Wednesday, October 31, 2012


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 29, 2012


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


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

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

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

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

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

Gotta run, picking up Andrew Martin today.

As always you can contact me at

Saturday, October 20, 2012


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

That's a load off!

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 19, 2012


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

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

Here was my response, which I think is significant:

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

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

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

Best of luck in your decision,

The above letter was slightly modified to further enlighten.

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


For those coming to the Fall Chess Classic next week, the site has been moved from the Gentlemens Chess Club to the Quality Inn in Davenport at 6605 N. Brady St. Please pay attention tot his move. No time for myopia.

The Quality Inn, owned by Mike Jhola, proposed hosting it based on a conversation he had with Dr. Tom Michlowski, who is coming here from Wisconsin.

The next afternoon I had a conversation with Barry, the office manager (and I liked his tenacious, aggressive approach--because it is clearly laid out instead of vague entreaties which leave one scratching his head).

Jhola is extremely accommodating and his maintenance man Mays will be helping me move "chess tables" to the Hotel this Friday. We will have a separate room for sales, and tons of amenities.

THE BIGGIE!??? A really excellent room rate ($72.99) for a place with a sumptuous continental breakfast, indoor pool, restaurants nearby, close to I-80 (really close, a few blocks away)... a place in back to barbecue, and wonderful rooms! Clean, impeccable. Great staff. Recently they hosted the Secret Service and the Iowa governor. Big renovation. Place #2 with travel advisor.

This year has been full of disappointments on the Fall Chess Classic front but we have 17 paid with another likely PAID tomorrow and a couple cancels. I sent out a special promo the other day, the best thing I have ever done but it met with no "last minute approval" as far as I can tell.

I really would like some time to work on my Go.Daddy website, but eating takes priority.

And in that regard
Info will be posted tomorrow about the ship date of my new book, The Critical Secrets for Planning at CHESS and Anything Else. It was supposed to ship today! Maybe tomorrow. I'll admit I am partial but I really like this book though the initial printing is only 50.

It is $40 for those coming to the Fall Chess Classic. It is $59.95 for those who pay by October 20th. It is $64.95 for those with a Black Gold Card. It is $79.95 for those paying after Oct. 20th. It will be $99 if you buy it from

I've been working on this book for months, like the previous one. I have dubbed this one Merlin 2. It's taken evenings and weekends. No one has yet suggested that I drop the price to say $25-30 so that I would probably sell more. This would miss the point! The point is I am looking for those who want to get knowledge and confidence, who want to know how to solve Planning problems, and to know there are solutions where CHESS can point the way as a metaphor to ANYTHING else. I have read dozens of books and thousands of pages of newsletters to increase my awareness in problem solving and to pass it on. (Once I had a business called BACON SAVERS). Producing this book cost me thousands of dollars. If an author has valuable information and prices it cheaply, that's EXACTLY how it will be treated--stick it on the shelf, never look at it again. That's not my goal.

You see, I love to be surrounded not just by smart people but also by those who want to get smarter and who can help others. I sent out a long email today discussing branches of the book and ended it by saying TWO additional PDFs will go out FREE to those who buy the book from Thinkers' Press. Two chapters I couldn't fit into the book. 20 PAGES.

And, in 2013, there will be a book called CONFIDENCE but it will not be part of the Merlin series but stand, confidently, on its own! I can help a lot of people as I have helped myself and by the Grace of God, I have some great stuff to impart from guitars, shyness, public speaking and lots of other things I did or were involved in even as early as the age of 14. If your parents weren't supportive, maybe you can use me. No price set yet. Nor size. When I discuss this subject almost NO ONE raises their hand. Are they embarrassed or just already TOO comfortable? For several years I discussed therapies and solving problems with another therapist. Since I didn't study this stuff in grad school, he was really leery at first. Toward the last few years he started taking my suggestions and he was happily surprised at the results! I told him, "For years you've been reading the SOS, going to the same old conferences, taught by the SO theories and tell me exactly HOW this helped your clients since they kept coming back?" I suggested ONE change, huge difference in results and I never met ANY of these people. George Lois refers to timidity (see next paragraph) and that's what most of these people engage in, being careful--people (clients) want solutions not stalling tactics.

George Lois, one of advertising's greatest characters, said we are close to becoming an age of timid people. Timid people don't ask for the sale, and they are OK with drifting, aimlessly. Timidity blends, he says, to mediocrity. Never do I want that to happen to me and my followers of what I do. My next goal is to ROUSE you to get more to read what I write and know, and to give you a reason for doing so, something that will delight you. Ideas are welcomed. One of mine is to offer FREE a book worth $50 on things I have yet to discuss, sort of another "private label" book but only for those who are pre-qualified. I also have a chess poster that I bet NO ONE reading this has ever seen. I found it in Kansas! It is brilliant, completely computer generated, and WOW amazing. You could put this on your wall and EVERYONE who entered the room would comment on it (every darn ONE of them!) I have to keep thinking like this to spread the word of just HOW MUCH DARN fun this game can be if you give it a chance because it will SHAPE the whole of you too and stop all the pussyfooting I see everywhere. It's not about being aggressive and sharkbait, it's about being assertive!

There's also a chess object I am introducing next week at the Fall Chess Classic, the likes of which I don't think have ever been shown before because I had this made for me, in quantity! It's a $75 item and attendees can get it for only $19.95, the cost I pay for having it shipped here. But, you have to attend the Fall Chess Classic. The Goodies Bags, and other offerings almost eat up the cost of a ticket. I am NOT timid, I am asking for the SALE.

Write me at:

I am reminded of a guy who wrote chess stories and he would read all my Blogs when I was doing them regularly. He complained that I released blog entries (in the old days) with typos in them. I did, I had plenty of other things to do and I didn't introduce typos on purpose. But him, being a Harvard graduate, I thought, could figure them out! Haha. He just wanted to complain. He published a book of chess stories by various authors. Most of it was total junk. He hadn't learned ANYTHING in Harvard (so, what's new?) He critiqued but he couldn't write, couldn't maintain reader interest. His books were financial flops. But I bet ever word in them was spelled correctly!

Monday, October 15, 2012


The schedule of events, places to eat and places to stay has just been published and sent out to the 17 paid attendees.

In case you are interested and haven't joined up, this event will be my LAST big one. I've also advertised on Facebook in Chicago and my own Facebook page.

What I have always found remarkable is the number of people who are excited about Andrew Martin coming to the states, want to see him, wish him Good Luck, and so one yet who never show.

Today I sent out a Special Promotion to all those who haven't done one of these and noted that Endgame Wizard GM Karsten Mueller was coming via televideo and if the truth be known, flying the GM here, getting him a room, and paying his fee will cost about the same as the televideo hookup! That's the way it is. My friend Karsten is unable to fly across the Atlantic under doctor's orders (and it has been this way since 2004).

So unless you go to Germany you won't have another opportunity to meet this tremendous talent.

But if you are rethinking about coming, give me (Bob) a call and I will whisk a 9 page brochure to you, finished just today, to fill you in on all the details. A listing appears in the next paragraph of what you would get in your GOODIES BAG for attending--worth over $100.00!

Feast your eyes on these:

1. The John Griswold White PDF of the famous chess collection in Cleveland. FREE. $14.95 value.
2. Certificate worth $20 off on Andrew Martin’s DVD Center Counter Rising. Plus, after the Fall Classic is over we will tell you where to find the updates to “watch” and learn (FREE).
3. Something to eat—beyond Yummy—from a company which is world famous. $5 value.
4. Something “soft,” arty, colorful, and usable with a desktop computer. $17.95 value.
5. The Chess Gangs of NY and London issue you have coming + a FREE Pass for #12.
6. A cool “surprise” to help you with “chess stress.” $10 value.
7. A blue velvet bag to hold everything. $10 value.
8. A chess poster made from the covers of the Chess Gangs books. $10 value.

FUN times, hope you can make it.

By the way, item #3 is made by Godiva... a whole new candy item introduced in 2012.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This greeting came from a fellow named Ed when I was in Minnesota years ago selling at some important chess tournament.

Ed was interesting. He was smart, educated, worldly (hey, he was a fisherman when he wasn't working). He understood history, politicians (if that is possible) and chess AND he knew how to run a small, but good to great event. Small, let's say 50-60 people. Not bad.

Naturally I looked at Ed and waited for the next shoe to fall. He continued with, "You now have the City Administrator we kicked out of (blank)." He named his name too and I said, "Well Ed, you are right, he is our City Administrator. Though I am not overwhelmed."

"Well Bobby my boy you shouldn't be! The only thing he did when he was in our city was work on upgrading his resume for his next leap (to a better paying job). People saw the city hall lights on late at night figuring he was working hard but it was only on his resume." (I wondered, if he was this bad, with what could he pad his resume!?)

This fellow has been the City Administrator here in Davenport for quite a long time, much longer than the previous one (another forgettable memory.) He has been involved in lots of building projects, tearing up the streets, and the usual stuff but he doesn't seem to connect with anyone. In case you were going to ask, he has tried "higher-up" jobs within a couple years of being here, somewhere else, but he wasn't in the final selection (too bad for us).

They say "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it!"

Why did this come to me today? I take these morning walks and one direction takes me past a donut place (I never see any cops in there!) As I am walking out I spotted the mayor of our fair city, listening to some guy talking about something. I recognized the mayor because I went to school with him (college). He was a year or two ahead of me. He's a baby kisser type of guy. Big on form.

But he and I were connected in another way too. As an unreal estate agent he was involved in a property I bought a long time ago, my house. Bill is affable, he really gets around. Like Lincoln, he lost lots of elections until getting elected to something.

My barber, who had him as a customer, never liked him. He used to go to my church, but I never cared for him either. I think what it was is that while he was "everywhere" I never heard of him really accomplishing anything--a big vision, something to put this great old town of Davenport on the map. He was not a boat-rocker. Is that so bad?

It seems to me that all of us were created to carve something great out of our present lives before we meet the undertaker. It came home to me again as I was on my walk this morning as I was reading a 29 page report I printed OFF of the internet (I practice what I preach) by a good friend of mine (you will meet him in the SECRETS OF PLANNING book I just finished (goes to the printer today). In it he writes on the subject of coaching. Before this I had contemplated about what I am good at (for coaching purposes):
1) Chess
2) Publishing and Type
3) Tutoring math
4) Internet Dating

1) It's hard to get recognition at "Chess" because my gut tells me that a student only will take someone as serious as a teacher for this if they are at least a master. But I've known masters who were being relegated to teaching only for kids, say 12 and under. Not very rewarding. I know players who are rated at my level who have GIANT weak spots that I could point out to them (and have) but who would never consider me for coaching. (Pride.)

I wrote once that a customer of mine told me of a problem with getting a big rating bump, even though he studied all the time (whatever that means, see Chapter 10 in my first SECRETS book). I suggested he was deficient in X. His eyebrows arched and he said, "So and so said the same thing!" The so-and-so was an international master. Could I coach him? At this time, no chance, he has all the answers. Everyone is a philosopher. Their idea of success is, "Who is making the most $$$." Compare a man when he is rich and when he is poor. Is it philosophy then. Was Thoreau or Emerson rich? Yet, pretty smart men, worth getting advice from.

2) In the 1980s I knew almost as much about type as anyone except the actual designers who were of lofty status such as Hermann Zapf and Ed Benguiat. I met Benguiat. What a guy (a genius)! I didn't meet Hermann in NY, but I did meet his wife! Big deal? Of course, she was almost as famous for type design as her husband.

I would walk the streets of Chicago, specifically, Lincoln Ave., rummaging through the book shops for books on type. I would buy and study them. I have to admit a secret feeling of "Wow!" So type selection was always important to me for whatever print jobs I chose.  I was self-taught. Years later I was brought onto the "arts committee" for the state of Illinois and my area of "expertise" was in type and using it in design. Bookwise I've published more than 160 plus many different magazines. I have some experiences in that. Yet I have hardly published ANYTHING for locals. In Davenport, you see, everyone is a genius except me... so there is no point in using my skill set (more on this in SECRETS 2) for the locals. (I take that back, sort of. I was asked to give a workshop at the Midwest writer's workshop to a roomful of aspiring (i.e., no cash) writers.)

3) When I was in the Savannah, GA area I walked in to a High School and talked to someone important and I asked, "What is the biggest subject deficiency, would you say, in your school among students?" Surprisingly, but not surprisingly, she said, "Math." I said, "I'm your man, my degrees are in mathematics and I have taught it for several years." She said I could post something about "tutoring." I did, nothing came of it. Apparently, in that school district, just like Davenport, everyone had suddenly become a genius, except, you got it, me. I was not a genius, but now and then, I did genius-type things. We call them "epiphany" moments. I am sure all of mine came from God as they were needed. I think that's valuable.

4) After my wife's death in 1984, for another 16 years I probably dated 50-100 different women (it will keep you poor I'm telling you). Some from newspaper ads, some from running into someone, and a bunch from the internet. The experiences ranged from, "Egaad" to "Not bad."

I felt that I had learned a lot because it was not just dating but asking lots of questions too (try that). Over time I learned a lot about the dating phenomenon and could offer some advice on the subject of "meeting the one!" I learned what type of female is the most commonly divorced (nurses and teachers). Now that I am past 50, there are a lot of widows out there. And... so on.

Maybe I will have to promote myself as an expert on internet dating because when it comes to affairs of the heart lots of people need help. Whether they are willing to pay for it is another subject. But to explain that a bit further, even though Davenport is 100,000 people in a 400,000 metro area, I have had hardly ANY dates (the only one I recall I married) from those who lived in Davenport! Once again, they are all geniuses, except, me!

My book will be titled "Do you have a big hairy chest?" It gets laughs, the women get it, and I have gotten lots of feedback.

I KNOW why women BELIEVE they can't get more men to ask them out. I get this answer over and over. And yet, I KNOW they are 85% wrong!! So, they are going about it, from a dubious theory. As to men, more clueless than women! Am hoping to have it out before Valentine's Day (that's going to be a real squeeze!) Will I give it away? No, but I hope to make it really accessible. We all need love folks, someone to pay attention to us. I was just reminded of it today while out on my walk and reading about skill sets. I have 4, but it might only be 1 that puts me on the map. Do you have a map?

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I will not include that old saw about ignoring the mistakes of the past and doomed to repeat the mistakes in the future. What I am getting about is the history of chess in the 20th century.
In 1972, when I was in Iceland, I had the privilege of meeting B (Baruch) H. Wood at a party celebration of his 64th birthday, which everyone thought was an appropriate year!
Wood could be a tightwad, a very good player, but he was amiable and had a great sense of chess history because he participated in it with his magazine and which had the simplest of names, “CHESS.”
His biggest failing, like Purdy’s, was getting the magazine out on time, making up issues by having double issues to catch up. Most of us have known, at one time or another, how that feels (the readers have NO comprehension of the pressure to produce on limited funds.)
Chess is not a fad and that’s one reason its fate in the magazine realm over the long haul is always one of misery and achievement. Yet, like most things, misery can often bring out the best in men.
I wish I could say that I know how to make the most of the selling of volumes of chess, whether singly, or in years of 10, or in groups by old versus new, cheapest versus most expensive but it’s difficult because there are two types of collectors and researchers:
1) The person who is filling holes in his collection.
2) The person who is a new start up in the research, collecting business, or at the very least, not very far along.

Hopefully we can accommodate both. One thing which I hope everyone will remember is that the history and photographs of the great and near greats, and the elusive capture of those who make a ripping good yarn are usually found in the magazines. If you are looking for a picture of a young Leonard Barden (who IS still around!) you can find it between these covers. Wood’s “time” was significant in chess history as he started “Chess” in the 30s just after Purdy’s “Australasian Chess Review” and around the time of Al Horowitz’s “Chess Review.”
These volumes are listed on the web first in the hope that stray viewers will catch the offerings and jump in feet first.

A few years ago I offered a gigantic run of British Chess Magazines for a significant sum ($14-15K). The market, as this recession recedes (who hopes it keeps on doing that), shows the value going up. One collector out West told me that the collection was worth a “lot more” because it had some significant entries but that he wasn’t ready at that time. Would he be now? Hard to say, haven’t heard a peep out of him in a long time—kid with money. Maybe he is a gazillionaire by now.
My point is, during recessions that’s when the best buys are. If you are investing and it’s just for the purpose of making returns, chess can be very good for that. As spendable income rises and people shake off the “fears” of not being able to pay their bills then heads turn toward investment collecting and the price of everything rises.

Suffice it to say, during Wood’s tenure almost everything was in Descriptive Notation. I won’t say more than that because any person with a head can figure that out. All the books that are bound are in brown cloth (except where noted) and many show wear around the corner edges (not uncommon even for books sitting on a library shelf as sometimes books get knocked around). For myself the greatest satisfaction is in reliving the times of the greats and those who were trying to wedge themselves into greatness by using any crowbar they could find. As a matter of record, it is hard to list these things because one easily finds themselves in a reverie at a desk or in a chair while reading selections. It is at that time that chess seems the most comfortable (and inexpensive!)
At this time I will not put a deadline on the sales of these volumes except it suffices to say that those who need specific volumes will jump first because you just don’t know when that opportunity will rise again.
All have been priced reasonably by that master raconteur, my lifelong friend and chess colleague, Phil Wong. We go back nearly 40 years!
My experience during that time also allows for certain adjustments and smoothness in the various sectors of collecting and selling (full time), so you can be assured the pricing is not that of a raving lunatic (although some may question that) but of two kindred spirits who have collected to the point of gray hair and ready smiles every time we meet.
We have mountains of product to move and I will get started now, not in any particular order (that way, hopefully, you will look at each item instead of zeroing in like a Tomahawk Missile and leaving everything in your wake). Let’s go.

Several More Things...
P.S.: One other thing, Wood started his volume numbering with his first issue and the next year would start 12 months after that, rather than in January, and going to December, which certainly is more convenient, but, as usual, not typical for the founding of most magazines. Please realize THAT when seeing the various numbering schemes Wood would (no pun intended) put together.
P.P.S.: Bare bones descriptions will be offered on this Blog. What isn’t detailed will be given in my various publications with more details as time permits if they remain unsold.
One final P.S.: Sometimes the paper covers are bound in, sometimes not. Sometimes an index is included, sometimes not. Wood’s covers were often advertisements so you aren’t missing anything when those pages (?) aren’t included. Chess content IS included.

1. 1954/1955. 9/54 (#229) – 12/55 (#258). In one issue Barden replies to a Purdy letter about the student who studies openings (too much). Even though Barden makes a few points, it is at the exalted (higher level) than what Purdy was writing about! $65.00. No index.

2. Vol. 20. 9/1954-9/55 (#229-#252). Index included. Cloth binding with rubbed binding on banded spine. $55.00.

3. Vol. 17 (1951). Black pebbled binding. (October 1951-September 1952). With index. (#193-#204). You have to see the magnificent trophy on pg. 241 to believe it (for the state of Nevada!) Also a picture of Wood himself (uncommon) surrounded by many other players (Wood was master-level strength). $65.00. Large size issue (as the earlier ones were.) Most magazines arrived in the post in folded condition, but the binding, and years have flattened them inexorably! Same for item #4.

4. Vol. 16 (1950). Black pebbled binding.  (October 1950-September 1951). No index. (#181-192). Large size issue. Comments on the world championship match between Bronstein and Botvinnik included info you won’t find anywhere else as the fever pitch of an expected win by Bronstein permeated the air everyplace! $65.00.

5. Vol. 13 (October 1947-September 1948). Includes index with masthead tear on the first page (1.5 inches). (#145-#156) If you think the “old” guys couldn’t play you should look at the marvelously tactical game Trifunovich-Bondarevsky from Saltsjobaden and the wondrous efficacies of brilliant calculation. Apparently when Petar Trifunovich was younger he wasn’t offering draws all the time as he did in later years. $75.00. Brown binding.

6. Vol. 12 (October 1946-September 1947). Indexed. (#133-#144) Do you remember that story that was included in Purdy’s “My Search for Chess Perfection” and “The Chess Gospel According to John*") about R.F. Combe? The details are on pages 2-3 (and a picture of Combe!) which is about as incredible as it gets. He became British Champion by teaching himself chess at age 16. He played in Scotland in 1932 then in 1939  and then in 1946, again! He never even played correspondence chess! He owned a LARGE collection of tournament books (what did I tell you?) and he would study them in the evening playing over the various games. He also liked Richter’s German book on Combinations. This was pre computer cheating and would make a nice story for chess fiction because it is so hard to believe! When this story is told it usually isn’t mentioned that Combe finished 2 points ahead of his nearest rival and that he beat such legends as: Abrahams, Alexander (!), Milner-Barry, B. Wood (and G. Wood), Thomas, and Wade with draws against Winter and Golombek! This volume was presented to a prize winner and signed by George Koltanwoski. $85.00. THIS is the kind of thing one discovers by going through older books, esp. bound magazines! Brown binding. You will also find info about Cordingley on page 33 (“He is the loving craftsman personified.”)

7. Vol. 14. Now we come to a rose-colored folder which contains all the issues for that period, loose (with the last one being July-August-September). I see that a Ken Whyld game is included! We start with October-1948 and end with J-A-September 1949, #157-(#166-167-168) or 10 separate issues. If you are collecting chess clocks I wonder if you have the one on the cover of the first issue (doubt it). $55.00. Pay no attention to the Vol. 14-15 on the spine of the cover, it is incorrect. Wear on the edges (spine).

8. Vol. 12-13 in a green folder with 17 loose issues + index. May 1947 (#140)-September 1948 (#156). Due to the fact that purchasers of chess magazine subscriptions usually start “anywhere,” sometimes there are extra issues, that is, beyond one year’s worth, until said subscriber stopped. And of course there are huge collections where no binding was done although Purdy and Wood did offer to have issues bound and some took them up. Thus it wasn’t unusual to see bound volumes with more than just the Vol. #. This particular collection of interesting issues sells for the sum of $110.00. But I will make you a Special Offer of $90.00. Wear on the edges (spine).

As always, we take credit cards such as Master, Visa, and Discover. And PayPal. If you want to try PayPal but don’t know how, give me a ring and I will take you through it, about 3-4 steps. I usually make my own PayPal payments in less than a minute. Secure. Also take checks, money orders, and in person, cash. Shipping is extra. Questions? 563-271-6657. The various volumes have been adequately described and so I won’t be looking through each one for some particular offense or whiz-bang revelation as I did on the Combe story which was absolutely fascinating.

Or you can write to for example if you want to know what other volumes of CHESS we have because, we do have more! (Listed when I get a minute here or there.)

Thanks to my “genius” clientele.

Friday, October 5, 2012


The Second "Secrets" book is almost proofed. It makes me bleary-eyed as I have seen the material quite a few times! It's amazing what one can find after a second reading. I have favorite "typos" that I can't see even though I know better so it teaches me to be more tolerant of others. Part of it is "brainology." I am convinced that our brain often knows the right things to do and say, but somehow when it goes through the "pipes" mis-translations occur.

Hoping to have it done by Sunday.

Finish up cover design and one of the hardest parts? What goes on the back cover? In order to keep my costs down I am even thinking of making two chapters into PDFs. There is a human tendency to go "slack." I can mention the PDFs at the back and people can "write" for them. It also gives me a chance to see how motivated people are and who they are. Some I know are motivated and "asking" will be a "no problem" for them. The "I'm too busy types?" Haha, we know that one don't we?

It's a good book. How can I say great? It's only what the readers get out of it. I even have some ideas for last minute transformations, but that delays everything. Then one is up against the printer.

It is: The Critical Secrets for Planning at CHESS and Anything else.

$40.00 at the Fall Chess Classic. Much more everywhere else. Am I the only scalawag who does this? I doubt it. I was looking at a (in person) conference today one item of which will be given by Anne-Marie Concepcion on ePublishing. Ann-Marie is at the top of her game in typography and now eBooks. But to get into her particular conference section, you also have to sign up for her workshops. There is no free lunch... no one wants to give away the farm for nothing. I mean even in Jack and the Beanstalk the kid got some "beans" didn't he?

I have plenty of Tips and Secrets on Planning, the question is: "Does anyone care?" The answer: "Everyone should as planning permeates EVERYTHING whether one likes it or not."

PS: Today or tomorrow I am going to list some Quality Chess Products at bargain basement prices. It will be for one weekend only. This is for the crowd who pays attention. Some believe, unfortunately, that LUCK plays a part in the rich getting richer, the smart doing smarter.... etc. It really is more than THAT happening. It is about observing, paying attention and making an opportunity real.

It's unfortunate but sometimes you can go to a Class Reunion and you might see your "friend" Joe Smith who has become all successful in some field. You might even recall saying shortly after High School, "Ah that Joe, just an average Joe." But, people do change. some taken advantage of opportunities because maybe their true gift was in recognizing them and then, acting upon them. It's easy to put down people as being inferior to yourself. I have played strong players where I have lost by ONE tempo and for the rest of their lives they act superior to me in their letters, their conduct, but NOT in person (that's what always cracks me up!) You have to learn to ignore them because, after all, what have THEY contributed to YOUR well-being? Probably nothing. Dying rich and dying with nothing pretty much has the same result doesn't it? The only real difference is what was in your "soul" when you changed to dirt.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Used list #5 is not being posted here today. It is really long (35 items). It is detailed (6 pages), it has lots of cool stuff on it, and if ALL the promises happen that have already come in, 1/3 of it is already sold on LAUNCH day (today). If you want a peek at what is on it, be aware, you might spend $$$. Lots of deep descriptions designed to tantalize.

IF you are a tire-kicker (you just look at stuff and never buy)
1. Don't bother me. If you really are interested, send me your full name and email address. Don't just request or I won't send it. (It's been my experience that the internet truly hosts some of the laziest people anywhere, even pitted against eubonics classrooms!)

IF you are an idiot, don't bother me. Let's see, what does the New Webster's Dictionary say about idiot: "Mental age of 2 or less." Should be revised, downward.

Those who are most offended by this type of comment are the ones who buy NOTHING. Blatant, unequivocating PC time wasters... sort of like CNN news reporters telling us (in their opinion pieces) what to do. Or like politicians who make promises they know they can't keep. UNDERPROMISE but OVERDELIVER is a good business motto.

How about this one, emails I have recently gotten:
1. I'm on a tight budget, can't afford anything right now.
2. Just got Walter Browne's new book "Stress of Chess and Its Infinite Finesse." It's really good.
3. Lower price at XYZ (he gives a link).
4. Wife bought it as a gift from Amazing Amazon.

Answers (remember, I am in an ornery mood and most of all, I am sure I am not talking about anyone reading this!)
1. I almost always assume this is not true. I have heard this one so many times when later I've discovered, it wasn't true, so now I just assume it's not true. I figure people have to PAY those $100-$125 cable bills every month so of course there is no money.
2. I believe this when I am told the book came from somewhere else.
3. I know XYZ, the ONLY way they are ever cheaper than ANYONE else is when compared to the publisher's price!
4. This has happened to at least 3 different people that I know of. I don't know why what I am selling can't be looked upon as a gift from MY company! I call it the Amazon "knee jerk." That's a tough one to defend against. Reminds me of all the people who tell me they HATE Wal-Mart (my Mom is one of them and there are others). They still buy at Wal-Mart. I do not buy at Wal-Mart and probably haven't for 2-3-4 years, something like that. My granddaughter is married to a Wal-Mart manager. We celebrated her BD over the weekend though it is actually tomorrow. I got her a JC Penney gift card. She never said to me, "Thanks grandpa." I know in advance these things will happen.

Now I have to get some stuff to the bank, the post office, and who knows what else. Fall is just around the corner, leaf changing wise. I've been told it has already started in northern Iowa and SW Wisconsin. A tremendous time of the year.

No, I am not Jekyll and Hyde. I know how to vet myself. After my rant about "idiots" I feel like I can cruise through the rest of the day. I guess what galls me is that this guy today writes me to tell me about someone else's sale! I am trying to think why in the world this would interest me AT ALL! It would be like me walking into his place of business and announcing, "Hey folks, oh hi John, I just found this really cool car insurance company which is twice as cheap as GEICO!" THEN, maybe, I doubt it, the "inverted genius MIGHT get it." Please whatever you do, don't bet on it!

As a little aside, there are at least 11-12 languages where the word for "idiot" is pretty much pronounced the same.

Back to work.

If you have something "unidiotic" to say or request, write to:

If you have a rant send it to LZ Granderson c/o CNN. I think he won a Pulitzer for writing about some H.S. I swear, if you win a Pulitzer your writing goes down hill. You start believing your own stuff.