and the $500 guy, were truly wealthy and they didn't make it from chess (at all). Gary was extremely honest, very imaginative, bold, and could actually solve problems. At one point he was TWO years behind in work! I know a carpenter-woodworker friend who was 1.5 years behind in making spiral, wooden, staircases. They were perfect, and he was incredible. He works a mile from me. I've been in his workshop. Craftsmanship was his to a T. The fact that he was almost IMPOSSIBLE to get to in terms of having him do something for you, no matter how much the bribe, made him even more desirable. The wood guy? Designed the cover for the original Lasker & His Contemporaries!

I've been too easy to get to and the slings and arrows of war prove it. When I am working all day long in front of my computer monitor and I hear the ding (when, it dings) I answer if it is anything "important." (Hmmm.) When I was running my typesetting studio years ago, I never answered the phone and did not have email. Business, while the typesetting industry was alive, was brisk and worth it. I was not available so that made my company MORE desirable. Customers could get to my office, but not always to me.

The day will happen when I am $$$ wise busy again. At the moment I am putting the foundation on the house of publishing, and I am finishing up the Pillsbury-Gossip book to send to the printer, this week, I hope. Proofing was necessary, and I am glad I did because there was some ginchy stuff!

But while I work, the imagination churns. It reacts to insipid emails from people who could be doing a lot better for themselves, and for me, but who do not want to move ONE THING--their Comfort Zone! When you remain IN your CZ, your imagination rots. I see it all the time. NO GROWTH! I want to grow MY business at the expense of THEIRS... that is, TAKE their customers. That's what I want to do. Those who come along for THIS ride will be favorites and will get more of my attention than the diseased and rotted buggers (I've always wanted to use that word) who do not want to share, even to their own delight because... they do not want to move OUT of their comfort zone.

Recently I discussed this with a very sharp marketing friend. She said, "I know you can use that in a tagline for your business, to their ultimate regret." I do too, and wait for it, the Chess Butler will come alive... just can't do everything at once.

Should you be interested in the Imagination end of things, pay attention to Walt Disney or to Thinkers' Press. Preferably, both. Before Steve Jobs passed away, he owned 7 percent of Disney and was on the BoD. His Pixar company made WD&C a lot of cash. Jobs had imagination and Disney had the imagination to know it. A deal was worked out, both were happy.

When I read Marketing Books by successful marketers (there are lots of unsuccessful ones out there who tell you they were successful... once) one plaintive cry keeps coming out, "You have to beat people over the head to get them out of their comfort zone and use their imagination and then convince them that something is fun, or good, or profitable because they will resist every inch of the way while telling you, 'No, I'm not resisting.'"

They say it takes one to know one. I am glad that imagination has taken over my life once again. When you are young, you are imaginative. Then family, job, and all that other stuff takes over and squashes you. As Paul Newman said at the end of The COlor of Money, "I'm back!"

Do us both a favor, MAKE a commitment. Come to the Fall Chess Clinic ($265). Don't tell me you are, you will, you hope to... I already have 5-6 of those, move those people out of the way, get in IN FRONT of THEM. Today. No more goofing off. No more waiting for your wife or girlfriend (your favorite excuse) to say "yes." No more wondering whether you will get a BETTER offer at the last minute. Get off your butt and do something. If you want a list of hotels to stay at and that is what is slowing you down, just ask and I will give you three PLUS their phone numbers. Or if you send me $300 I will make the calls for you!


PS: I've thought of writing a book on Excuses, or WHY people can't do something. Why Decisions are so hard (funny, almost NO one tells me it is price). I was talking to my PR lady the other day and she agreed, lots of folks have trouble manning-up or womaning-up any more. No balls while saying to everyone who will listen, they DO have balls! Fear of making a bad decision, fear of airlines, etc. Are we being run by fear?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

MALL INSURANCE

Perhaps the president and or Congress could actually go to the real trouble of changing our society from its currently litigious nature. I doubt it will happen because doing so would be "hard work."

This Saturday was to be a melding of the "minds" by the Alzheimer's Association for Greater Iowa and the Gentlemens Chess Club at a big Mall, SouthPark, on the Illinois side.

I just got the contract to sign and return and read through all nine pages last night. One item jumped out at me, carrying $2,000,000 worth of liability insurance! These days, and even in the distance past, there is always the chance someone will get mauled by a chessboard, or killed with a pointy Bishop. Not likely, but, a chance.

I don't have insurance for events such as this and the director of the Mall did not bring this up in our preliminary discussions. I was all set to have the signs printed today!

People have been contacted, things set in motion, but unless the Mall gives us a waiver (I am not holding my breath) this event designed to raise money for Alzheimer's awareness and research most likely will not go through. Donations will most likely have to be made privately.

No panic here, just a tremendous amount of annoyance with what our society has become.

The insurance, on a yearly basis, would amount to about $1,200 IF the insurer said OK.

You Too Can Help… Vote Them All Out!
Yesterday I was reading a report by the late and very successful entrepreneur Gary Halbert. In his considerable acumen and experience he graded psychiatrists as the worst people on earth, followed by lawyers. We all hear or read such sentiments. Just recently someone said to me, "We wouldn't need lawyers if it wasn't for the lawyers."

Lastly... The polls show that the public is fed up with congressmen and women and yet constituents "defend" their congressman or woman. I do not. I think our senators (one Republican and one Democrat) do not represent me at all. When I've written to them I get back facile, distorted, and illogical answers. Let's face it, they love being where they are, the best clubhouse in the world. No dues, no tree needed, no sense, just a suit and a lot of air miles. As to the legislators, we have this idiot who believes that one can never spend enough of the taxpayers' money. It is likely he will be kicked out this fall only to be replaced by someone else with no imagination and who is in love with themselves.

Is it any wonder people no longer tune in, but do drop out? A very good friend told me the other days she would like to move to an area where there was a mountain in the backdrop. Cabin, running water, pine trees. Yeah, me too. But there are arsonists everywhere, polluters, troublemakers, and news of them is definitely on the rise. It is what happens when one gives in to everything, allows anything, lets society decay because some clown stands up and shouts that everybody should be protected no matter what insanity they deliver or act upon in the name of "civil rights."

Two weeks ago I was in Kansas and talking to a deep-thinking Army major I know and he said there are Muslim Extremists IN the Army and the Army knows about them. But that some are coming around to the American way of life (as disintegrating as it is). Still, it is called sedition. It happened to the Romans and we are supposed to learn from history but somebody always thinks, "This time it will be different!" Wrongo shortness of breath dude.

If you want to do something worthwhile, in the name of chess, donate $$$ to your chapter of the Alzheimers' Association. I will do so despite this Mall requirement stopping us.

As always you can contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Sunday, July 8, 2012

THE VALUE OF A BLOG OR... OTHER STUFF ON THE INTERNET

A couple days ago Seth Godin had a post on his blog (the most popular blog for business types on the net) in which he brought up the subject of Groucho Marx and how he once said, "I don't want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member."

Godin's (hypothesis) is that more people are reacting, joining in, having something to say... being "clubby" because it's so easy. He mentioned "listening" which is what a lot of blog readers do... they look in but seldom contribute anything. According to Google this ChessToast blog site has had 260,000+ page views. Sounds like a lot, but, not too many actual responders (in a way, "Thank God.")

Godin postulates that some are afraid to join in, others are distant bystanders... and I've done that too, to be honest. I will read some interesting blog and the next thing I know, I have to put in my name and password to make a comment, so most of the time I just OPT out. If I visited that blog site often (which in most cases I do not), I would go to all that trouble (not that big of a deal). It would be nice, in a way, if it were more automatic than that, but as I said, there are hundreds of thousands of blogs and the vast majority, unless the blogger is getting paid, aren't worth a whole lot, content wise. Too many repeat and not Prime Movers.

Every now and then we bloggers receive an email (because I allow contacts) from someone who is not only deranged, doesn't really have FACTS to back up what he is writing about, and gets into an insulting manner because he disagrees with something I quoted or wrote. Occasionally I follow up and ask for EVIDENCE this person has more than just an opinion and you know what, I seldom EVER hear from them because they were SHOUTING and hoping that that was a good substitute for substance. It never is.

I had one recently, total moron, based on mail order vs. sales on the internet. Tell you more some other time but HIS "facts" didn't align with what I know to BE facts (this is a lot like the arguments between evolution and creationism--Darwin's theories are often just that, theories, and there are a lot of problems but they are quoted and requoted as FACTS--whereas they contemplate that creationists are NUTS because they don't see (i.e., "understand") the evolutionists Logic). Chess is like this too. Look at chess.com where any member is allowed to say something, no matter how foolish. Because Anand is the current world champion you can read lots of inane comments from those who live in Asia. That's why it is important to ESTABLISH a reader-writer relationship, one that allows what you write or say to be trusted over time. Preferably, the sooner the better.

Anyway, you can always reach me at: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

P.S. -- You can find Godin's blog at: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Friday, July 6, 2012

SCORE #18 GOES OUT TODAY

It's that time already. July 6th. Every four weeks.

Was hoping to keep it to 14-18 pages, but, it's 24! Best deal on Chess' Broadway.

Coverage of the Morra and King's Gambit is the main article, by Andrew Martin.

After that we see Tartakower in action against Golombek in the "Shark Tank."

Two pages of coverage of the Fall Chess Classic. At $265.00 it's a bargain. Andrew Martin, Andrew Rea, Kartsen Mueller (televideo), Cody Wilson, Bill Hannan, and myself (Bob Long) hope you come.

Two pages of info on David Rudel's two new books, the first on the female ZUKE, ZUKA.

Winners announced for "Long's Chess Views" newsletter: Bob Woodworth and Ron Deike.

Letters on the recent World Chess Championship and a Correction.

And how does Rodney Dangerfield fit into all of this? See page 43 to Give him some respect.

One page about how "Purdy's Work Doesn't Go Over Your Head, it Goes IN Your Head."

Better than Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Subscription to SCORE is $49.95 for 16 issues. But, you can save $10 by making a purchase from our recent Thinkers' Press retail catalog (need one?--see contact info below).

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WANT TO MAKE FIFTY BUCKS?

This could be one of those times when it IS "who you know."

I am looking for more writers for SCORE, as well as subscribers. The content writers who will write about openings and/or chess experiences must be a former master on up through international master. I have no trouble finding GMs, it's the lower levels who represent the "contract" writer challenge.

I might only need 1-2 writers who are willing to write a couple articles AND get those who want to get paid as soon as that issue is published. Would like to see some American writers for variety.

Let Your Hair Hang Out
Rather than the cautious, careful, safe writing style exhibited by those who don't believe in RISK, I am looking for those who live their chess life a little on the unusual or adventurous side. Chess needs some shaking up.

I'll work a deal with them and if it goes through and I can get them to write several articles you get $50 from me to your PayPal account or a check if you want. If you want to use merchandise credits, then I will bump it to $75.00.

Ask them to contact me and I will do the rest.

If You Don't SubScribe to SCORE What Are You Waiting For?
Issue #18 is out tomorrow and features IM Andrew Martin writing on the Morra Gambit and the smaller piece on the King's Gambit including a "funky" Falkbeer, which seems to be popping up lately.

16 issues are $49.95. You can save $10 on your subscription if you order from our recently issued Thinkers' Press catalog. If you don't have a copy send me your full name, street address, and email address and I will send you one, FREE.

Now... back to our regular scheduled programming. A movie featuring Nicholas Cage in Seeking Justice and where we also get to see him play some chess using a Saitek clock!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

FAVORITES... UP THE ANTE

In business it is not unusual to discover that packing a $100+ order, invoicing it, and taking it to the PO takes about as much time as a $30 order. So the bigger order is slightly more profitable and when we have that, we can do more.

Hence, for a limited time (to July 31) I am including something EXTRA in the Bigger Box, called my "Jack in the Box;" the tagline given to me by a particularly good marketing friend--responsible for a few other excellent taglines.

I call it "special packing" and in the future I have some other such ideas. Another very good friend, from the same state of Florida, has put me onto a place that has excellent rewards. Just another reason to do regular business with The Chess Butler.*

One other thing: While I was giving FREE stuff away a number of years ago for being a sizable customer, the regularity of it all came about by giving away the "Chess Gangs of New York and London" books... several hundred so far!
Soon that series will come to an end (although now in Europe they are starting to show some interest) and it's possible that a "new brand" of giveaways will succeed that. And... I am jazzed at what I am thinking.

However, what I am trying to do, to do favors for you, is to collect names, addresses, and an email address (a birthdate would be helpful too, and you will see why). People make requests for catalogs and information but you would be amazed at the number of those who include only a first name, and no street address. Would YOU waste YOUR time getting in touch with them? I didn't think so. They are "flitters" and have NO mooring line.


* All the time I get requests for catalogs. All the time! Yet, when I had them they were about the least productive of all my promotions. All are looking for nothing but deals and catalogs are usually a BASELINE. Once in a while someone will order something they can't find anywhere else (hence the popularity of Used Books catalogs). So the "regularity" of a catalog is not guaranteed, anymore.



contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Sunday, July 1, 2012

KANSAS CITY -- GOOD EVENT

Hot weather and tremendous lightning in Kansas toto. Will tell more about it at the FALL CHESS CLASSIC along with another event and a total of about 2000 miles of driving. It HAD to be worth it for me to do that much.

Come and find out this October if YOU have what it takes, I know I do.

Secondly, when working one's fanny off at anything, including chess, how should "relax" (time out) time be handled? Will be included in the "Secrets of Planning," also this Fall. More and more are signing up, I hope you will be next.

The EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS EVENT. At the moment, $265.00, the price will rise again soon.

contact: bob@thinkerspressinc.com