Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A FAST, EASY, FUN TASK... REALLY

Name your favorite chess movie or chess movies.

Don't repeat, please, what you heard someone else say. All non-chess people know or think about is: "Searching for Bobby Fischer."

If you want to ADD "why" you feel that way, fine!

REASON: I want to build rapport between chess young people and us "older" types. I want to pass this information around in 2013, probably June at my next event. One celeb, Jerry Nash, title certifier for the USCF and scholastic whiz, has already pencilled his name on his calendar. Jerry is an old friend of mine. I have asked another fellow whose name I will reveal if he can do this too. Would like to have a woman on the panel too and if you have anyone to recommend, do so. I can think of a lady I have read about in one of the southern states.

EVENT TYPE: Something that will affect us all including our kids and grandkids. Initially the event will have a $199 registration fee, be one day, there will be handouts or most likely a CD, maybe a free item of considerable value, and an entertaining venue. I don't have a name or further details, right now looking at interest. If you are a chess coach or have done chess coaching you could be really interested.

TENTATIVELY. One day event, say 9 - 5.

Contact the guy, me: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

PS: Too often people feel like their ideas and thoughtful opinions don't count but this time the "politicians" are being left out of this (well, they can pay $399 to come). You probably love it already! This is not for USCF delegates either but they can register. I am trying to get a handle on size and whether a microphone will be needed. And there is always a must in the "comfortable" seating notion too. Most likely a Saturday so you might have only a one night stay.

Do you want to be put on the "I would like to know more" list. If you have wanted to come to a Bob Long event but for one reason or another couldn't make it, I think you will get a kick out of this one.

PPS: Remember, send me what chess movies you really liked (and saw!) I won't make any suggestions to you. If you haven't seen any but would like to, I can make some recommendations. I've been trying to get Bob Basalla to update his "Chess in the Movies" book but his email address now bounces back. If any of you know him and can update me, great!

Contact the guy, me: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Sunday, November 25, 2012

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

What an interesting day!

A friend invited me for lunch after church and to go target shooting! No problem with that but too cold for me.

I then moseyed back home and took in some knowledge from a ChessBase Magazine DVD. Really, quite good stuff this GM Rogozenko guy.

I printed out a 30% off coupon and trundeled out to Barnes & Noble to see about picking up a book I had seen the day before on "Manipulating the Media." I forget the exact name, but by Ryan somebody. On the back cover Robert Greene was promoting the book. In the book the author was promoting a Robert Greene book... no, this was not lost on me.

I spent some time looking at it and came away feeling jaded. Apparently, many blogs are "fixed" in the form of making money for promos, advertising, PR, etc. and it's all about "eyes." I had known that but it is more widespread than I realized, but, maybe not so much in chess! Chess is uniformly dull and hard to write about (don't give up yet, see more paragraphs.) I tossed the coupon away.

In my newest book (here's my plug but that's why MY blog exists, to plug MY stuff and trot out some decent information from time to time) The Critical Secrets for Planning at Chess and Anything Else, I refer to an "Exit Strategy" or writing for money, and to do it about chess! Can chess be raised from "dull" to something exhilarating. I think so and I hope the American entrepreneur who was "given reins" by FIDE for the World Chess Championships can do just that! Whether he has total autonomy I do not know but I am against this nonsense about making chess an olympic sport, it already is--the chess olympiads. Most anything can be done but it takes discipline and drive and that 10% talent thing.

Recently I asked a friend if she had read "Fifty Shades of Grey" and she said "yes." Maybe all three, written by a former TV Executive, E.L. James (probably a pseudonym). It's very HOT right now although I am not sure why because the back cover blurb is pretty "typical" of erotica and romance novels. All the women are reading it. Guys, find out if you need to KNOW something!

There is a real "lust" for something NEW all the time and in the end it doesn't matter as already hundreds of copies are available on websites in previously owned editions. I don't peruse or "see" chess like that. As I was watching Rogozenko's video on the Richter-Veresov I was fascinated by what I didn't know. And it bears repeat watching.

Speaking of writing and "promises" I will be sending out tonight the two unpublished chapters of Critical Secrets to those who bought #2. I am doing a final read through to catch typos or to clarify.

If you are entitled to one (and you can get these PDFs if you buy the book--$59.95 + S&H) give me some feedback will you? I had learned a long time ago NOT to assume the worst. One student of mine stared at me while lecturing like he was from the 4th Dimension. Afterward I asked, "Did you get anything out of this?" He said, "It was fantastic, you saved me a lot of time by the direction you took!" I sure wouldn't have guessed that! He apparently was really sucking it in.

Anyway... bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A DEED AND A WISH FOR YOU

I did something different for Thanksgiving this morning which I haven't done for years--I went to a Thanksgiving Mass at 9 a.m. (when I would have preferred to sleep in since I seldom get to do that).

Interestingly, the church was almost full! Even the presiding priest said he hadn't seen anything like that in a long time! Maybe, for a change, everyone is thankful instead of selfish (don't bet the farm on that but I am having a "silver lining" in the cloud moment!) Yes, things could be worse, but the Gospel told it all:

10 lepers came across Jesus on his way to Galilee (?) They asked him to heal them. On their way to show the priest they had been cleansed, one came back and said "Thank you." Jesus asked, "Were there not ten? Where are the others."

The crazy part, the one who came back was a Samaritan, a foreigner! This was not lost on Jesus.

So I felt especially thankful this morning for all of you who take your time to read this bit of blurby and who keep coming back, even Ron Suarez who keeps telling me I am "insulting" and yet he reads it again!! and again!!

I love you all and for those who do business with me as The Chess Butler, I thank you especially, you help me keep the wolf away. But I am afraid that Lionel (the wolf) is after my refrigerator!

Peace

Bob Long

PS: As I have noted elsewhere, my home/office address at 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport will be open tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for some refreshments, maybe a little chess, and chess sales! Thank you all. Maybe I can find some Holiday Music.

Monday, November 19, 2012

DO YOU HAVE CHESS FRIENDS?

Let me put it like this: What would you give them as a chess gift (if you do that sort of thing?)

Now the tough question: What do you believe they could really use?

There is a difference.

Links and blogs are things people point to. Are they really a "gift" gift? Or, does it make you feel like you have to do no more.

The problem with eCards, eGifts, and eMails is they require little effort. If you really want to get someone excited, MAKE EFFORT about them.

As you may have noticed the past few years I put no prices on the back cover of my products. That's for emergencies or sellers in a different country who have to raise the price to cover the shipping costs. NIC does it, not everyone else does.

But if you wanted to impress someone that you bought them a really expensive gift, even though you got it at half off, with no "sticker" on the back they wouldn't be that impressed would they (if you are going for that)?

On the other hand, if when they got something in their hands and saw the Quality Build of it, they would already "know" that it wasn't obtained from Half Price Books.

If you would like to send someone a copy, numbered and in hardback, of my recent book Modern Chess Brilliancies (Hustled) by George Gossip and Harry Nelson Pillsbury at a very attractive price to you, drop me a line! The ONLY pre-requisite (besides paying for it) is that you must have bought YOUR copy from me at Thinkers' Press. I know that is limiting for those who didn't but it is a reward for those who did.

However, if you don't have one, I will sell it to you for $59.95 and an extra copy to you at a very favorable price (assuming I have any left). Then there is postage which I will keep as reasonable as I can depending on where you live. At this time of the year I prefer to send Priority.
If you want to know HOW you can do all this, just drop me a line: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A CHANCE TO TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW

I've been playing around with the idea of putting analysis and diagrams in my Blog on several occasions.

Do you know if ChessBase or one of its programs has an Export feature to allow this to be done in some sort of HTML?

If not are there other non-commercial programs available to allow for this. I have seen several on the web which allow for the "playing" of moves just be clicking on a move in the game score. ChessBase, whatever it uses, seems ideally suited.

If anyone "knows" of various tools for doing this, you may see some Blogposts which have some fascinating variety in them.

That's all for today. Had some dental work this morning, feeling slightly woozy, but intend to have some "gambit" openings shown at the Gentlemens Chess Club tonight. You are welcome to come, please bring a gambit to show us!

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

P.S. Yesterday afternoon I saw SKYFALL. It was good but got even better half-way through. Let's face it, Javier Bardem is one of the great "baddies" out there, Sure did hate to see "M" have serious problems. Judi Dench is one of the best in anything she does. Also glad to see people loosening their grip on Sean Connery as Daniel Craig is "owning" the role... mostly business, no fooling around. In a gambling den but NOT gambling so much as setting up his next "mission." WHO is the Javier Bardem of chess?

Monday, November 12, 2012

I COULD HAVE HELPED YOU ANSWER...

the question recently posted on ChessBase's website about what player had beaten more different world champions than any other... but I was so busy preparing for the Fall Chess Classic I didn't have time to get the latest Chess Gangs title proofed and printed.

In installment #10 of the Chess Gangs of New York and London, in the introduction of Keres Machine Gunner, you would have read it WAS indeed Paul Keres.

This is the same Keres about whom Reshevsky wrote that he was too nice of a guy to be a chess killer. Bzzzzz.... the buzzer goes off. Wrongo. Mr. Keres also had more consecutive Chess Olympic gold medals than anyone else in chess history.

In 19 encounters Reshevsky beat Keres 6 times and lost 4 (and Reshevsky was 2-1 in their mini-match of won games in the 1948 world chess championship). I think it was from Reshevsky's POV that since Keres did not have the edge over Reshevsky and Reshevsky never became world champion, then Keres was not up to the task either. If so, that kind of thinking is always of the fallacious variety.

There was one odd thing though, even though Keres and Petrosian tied for first in the 1963 Piatigorsky Cup event, Reshevsky beat Keres both times! It is true that Reshevsky was an amazing calculator and had great will to win, but Keres knew more about opening theory than almost anyone in those days. So what was the difference?

It would have been interesting to see a match between those two. I don't think the outcome would have been like Fantasy Baseball.

The new 41 page book is available NOW. It is $12.95 + $3.50 for first class shipping. If you were one of those who spent $100 or more in the months of July-August-September, you will get one free. That program is still running.

For more info: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A CHESS MOUSEPAD

For the Fall Chess Classic 2012 I produced with help from two friends a chess pad with Merlin the magician on it, holding a Bishop (his comrade-in-arms) over a drafting and planning table. It's also on the t-shirts which I ran out of. Naturally people want t-shirts now, even though it was mention probably 2 zillion times before AND my printer has said OK. That's rare!

Some of you told me you wanted shirts for others or yourselves. I have temporarily misplaced that list AND the mousepads, but I know they are around here (or at my shop).

An extra mousepad is $17.95 + $5 for the shipping. They are thicker than usual and colorful and do not have dopey looking animals or fish on them and best of all, no plastic-assed surface! (Bob W. from Omaha said "It's far better than the mousepads here in Omaha!")

T-shirts. I screwed up in everyone's favor (but mine) on the t-shirts. Apparently the quote given to me was for white cotton and I ordered BLACK. The Black is way cooler however because the blue background against it really POPS!

S-M-L-XL at $25.00 each (sorry, the black is 3 bucks more). The XXL and XXL are $28.00 each (sorry again). You have to add $9 for shipping as that is what the Post Office wants in the US of A. (Sorry for the last time).

Another Tiperoonie
My overseas manufacturer of the Grand Turk set which I sold before it got off the ground at the recent Fall Chess Classic says my next order is ready to be shipped! It was a surprise, a little bit, until I thought about this: HE ABSOLUTELY KNEW I would order more. Here's what Greg had to say about his Grand Turk:

"A few days ago, I entertained a young lady in my apartment and showed her the chess set. She knows nothing about chess (and, alas, isn't interested in learning) but she thought the pieces, especially the "black" pieces, were beautiful. I simply enjoy playing over games with the set, because they add something artistic to my studies. I am a very satisfied buyer of this set."

Satisfied customer. You can't buy a better recommendation than that.
I am hoping that when I get the next set order I can do some photoshoots with people looking at or handling the set. People can TRUST me all they want but they have to TOUCH for themselves or perhaps see someone else doing that for them. A video would be perfect.

Occasionally I run into "'big-time'chess set collectors" who are not really collectors, just PWM (people with money). When they say the color of the pieces "bloodrosewood" instead of "budrosewood" it's kind of a tip off don't you think? Maybe ebony will come out "eubonics." Haven't heard that yet though. Been watching too many movies with Leonardo di Caprio in them.

For Those Reading This
Why not register so I can see how many of you are reading this? I know many do, quietly, all the time, because now and then I hear from you. The most vocal (few, but maybe once or twice a year) are the cranks. You know, the complainers who never purchase anything except on their terms in their time zone from their cave!? Then they send an email longer than Isaiah (from the Bible). It ticks them off too when I say something about them but won't give their name. Is it illegal to write "dumb ass" in a Blog? I 'spose not since there is a movie review website called dumbass.com

Anyway, how about jumping in? It only takes a minute. I know of a number of titled players who read it, but don't want to "join." One GM told me he didn't want to get on all kinds of mailing lists. This is an aberration. If you don't leave an email address, how can you be on them? Older GMs are not the most tech savvy people on the planet and the younger ones think they already know everything. It's my job to get along with ALL of them and yet somehow I am still not bald!

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

HOUDINI 3

Chessbase has announced they will be shipping Houdini 3. It takes more than 15 seconds for stuff from Germany to get to the US. So give it a minute.

My guess is the price will be normal for CB engines, about $60-65 (maybe less, the Euro is taking a pounding).

Do you NEED it now? No. Does anyone? No.

Will it be helpful? It will be to me. Currently I use Deep Rybka 4 authored by Rajlich. The author of Houdini is French and I recently read his story. He acknowledged "help" from all the right sources. When I was in NYC in 1987 on a typographer's tour (a true joy) I met French typographers. Very nice fellows. I like French people. Can't stand their government. But it's hard for me to stand ours too.

So hitch up your shorts. "We" will have it.

PS: Why is it not necessary to have it now? Answer: It's NOT going to make you a better player. It might be nice for analysis tweaking, but in the end, you are still going to have to do the work of studying.

PS: In the meantime, I have a copy of ChessBase 11 which arrived AFTER my Fall Chess Classic. $179 for a brand new, crisp package. Includes shipping to any point in the USA. Also, you get one year of use from the ChessBase Playserver.

Anything Else?
Of course. Volume TWO of C.J.S.'s Purdy's Inside Look at Some of Chess' Greatest Games is within a few days of going to the printer. It's about 326-330 pages. Price is $39.95. Add $4 for shipping in the USA. Now, back to work.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON WORKSHOP

Over the years many people have presented ME with ideas of things I should do. NONE of those people volunteered to help me do them either in energy, money, or time. I can't get more than a handful of people to even tell me what THEY would like in a publication even one they are paying for.

I think it was marketer Denny Hatch who said "Ideas are a dime a dozen." They are. Doable ideas are worth a lot more.

When I have an idea for someone else, I only present it to them IF I think it can be done by them. Let me give you a for instance.

When I was in Savannah, GA in 2008 I saw the first book of the "Twilight" series in A WINDOW. It had a red Queen (King?) on the cover. My son Nate's stepdaughter Maya was crazy about this I found out when I got back. People that eat up this romantic vampire stuff are really out there but in a moment where I wasn't kidding her I said, "I know how you can make a pile off of this." I suggested she write a book on "Comedic Vampires." Well, she pretty much told her Mom that I didn't take her seriously, but I did. Now you can't take a step without stumbling over all the books and movies out there with a comedic vampire twist or plot (zombies too). I might even pick up, "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer." Now she's got a baby, no boy friend, and one of those "Will I be doing what I am doing now for the rest of my life" jobs.

Sunday Afternoon
In a chapter from my new book, The Critical Secrets of Planning at Chess, as a Metaphor, for Anything Else ($79.95 available again soon from TPi, currently out of stock), I mention a novel about escape. I also mention why most chess novels are total worms (one reason is that the authors know next to nothing about chess but that is only a MINOR reason!)

Before I get to more, let me pause for second about my book (I am a bookseller after all). Just the other day I was reading Mark Joyner's The Irresistible OFFER. I noticed something really familiar, on page 5.

Why hadn't I noticed this passage I am going to reproduce here before? Because I tend to skip around when I read books on business and even on chess (and anything else except novels!)

Mark wrote in Chapter 2: The Core Imperative of Business:
"The focus of the following pages is nothing less than the 'Core Imperative of Business.'

"By extension, one may say it's even the core imperative of anything you do in your life, but business will serve as an apt metaphor for now."

Do those two sentences ring a bell? (Look at the title of my recent book) In my book I use chess to describe other possibilities. Joyner does it with business. Taken in a sensible way, all these things relate to each other! If I present a "secret" about chess it can often be transformed to an idea about business, planning, education, selling, buying, etc. My book explains how in a dozen chapters.

But as I started out at the beginning of this blog, ideas are one thing, sitting down to puzzle it out and get it to happen is another thing entirely.

Hence, on the Sunday afternoon workshop I asked the 3 teenagers who came to the Fall Chess Classic if their parents ever ask them to do things that make NO sense to them. They giggled and shook their heads "yes." These kids are more likely to DO something amazing than those who listen "intently" and as soon as they are out the door it's "Hey, let's get something eat!"

The other day Ken McDonald (my ole buddy from Canada and Florida) sent me a URL and asked me to read the first paragraph. It is what I have been preaching for eons. Drama, excitement, rah rah, etc. is nothing without "movement." The author, a successful writer (now) said he sees lots of screenplays which are junk. Misspells, no cohesion, chaos reigning supreme. Authors too. Apparently all this "texting" isn't helping those who can't spell in the first place. Compare: a good-speller who texts, and a poor speller who texts. Which one is going to get the job? Poor spelling texting is akin to Hillbillyisms (and believe me, I have gotten chess manuscripts which were horrible and NEVER saw the light of day!) Remember this, an Idiot doesn't KNOW he's an idiot!

I printed out what Ken sent me just for reaffirmation of what I am doing and that there are others out there who do GET this type of stuff.

NO ONE has asked me why my books are so expensive. But when only some are buying them I have to think I have some good thoughts about that myself:
1. I don't like giving away things that are valuable. The reader must pay. Good secrets are valuable such as "How do I know what the really good chess books are to study?"
2. If the buyer paid a lot the chances of him/her letting someone else photocopy it is reduced (sideline: Years ago I was at a record store in another city looking for a certain tape by Air Supply to buy for my girlfriend. When someone suggested to her that I make a copy of mine she said, "Oh no, that's not going to happen. He believes the artists deserve to be compensated. He won't copy anything." The clerk was surprised. We finally found they did have ONE in the store and I bought it.)
3. For that kind of money you might ACTUALLY read it. You might look at it again another time, maybe the RIGHT time, when you actually need to know more.
4. I print small quantities and feel like I deserve to be compensated for all the time I put in on the book. It's not necessarily true that a lower price will sell more books and that I will make up for it in volume. One person who couldn't (?) make it to the Fall Chess Classic still wanted to get the book for $40 (the Fall Chess Classic price). I said "No." He was steamed. "I guess you don't want to sell the book" he exclaimed in exasperation. "Oh no, I want to sell you the book for $59.95" I told him. See he was privileged. People were all the time giving him deals of some kind or another and so he felt "justified" in making others dance to his tune. My question: Where's the quid pro quo in all this? Outside of a small handful of tens, what has he done for me?
5. I subscribe to two very expensive newsletters (but not the MOST expensive newsletters). I also read tons of books on everything to help me expand on what I write. This stuff costs money.
I might break even if I sell another 100 books. But you know what? I am doing something. DOING. One of these days maybe some corporation will find out about this and I will start giving seminars. I could probably make that happen, if I had the time.

If you want to know more about DOING get this book. My stuff is always 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Give it a chance. Not to beat MY chest but I did donate money to the American Red Cross at my bank today for those in NY and NJ who got the heck beat out of them. It was that easy. I just made a check out to The American Red Cross. They gave me a receipt. Show others why WE are Americans. Help them out. Do something--and speaking of doing something by one of my readers/subscribers, Jim Perry is donating $250 in a gift card to Laz Munoz (Staten Island) after reading this blog the other day.

Some of us do care and are unbelievably thankful this didn't happen to us.

Help out, you'll feel great. I am trusting the Red Cross to help those who really need the help.

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

PS: I like P.S.'s. SOmeone once said they are the part of the letter most people read first! About the ESCAPE story. You'll have to get the book to find out what most likely would sell to chessplayers and maybe others who like tight drama, puzzles, and time rushing and pulse-pounding plots. I told the idea to a well-versed woman writer I know and she said she would like to work on it (she loved the concept). Well, you and I both know how that turned out. But, to the person who DOES do something, think screenplay, think book, think mystery. Think greenbacks. The reason some younger people are successful at this kind of thing is that they have less to lose: no reputation, little money, but a new experience. If you think you are young at heart, give it a whirl.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE SANDY

Many of us are fortunate that we were not in the path of the recent hurricane just like most of us were fortunate that we were not in the Twin Towers on 9/11 or the "like" from the other cowardly attacks.

I just received this morning the woeful news of Lazaro Munoz, a friend, customer, and attendee at the Last Chess Clinic (2010). As a person who has sold "collectibles" of various kinds since 1968 (!) the thoughts of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes is never off my radar. My sympathy and prayers go out to all such victims not just because of something they have acquired and had fun acquiring all their lives, but because for a while it grieves the heart in all such losses. Sometimes, though it is hard to believe, it lets us loose from certain "material things" which have "trapped us" for years. What good is it to have a fantastic library or collection, for example, compared to losing a great friend? Fortunately that did not happen to Laz. Here's what he wrote:

"Hi Bob, our house was severely damaged by 70ft tree during the storm.  We are living out of hotels right now because my relatives are still living in homes with no power.  We came out of it with no injuries so we have [that] to [be] thankful for; our nephew who lives with us was lucky that he got stuck on Long Island due [to] the train shutdown or he would not be with us since he lives with us in the attic room that was completely demolished.  Part of the roof in the living room fell down on us, but nobody was sitting where the debris landed.  We cannot reenter the home to gather what we can until the tree is removed.

"Please hold any subscriptions for me.  Right now I don't even have a chess set.  I am on emergency leave from my ICCF games.

"As soon as we can get to a more stable location I will file a temporary change of address.  Right now I talked to the mailman and they are leaving at my "former" next door neighbor."

--laz

Bob Lynch (NJ, and attendee at the Fall Chess Classic) told me he finally got home on Thursday (he left Sunday morning) and everyone was safe and sound.

Over the past few days a lot of thoughts about what this all means has raced through my mind. CNN has writers who keep harping on "climate change" when the reality is:
1. Take care of problems NOW;
2. Worry and "fix" the "future" later.
These "writers" somehow think that anyone gives a damn about their views when many can't even "read" them if they tried.
Bad News is not really on most of these folks' minds right now, survival and "what's next?" is.
The media NEVER seems to get it. They act like they do, but like our local WQAD television station--when they have a choice between an auto accident or someone's house burning or showing something uplifting such as the arrival of a well-known entertainer, they will choose the tragedy.

On the Other Hand
When I was in North Carolina years ago I was amazed at "gawkers." These are people in cars who stop traffic while they survey the scene of a car accident, backing up traffic for miles! And the ones behind them do it too! You don't want to get caught in such a traffic jam. This is some kind of perverted visceral entertainment for people without a life (it sure isn't empathy).

Now, I will drop Laz a written line for delivery to his next door neighbor.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

IGNORANCE IN CHESS

Someone once said that "Ignorance is no excuse" when it is something you should have learned in school or in life.

Then someone ignorantly said, "If you need to know something look it up on the net!" That is not necessarily true is it?

You must know some things in order to competently ask for something else. Even using a dictionary requires using some words--which are IN the dictionary.

So how come when it comes to chess people say anything, then repeat it, and then it gets repeated until it is a "fact?" Er, correct that.... it becomes a mess.

What I would love for viewers to do is send in things they have seen and heard but for which they know are incorrect. This is not an Edward Winter test and as of yet I haven't thought of publishing a collection of these.

A STARTLER!
Fact is, this happens in every discipline. In Amir Aczel's A Strange Wilderness he recounts a story that "when K.F. Gauss was 'two' he..." I have read other ages such as 3, or 4. Who is right? Does it matter? Well, yes it does because one of these days someone is going to say, "When Gauss was in Mina's womb..." How do these perversions begin? I have read a lot about Gauss but this is the first time I have "heard" he was two (or younger)  when telling his Father he was paying his workers the wrong amount.

Gauss himself was reported to say he could calculate before he could talk.

You want to see something get crazy? Let's say, somehow, a Gauss craze is started. Not a bad idea. But NEW (?) material would come out of the floor boards. Some people who love the attention and want it desperately and are willing to do and say almost anything to get it. Fraud? Criminal conduct? Those thoughts come later.

In chess someone told a friend of mine, he told this on the internet, that playing 1.b3 was for idiots. This is sheer ignorance of 1.b3. Nimzovich played it, so did Larsen, Bagirov, Carlsen, Nakamura and many others. Are these guys idiots? Fischer played it. He's projecting his own lack of knowledge. How "bad" is an opening if you have lost to it?

I have been trying to prevail on Andrew Martin to give us an article on the Gooli Crusher Gambit. Is there anything about this on Bing (No!) or Google (I doubt it). Everything is JUST NOT THERE. Now that I have mentioned it, Google MAY index it. But if you look it up you will see this article.

Send me articles or bits and bits of bad commentary on chess.com, chesscube or anywhere else. Let's see what turns up. I recall, for example, this jerk instructor when I was in grad school. He was "in charge" of the chess team (which I was also on). He saw an opening I played in the Bishop's Opening and asked where I got "that." I said, "William Winter's 'Chess for Match Players.'" He completely dismissed it because it wasn't in MCO (Modern Chess Openings) though I don't think he knew that for sure. He then went on to completely make a social ass of himself when he said "Robert Byrne knows all the lines in MCO." I am sure that was news to Grandmaster Byrne.

Just like there was a big wall in "Escape from New York" for criminals, there should be another city, walled, for those who completely embarrass themselves time after time. Joe Biden would probably be in that compound.

Send in things you have read or heard (newspapers get things wrong continuously. For example they love to call a tournament a match.)

send to: bob@thinkerspressinc.com

Send them in as you find them. Maybe in a year we can compile these.