Thursday, March 14, 2013


Having lived on or near the Mississippi most of my life I saw pilings put together and inserted into rock or very deep into the ground. They represented an amazing downward force.

Well, so did James Mason the Irish-American chess player. What a guy--he took on almost everybody. He did have some trouble with Steinitz when Steinitz was younger (and drilling almost everyone around.) Mason did beat Steinitz a couple times when the Lion had gotten older.

The Russians have championed their short hero Chigorin but Mason wiped the floor with him repeatedly except as Mason was nearing the age of his death (in 1905).

There is a lot of variety in this 42 page booklet which has a cover of Mason putting cement shoes on a Knight. If you purchased $100 or more worth of chess goods and events from The Chess Butler (me) during the months Nov-Dec-Jan 2013, you are entitled to a FREE copy. This time I am giving away 35 of them, the most ever. If you want to buy one separately, they are $12.95 plus $3.50 for first class shipping.

Also you will find out what the final surprise volume is in this series when you buy or receive #11, Mason the Piledriver.


I've been busy

There is also Bird's Brain v From (Gambit) which I wrote. It is 17 pages of pain being inflicted by 1...e5 against 1.f4. Of course there was no desire to supply a refutation especially since IM Tim Taylor believes that when he beat a GM at the Global Do-Dad Open in Minneapolis in 2005 that he "proved" one line might be out of business. So I gave Tim a lot of space and a pat on the back for his achievement. Most of the rest of the annotated games show Black bludgeoning the sense out of White!

In fact there is a special treat in store for those who buy this: 6 games by David Gedult (Titled: Waiting for Gedult). Ole Dave hammers various Parisian players in the early 70s and none of these games are in ChessBase! (I always try to provide value.)

But I learned something important from David and his cronies, White has one Serious weakness. I shouldn't say I NEVER knew anything about it, because I had used this weakness to win a few games myself--but after seeing what Gedult (and others did) it showed I was definitely on the "right track" but missing some of the clues.

You see, whenever my opponents opened with 1.f4 or 1...f5 I would start salivating at the appropriate weaknesses (f2 and f7). All I could think about was launching incredible kingside attacks.

I spent time over choosing these games and a few developed from 1.f4 e5 2.e4, a King's Gambit, so you have to be aware of what you "might" be getting yourself into.

Price is for a Specialized piece of work with secrets and new games and material in annotated form plus extensive commentary by myself on this opening. I love watching Black win over a punk opening. Henry Bird, I think, could be at times, a Bird Brain.

Comes in PDF download form.

Friday, March 8, 2013


The Wizard of Oz, in some form, is coming to theaters here this weekend.

In the original Bert Lahr played the "Cowardly Lion."

I have a challenge to chess players who THINK (feel?) they are now chickens, or cowardly.

Am I the only one who finds chess news about female chess events boring as all get out? I think it's like "Hooters," these journalists and photographers are hoping to "Get Lucky!"

Yes, they look pretty but who really cares about them taking advantage of men chess players or anything else? GIVE ME the proverbial BREAK!

Women Olympiads, etc. to make them feel good about themselves.
I have to applaud Judit Polgar who said NO to all of that. She jumped in with the men and kicked ass, didn't she? Who sponsors and gets all excited about this waste of money?

There are women out there who are better players than I am, but I don't care. I want to see them in the cannibal pot along with the rest of us for ALL events.

If you are not a cowardly lion (or even if you are), how about RESPONDING to this Blog? Women's chess is B.S. My claim. I have a grand daughter and two great grand daughters. I hope they play chess WITH the boys. And I hope they run them out of town!

Years ago when I directed every kind of tournament there was, I had 150 high schoolers on my hands with card index pairing cards. It kept me busy. But I talked to the coaches and I suggested that all these trophies (there must've been over 100 of them) were designed to make EVERYONE feel good about themselves. AND the schools who paid for their attendance and bus rides, food, etc. The coaches said YES, that's what it was all about. Well
"meaninged" people trying to help EVERYONE at once. NO EFFECT.

That "cream" does NOT rise to the top. A few years later they are out of school and they only think about chess when they are raising their own kids and repeating the same non-sensical "feel good" stuff. Hey Dr. Spock's kid killed himself! As Dr. Phil might've said, "Hey Spock, how's that working for you?"

So how come so many of these parents went to see THE HUNGER GAMES? Nothing feel good about all those kids getting slaughtered in that one, and several more scheduled to come out. (Yes, I saw the first one, good movie, but since it was about killing kids, I am not going to see the next ones).

Women are in the work place everywhere. Let those who have the time (and desire)  play among the men and get rid of all those other superfluous events and give trophies and cash to those who earned it. Chess is NOT a physical sport in the traditional sense.

False prizes only last for 24 hours. After that everyone "knows", "Hey Tommy could have kicked my butt. Thank God I was in the weakie female section where everyone was terrible." What kind of pride is that? NONE.

So... are you up to it? Anyone want to challenge me on this? And by the way, I've heard all the PRO arguments in favor of this. I need NEW ones. Get the proverbial GRIP and show your case, or, if you will, agree with what I have written and experienced. I met Judit when she was 12 and she was kicking butt and taking names. I thought it was great.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


New printer ran out of black toner. My guess is the previous owner (user) used up most of it and returned the unit. These babies run from $50-70 per color ad by looking at Amazon's customer website, lots of complaining about the price of cartridges, called Lexmark a monopoly, etc. Wow. Cartridges (good ones) have cost a lot for years> Another new and not altogether great experience. Wasted a lot of time checking out vendors, Lexmark themselves, etc. Finally ordered one and should it be great, will have as my main printer, then my HP 8500 while still working toward a much bigger printer where cartridges and such don't have to be replaced often.

Like one guy said, he will use it for now but never buy another. I try to avoid the word "never" because, the quality was good! I do not use refillable cartridges. One broke up in printer A long time ago (Rhino) after saying they were "guaranteed" to work right. Well they were guaranteed to fail. It's hard to live and learn, too many different brands out there and the $$$ are all made on the cartridges. Shame the greed factor is so great.


Pay close attention. I put a new wrapper around the DVD for the ALL-PURPOSE DEFENSE. Spent at least one whole day on it including marketing copy. And... in order to do that, I had to listen to the whole DVD all over again.

Seriously enlightening. Lots of gleaning. 5 pages of notes. I have studied ...b6 before and Martin (Andrew) makes it snappy and fortuitous. By that I mean, he shows you how a certain set of moves, and move orders, can stymie White from the getgo. This DVD will go for $27.95 in the new packaging but I have it on SALE (in USA), right now for $15.00 +$3.50 for S&H.

If you ask for it, you will get FREE the new Chess Gangs of New York and London book called KERES MACHINE GUNNER, a $12.95, free shipping in USA... but you have to ask for it. This special LOW price os $15.00 is good for the first 15 buyers through March 9.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Facebook is seldom good for commercial entities. Results have shown this by big companies who are hoping for the next big thing. Spend a lot, get little or nothing in return. That's why it is called SOCIAL guys.

Here are a couple things I have noticed that Facebook is GOOD for:
1. Finding "lost" friends;
2. Sharing family/friends info and pictures;
3. Announcing tournament information;
4. Discussing stuff like movies, books, etc.

Here are some things I have found it is good for in a lousy way:
1. Doing stupid stuff, putting it on Facebook, and getting fired and wondering (really???) why. Too STUPID to not put it in a 1-on-1 email to someone. Why is that? They REALLY do want others to SEE them--because "living" close to the edge is their high.
2. A sensible disagreement or argument gone wrong. I have seen some out of control stuff from members of the chess community. And.... it NEVER ends.
3. Asking me public questions instead of contacting me via email--which I give with almost every Post of this Blog. You want to know about a book, ask me in an email. People on Facebook are reluctant to give email addresses sometimes, and instead want me to work on "their" turf. Ain't got time for hand holding.

Hot-dogging it is a form of asking for punishment. Zuckerberg doesn't care, he's made his pile. People do "public" things in ways that embarrass themselves. I was dealing with a Verizon rep recently to get a "holster" for my standard cell phone. He pulled his Windows phone out of his pocket to look something up (or get a message), the thing was the size of a small chess book! They either didn't have a holster big enough at the store for him, or he didn't want to be seen wearing a Gucci bag for it! (Funny, I saw all kinds of people wearing "fanny packs," one of the more ridiculous clothing conventions for MEN!

Lack of discernment is often Lack of Experience. That's why we see so many people under 40 doing some really crazy stuff and loading it onto the web. And yet, there is hope. I've been noticing a bagger at my grocery store. This gal keeps busy ALL the time. No standing around, no talking, no goofing off. I am SURE the bosses have noticed her. If she stays she will get a big promotion and we will be less one competent bagger. She's in the parking lot, moving baskets back into the store. She's helping customers, etc. Doesn't stop.

It doesn't stop there. I was someplace else recently where I noticed the same phenomenon! If I was hiring, and I would like to have help so that I can work on books and catalogs, I would have asked her. And I would have promoted her and paid her more money too as soon as I discerned she wasn't a Job Hopper. There ARE some great employees out there and there are those looking for the paycheck and complaining (on Facebook, for example) how they have worked at some place for 5 years without a pay raise. Geez, I wonder why?

So if you want to ask something, drop me a line at the link below. I don't bite. I may growl, I may be edgy, but I don't bite, and usually, I don't growl or be edgy either. There are very few cases where I want to buy a roundtrip ticket to Nowheresville and strangle somebody! If I did I would probably head to Washington, D.C. but then that would be Lack of Discernment wouldn't it? Trying to straighten out 540 or so Dummies.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I have to proofread it first and then it probably goes out early.

This issue, in my opinion, is spectacular. Almost everything (almost) revolves around the 1936 New Zealand Championship and the travelogue IN New Zealand for two months. I wonder what Anne (his wife) thought about this! She was probably setting up the next news publication or two and taking care of business--she probably thought "What's new about that?"

He visited many towns both before and after the championship, which he won but was not eligible to be New Zealand champeen as that honor went to Gyles who finished in second place and who was from New Zealand, and by the way, beat Purdy in their encounter.

The second issue is $24.95 in PDF form. 56 pages of type (mostly) with breaking headlines, a few pages of humor (including Purdy's Chielemangus). Purdy also calls out the insane arrangement of the Canadian Chess Championship which ran along the lines of "Something's better than nothing!" and I think Purdy disagreed with that.

What I need most is a typist! I hope I don't get arthritis from this!

If you get a 6 issue subscription the price is $99.95 but on Feb. 28th, that Special will go away.

Hep to it men!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Since I do not own a working TV I did not see the Super Bowl commercials.

A friend of mine says that's his MAIN interest. I believe I saw online that there were 40 of them, mostly 30 second commercials, at $4,000,000 per 30 seconds. That $160 million bucks.

Did you have any favorite? Were there any that you didn't like?

Ask yourself AFTER you've picked your faves if the commercial would, in any way, prompt you to consider the advertised product for a future purchase (if the commercial doesn't do this it is only expensive entertainment). Did your favorites fit into the later category?

I am doing a poll to determine MORE about my customers. Since I haven't watched sports on TV (except at the gym where they are on 24/7) I am looking for comparisons in marketing promotions so any comment you might want to add is OK with me.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Remember "JAWS?"

I am watching it this Saturday evening. What is the greatest thing about this good movie? John Williams' music.

Everything else was memorable too.

What was the lesson?

Don't panic, but, be alert!!

It's so typical. Ignore the danger, embrace the stupid.

Do we see this in chess? ALL THE TIME.


No one likes to lose rating points.

Everyone likes to gain rating points.


What if I told you to play the best chess you could, without much in the way of preparation, would you be willing to lose 100-120 rating points? For an experiment?

Then, look into the games with more than average enthusiasm (losses and wins.) Yes, painful. You might have 6-8 games to look through, maybe a few more.

Annotation, study, and build up your chest muscles.

Go back to playing with say 3-4 weeks in between as a break.

Will your rating go up? Probably.

Look at those games. Build up your chest again. Go back next month.

Study each time.

I've known several people who did that. Each lost bunches and bunches of rating points.

One of those guys was me.

Not just my knowledge was increased. My rating went up and I became feared because all the other guys were desperately trying to hold on to their ratings. I came to the conclusion THEY were over-rated.

I've given some thought to putting together a strategy book on HOW to raise your rating no matter your age (if you are senile you aren't reading this!) You need two things besides the book:
1) Willingness to "let go" of what you are currently doing (because, "What good is the status quo doing you?" Can your losses amuse you? By the way, congratulate your opponent!)
2) Willingness to "lose" rating points.

Otherwise you will continue trying to protect what you have. You won't be learning anything or improving, you will be slowly declining and what you've been protecting just means you will be protecting a lower rating than you have now.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I've been getting Google News on Chess for years and sometimes what is reported is amusing as attention-getters I wish chess was getting in the USA.

Today we learned that some Italian politician under indictment for bribery (this was news?) has now been kicked out of the Italian chess federation for cheating.

Of course he issued the usual set of denials. Others had accused him of wearing special glasses (ostensibly to photograph the board) and to get "secret moves" from someone else. No mention of money being involved. Maybe constitutions should have amendments for cheating at chess. Get caught? Go to prison or suffer the fate of Marie Antoinette. You have to figure out what "constitutes" getting caught. That seems to be the problem. Why are the amateurs ahead of the scientists and law enforcement?

During the same article the author wrote about new clothing rules for female chess players so they would not distract an opponent and what did it concern, "How many buttons might be undone?" What if there were no buttons. This is what is wrong with these kinds of rules; it leaves so many things open (no pun intended) that more rules are needed.

Probably everyone, including the offenders, knows they are doing something wrong but in the age of PC (political correctness) you have to say or write or do exactly the "right thing" so that someone won't be offended and this usually ends up offending others. There are people who just like misbehaving.

They (referees and arbiters) should have Donald Trump type power even if you don't like DT. "You're fired." And you are out. No explanations necessary. No appeals.

After FIDE issued regulations about people arriving at their chess board late this caused a commotion. And some did lose games for showing up late. What is the reason they couldn't have gotten there 5 minutes early--mostly inconvenience, "I don't wanna," etc. Now can you imagine if it was a date and some "hot babe" was sitting at their table? Probably wouldn't be late. On the other hand, some people don't like that early photography thing and who can blame them (there are cameras now that are noiseless).

Maybe the arbiter should start all the clocks (yes, there will be a slight delay) at the small events. Players can show up when they will. Is a handshake necessary? Why? I do it out of courtesy but I don't need to. Usually the new guys may utter something like "Have a nice game." Me? I just want to win. Cyndi Lauper just wants girls to have fun.

But the most entertaining part of Time's article was a side ad for Mental Floss. I didn't know it was still around.

Chess in the USA needs a real publicist. That's my two cents.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Yesterday I had the happy occasion to listen to a CD titled "The Power of Focus" with Dave Dee and Lee Milteer from GKIC.

Dave asked questions and the exceptional mind of Lee Milteer answered them without equivocation. In several instances she changed my MIND and the implementation started yesterday:

1) The Gentlemens chess Club will not meet on Thursday evenings until Spring! The shop will still be open on select days--a calendar will be published.

2) The first chapter in my 2nd SECRETS book IS right on the money about using one's subconscious whether for learning chess at a better and deeper level or the actuation of goal setting and mission statements and then following through. Stop doing what appears to not be working.

3) More creativity will come when Focus is implemented (most people can't focus). Jeremy Silman said this was the biggest problem with his students in chess.

4) Always take responsibility for what you are involved in.

It all sounds theoretical except she kept giving practical examples which all of us know are true. Implementation will lead to success or at least more discernment.

It wasn't a 1-2-3 formula, it wasn't how to break the bank of Monte Carlo, and yet, that is the result.

5) Being at the computer most of the day (and without a smartphone to drag me down even further) I won't be answering emails "instantly" like I do most of the time. I will usually respond, ONE TIME. Sometimes a "conversation" will continue, and continue, and continue with people sending more messages, and OKs, etc. I am out of time!


Repeatedly we find ourselves out of balance in time, without lives, and our budgets. We know it, put a Bandaid on it and still ignore (for the most part) our kids, spouse and end up concentrating on stuff that 2 weeks from now won't matter (if it ever did). Most people I talk to tell me how many hours a day they put in--but the time isn't well spent. It happened to me again yesterday at Harbor Freight, a hardware store where my company check was flagged and the cashier spent 20 minutes on the phone and consulting her "manual" and asking for my driver's license! It finally went through (Telecheck sucks). I wasn't mad at anyone. She thanked me for my patience. I was about to whip out my credit card but I didn't have to. Still, 20 minutes is 20 minutes and my chance of going back to that store ever again, with a check, is almost zero.

I have been listening to a new CD from this company for 6 years, every month. This one sunk in and I rated it BEST. Not funniest, but best, most useful--most important. I will be faxing the FEEDBACK form today to that company to show I am serious.

You can apply everything Milteer said to chess or any other passion (your job, finding the right partner, etc.) Alas, it involves commitment. I am committed (in more ways than one!)

At present I am about to send out to my general population a large used book list and give you reasons for making changes to what you are already doing. Those who want to improve without necessarily killing themselves will.

Lee talks about "direction" and its consequences. Some of us are just living for the moment we die. Some are bored silly. None of these things are necessary to live a great life. Many have forgotten HOW MUCH fun chess was when they first picked it up and stuck with it. Maybe at some point they stopped and picked it up later again.

The ironic thing? Several days earlier I had hit upon an idea which I know would intrigue many people and benefit them as well! I thought of putting it into a report (FREE) which I would send to those who provided me their name and physical street address.

But, with everything else pressing on me to either get a new printer, get the one I have repaired and if I go the repair route to wander through a half dozen stores over 3 days until I finally found something that "might" do the trick (we'll find out later today). So I went into "postpone" mode. Sometimes "other stuff" slows us down.

After listening to Lee's presentation with Dave yesterday (and by the way I have a printed out copy of the CD which will be exceptional for locating what I need to review) I am going to go through with this report. Give me your name, email address, and street address (I will be mailing the report through the post office). There will be some ideas to challenge you and to take whatever comfort zone you are in to a better place.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have some customers I am quite grateful for. They love what I do at Thinkers' Press and The Chess Butler.

Recently I announced that my 13 year old printer, a hefty HP 4550 monster had shot its bolt. It whimpered and whined and occasionally pushed out come colorful pages near the end, but after a a service man showed, sent a bill for $85 for basically telling me--"It's gonna die"--it died.

Positive side: No more expensive toner cartridges (those I have 5 of them in my supplies' closet), no more fusers to replace, no more boxes of paper to buy.

Negative Side: I proofed my catalogs and sent out mailings with that behemoth. In fact, my repair guy said I went through at least 144,000 pages using it. Let's see, in a box of 10 reams, with 500 sheets per ream, that means 29 boxes and it sure seemed like more than that especially when carrying them from the store to the shop or to my office. Those "guys" are heavy and awkward. But the real negative side is that I have two books to proof, I have new customers to send flyers to and on a good day I can keep it humming while I am working on something else.

Then my friend Gary steps up today and asks me to charge his card a nice amount. Gary's been a customer for quite a long time (Thank you Gary). I won't give his whole name because there IS power in anonymity (because they know who they are and can smile at themselves) AND others who know him won't be hitting on him!

I have more than a few such generous customers--they help with THAT kind of heavy lifting! Thank you.

Back in the 80s when I ran my typesetting business I can remember working on my own on my machines (really big suckers) because at $100/hr I couldn't afford to have someone come in and do it for me. One repairman when called in to do something I couldn't handle  saw some work I did on a film compositing and imaging system and he asked "How long did it take you to fix this?" I replied, "4 hours." He was surprised because it usually took him 2 hours to adjust those timing lights and he had the tools for it. It's amazing what one can do because they have no choice.

In the year between 2000 and 2006 at various times my sons Nate and Rob helped me move more than 1600 cases of books to my basement warehouse and then later put them on pallets to reship to buyers, back up through the basement (we did have a conveyor belt), as far away as Australia and points in the USA. That meant moving 1600 boxes twice and they averaged about 45-50 pounds a box. We moved them from semis and we also moved them from various points in the country on to Ryder trucks.

That didn't count all the boxes which were packed and unpacked many times to sell at events (because we were constantly getting in new merchandise and collections).

Now I don't think I could take that anymore!

The new printer, which essentially is like the one I had but smaller, therefore lighter, will do the printing but it needs to be a Postscript color printer and the toners and other parts will be expensive all over again. It will allow me to put together and tweak those "nice" pieces which I do get compliments on from time to time.

Today, for example, I put together a "Welcome" sheet to new potential customers. I proofed it on a smaller HP, one of those ink jet jobs where the cartridges are insanely expensive and it is far too easy to go through them. For an ink jet it looked pretty good. The "problem was" to make it look nice I thought, stared, cajoled, and invented things to illustrate and write about until it looked just right--it took hours! It was just a pictorial listing of some of my current services. It made me tired.

I am more than willing to send a PDF of this sheet to anyone who asks, and particularly to those who haven't done business with me before. Just need your name and email address.

Thanks again Gary. That was wonderful.


PS: If you think I am asking for donations, you would not be correct. I will put together some special merchandise to sell at greatly reduced prices to help along the PRINTER FUND. On the other hand, if you do help, I won't turn you down. This business (chess), unlike the US Treasury's bill payment system, has many competitors… so any help would be appreciated though not necessary to continue my relationship with you.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


There is a tiny catch, but it requires next to nothing.

Recently TPi published Keres Machine Gunner in our Chess Gangs of New York and London series. Normally it is $12.95 + S&H.

It's 41 pages with 50 annotated games.

I am trying to expand my marketing base and One way (there are others) is to show what our "stuff" looks like. If you like this one you might like some of the others in the series. You will find out what other books we publish at the same time. Very limited quantity.

I introduce some levity into the works which some view as quite serious (chess). Really? For whom, maybe for the elite and regular tournament goers. In this series you will see lesser known games, miniatures, and novel ideas.

While S. Reshevsky viewed Paul Keres as a "nice guy" that was only because the American had a plus record against Keres. But Keres stomped everyone else and was a many times candidate. He also won a stack of Olympic gold medals as well as beating every world champion he had played.

The book really is FREE, but I do need to know who you are (name, physical address) and email address so we can tell you more later. Perhaps send you a real chess catalog. If you aren't a fraidycat, I have 50 to give away. This is for those who have not made themselves known to me in the past but who read this Blog AND it is for US citizens only (otherwise the postage is a killer!)

Contact me at:

PS: I think you will have a lot of fun with this. The Marines are looking for a few good men and I am looking for some good, prospective customers, who aren't wimps and who don't cry whenever they get an email from someone they don't know. Puleeze!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


They are still coming out at a rapid pace, as some of my customers tell me and told me 20 years ago!

But I had talked about this in my newsletters in the 90s. I remember saying, "If you think the pace of new books, even good ones, is furious, you ought to try buying 20-40 of each as they come out!"

My sales are nothing like that now. Few resonate long enough that they have a chance for "classic" status because, "Here is the next one!"

Yet, resellers and customers have a problem. Newness intrigues us and we like to stay intrigued. They only way to get around it is to have a HOT one, as a publisher, that is so good that we can live off of that for a while as we work on a new one! When E L James wrote her trilogy on "Grey" I am sure it kept her publisher warm at night and the lights on, and as some of us know, the "copycatters" are now coming out of the woodwork. Women I know have already read all of them! And paperbacks are no longer cheap, $7-8 and then they fall apart.

At the moment I am trying to finish up my book on "Internet Dating for 50+" I get lots of information from people who I contact or who contact me. Clearly 1-2 of them have "thought" about doing the same thing but haven't yet! So I am concerned about getting it out there... as a male! All the writers I have been in touch with are women (and they will be the main buyers). Some of them are severely accomplished while the men they look for are still pumping out the B.S. of "having done something."

Don't Have the $$$

I hear, and you hear, this phrase all the time. Mostly it is not true. In an "informal" way it may be, but Can't get the $$$ is a lie for many. How do we know this? From the recent catastrophic tragedy in Newtown we read about Gun Show "sell outs." NPR reported yesterday one person in CA was seen wheeling out ammunition on a dolly. These people are making everyone else afraid and so an assault rifle (AR) which cost $899 a couple months ago is going for $1899 as the manufacturers are paying for overtime and cranking them out as fast as possible. If Obama didn't know this would be an intended effect he's crazy. Is anything done on the QT anymore? Just as the IRS HAS made taxes, in the past, retroactive, the government can do stuff like this now on other things. These people will have to register anyway.

We are armed to the hilt and who are we afraid of? Everybody else, that's who. Don't we all know people that if we put a gun in their hands we would immediately start flinching?

Mental Illness is really on the back burner because that is where it really starts... and who else but our politicians are loaded with mental illness? (Denial of truth)

It's this way in chess too!

Who's your daddy? Who ya gonna believe? I have some news.

I have been working on the long delayed James Mason book in the Chess Gangs series. I hope to send it to the printer soon. What have I found? I have found what YOU could find if you will look but instead I hope you get a free copy from me or buy it if you aren't eligible for free.

Mason was amazing. No, I don't mean perfect (who is?) He didn't create lots of short games (who does?) He was versed in opening theory of the day, and in fact many of  the moves he and his compatriots made are still being played today. He was in tournaments where the books which were published were in that really long form of descriptive notation (booooring). And he missed killer moves (like we do). One of the big differences between Mr. Mason and us is that he didn't miss ALL the Killer Moves!

He was a strong enough player as he beat good players we've heard of such as Chigorin (many times), Blackburne, Tarrasch and the other pitbulls out there. The workaday mutts? Yep, he beat them too. In retroactive Elo analysis statistician said Mason ranked as one of the top 3 players in the world at one time (I haven't gotten to that part yet).

Will this book in the series be a classic? Probably not, but, it should because understanding Mason would be understanding us. He didn't always play brilliant moves and he and his opponents missed moves you and I may have found but he did have something most of us have lacked, AN IDEA, and often that "lesser idea" would win. Plus, he could put the idea in motion with some pretty nifty maneuvers.

One other prominent feature?

He can show us HOW to attack. Books these days are loaded with variations, intense analyses and stuff most of those guys didn't have access to. And, they didn't have computers or seconds or libraries. They played and they had memories and thye knew guys like Steinitz and the other foreigners. These guys had their whiskey, cognac, and balls while smoking something. I forget where I read it the other day, but one of the rooms where play was going on was filled with smoke from puffing on cigars. Made Beijing look like San Francisco!

This is real chess!

Watch for it... and oh by the way lots more chess books will be coming in for the next month or so. Stay tuned, keep the Chess Butler in business but better yet, keep your BRAIN in business! I'll give you reasons for restraint while at the same time, buying from TCB instead of many of the goofballs already out there who won't be around in a year.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


C.J.S. Purdy's Inside Look at Some of Chess' Greatest Games Volume Two is now available from The Chess Butler. It is $44.95 and contains 236 annotated games in its 321 pages, and is indexed.

This volume comprises Vols. 3 and 4 from the original CJS Purdy's Fine Art of Annotation & Other Thoughts books. The sections from books 3 and 4 which had Purdy's written articles will be moved to the NEW Vol. 3 along with comments from Prof. Ralph Tykodi, a book with many Purdyisms in it and direct quotes (this alone was a tremendous effort by Ralph).

Volume One is also available at the same price and Volume Three is expected in a few months (or sooner).

However, if you order either of these two books by February 28th, you can get them for $39.95 each. Postage for the two books (or one book) in the USA is $5.00.

What's In It?

Similar to Vol. I it contains 95 games by the very strong masters, grandmasters, and world champions and annotated the "Purdy way."

In part II we get 32 Master-Level games from Australia and New Zealand, more fertile Purdy territory.

In the last section we have 109 games: 78 played by Cecil Purdy and 31 played by John Purdy (his talented son). Naturally Dad and Son also crossed swords a couple of times.

Lately I have become more and more impressed with annotated games where the superior player finds a way to get into trouble and then shows us how he extricates (sometimes) himself from the swamp. This book has examples of these kinds of mistakes and so does the expensive (but very excellent) book by Aagaard & Shaw ($25.50) titled Grandmaster Versus Amateur which I keep repeatedly dipping into (it's nice to see these stronger players come "clean.") Fischer started that too with his book My 60 Memorable Games. Before that is just wasn't done.

Hope to hear from you.

PS: Oh yes, recently my printer went through the "crapping out phase." Originally it was about $2500, laser and postscript color. I went through 145,000 pages before the paper feed sensors conked out. I had the repairman over the other day and he said cleaning it up (toner) and replacing the paper feed tray plus the service call he was already being called for was going to run into the hundreds of dollars and it was time for a new model--this one had served me well since 2000. I still have a printer at one fifth that price that is ink jet based and used only for invoices.

So I am trying to think of a way of raising cash to get another printer (About $700-800 but those $100+ toner cartridges persist and they require 4). Because my computer equipment (mostly Macs) are so old, it is questionable whether the newer printers will have drivers that run on the older equipment and thus, I may need a new Mac to network these puppies. Great service, virtually no downtime, but I use these babies for special mailings and proofing so it will have to be done.

My idea is to produce a special catalog of recent new titles at half price and to use the money to buy new equipment. I am hoping you will find some things of interest, maybe something that cost a lot of money before but now, through special pricing, I can sell them and use the money for printer and possibly a laptop (though the later is not guaranteed).

In the past I have asked interested people to request such and such pricelist and the response is almost nil. If I send them out, then there is response... the problem is I risk sending it to those who could care less but who refuse to remove themselves from being bothered! But, let's try it anyway.

I got the word that yesterday more Grand Knights of Amritsar chess sets were shipped to me. That could help except I am also expecting 8-10 Taj sets. Just when I was ready to pay myself for working here the last 4 years, this happens... but perhaps you can take advantage of this situation and find something meaningful in books -- sets -- or DVDs for yourself. While donations are always acceptable I never request. It's not your fault these things happen. In the past when repairs were needed (seldom) I did many of them myself to keep the cost down.

Thank you friends,


Thursday, January 10, 2013


I used to really love popcorn but I was not one of those "butter fiends" like the gal I went with to a movie last weekend. Everyone to their own.

But I quit microwaving popcorn due to some kind of chemical crap that forms the bags they are popped in--which isn't good for you (they say).

I used to use a stove popper of the type where one turns the handle. Not bad (I was given one as a wedding present by a fellow mathematician years ago!) He and his Dad ran a popcorn shack in the summer (and made a killing!)

I have tried air popping--that one may suck the most. Dry, salt won't stick--tasteless.

So in recent years I began buying popcorn to eat while working in the evening. It comes in paper bags and cellophane bags and though no kernels it seems to have lots of little broken up pieces of popcorn, and is usually pretty tasteless too. No matter how expensive the popcorn and I live in the state of Iowa where we have Vinton the popcorn capital of the world (they say).

Has your chess gotten like that? Same openings, same results, same opponents? Well recently I was investigating something about the opening I recommended in my second Secrets book and I found a chapter that was absolutely enchanting (can we use that word these days?) I felt alive again. Truly as age takes its toll it is time to find some things to bedazzle the other guys and I will be popping it out (no pun intended).

Incredibly refreshing!

Try it--it will be better than chess popcorn!

Recently someone mentioned I should have a smaller email address. Is this what the world has come to--people in that big of a hurry but whose lives themselves are going nowhere? I had to elicit a big yawn! All YOU have to do is click on the link!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


My desk and computers have so much on them that the real miracle is that I don't lose more stuff. In fact out of hundreds of newsletters and journals written over the years the only one I have made a hash of is #170 of Bob Long's Chess Views. Can't find the PDF, and accidentally wrote over the original file it was based on, #169.

If you have the PDF for #170 would you be kind and send a copy to me at: ?


I produce this newsletter Bob Long's Chess Views every couple weeks and charge $34.95 for it (16 issues). Does that seem like a lot to you?

I put a lot of time into those reviews and articles and it seems reasonable as I get other newsletters from various sources which run $40-$50 a month!


and there are ways you can get the next EIGHT issues (#171 will be FREE if you act by January 22) for only $8.00 OR by getting the 2013 Red GOLD Card, which is $50 and has a pile of benefits with it.

Either way you can pay by PayPal to the above email address or send check, MO, CC info to:
1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803.

Let me give you an example of what we don't do.

I don't run letters from crazy people like ChessBase does (in the interests of "fairness.) However it is possible that CB ran them to show what morons these type of people are who rush their ridiculous comments into print without checking ANY of the facts.

There has been a story going round about a Bulgarian (Croatian, somebody or another) named Ivanov who was "strip searched" (really? he took his shirt off!) The emails poured into ChessBase accusing them of "convicting" this guy in print when so far no proof/evidence has been found. These "liberal nutters" went on and on and seemed in the majority from what I read and they clearly don't read well. ChessBase just reported the story as it appeared in papers overseas--they never put in their own opinion.

Well, that doesn't stop whack jobs! Here's the part that gets your editor riled. Emails came in saying things like "What's to stop a player from having a really good tournament where he is a low-rated master and he just keeps beating grandmasters? I mean, it could happen!" Not likely, you'd have a better chance of winning ANY lottery.

When the live feed plug was pulled our Mr. Ivanov lost badly. In a court of law that kind of information, backed up by credible players and analysts (such as Lilov), is called "circumstantial evidence." Lilov analyzed the games and concluded that somehow they came to the player using an engine like Houdini--move for move. The first thing I thought of was a type of "Morse Code." Primitive yes? But it can still work. How? We don't yet know but not knowing doesn't mean it didn't happen. (Kramnik warned us about this a LONG time ago!)

If they want to stop this kind of thing why don't they just have the "live feed" not later, but, the next day? What on earth is the rush? They are daring the perps AND losing.

These "kiddies" who perpetrate this kind of thing are in it for two things: the money AND to show others they are smarter than any kind of restraints that could be imposed upon them.

Someone wrote in that he was an "expert" who had won a big prize by beating several good players some time back. That still isn't the same thing as Beating the Stuffing out of MUCH stronger players in game after game after game.

Our friend Julian Wan wrote in, as he often does, and mentioned the "sadness" of this kind of behavior in many sports. He is always the voice of reason while the whack jobs think of "near impossible things" as being possible. I have never been a fan of beheadings of any kind, but now I am beginning to think of exceptions... isn't that's how it always gets started?

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Or if you prefer "Nimzowitsch."
456 pages, hardcover, from McFarland and written by the chess rock group of Skoldager & Nielsen.

This really is chess history written well. The authors took a genius approach. Almost like a documentary, but guiding us using Nimzo's own writings (of which he did a lot!) Nimzovich had a lung disease about 1908 and of course later in what killed him.

He could be temperamental and he could answer his critics (Tarrasch was particularly insufferable). Lots of photos, drawings, crosstables, and quotes from everywhere with excellent translations by the authors who passed it on to my friend Tony Gillam to clean up into very readable English. Did I mention GAMES? No. Many, many games, lots of them annotated by Aron Nimzovich and a few others such as Teichmann. ANd, a detailed index on top of that.

This is one of those $50 books which, in my opinion, should sell for more. Extremely handsome in size and content, but if you, like me, believe the proof is in the pudding, this one is hard to put down. Why was I reading it at 4 a.m.? Because it was great!

This volume is the early years to mastership from 1886-1924. A second volume is planned according to the authors and one can easily tell how much fun the authors had in putting this one together. The usual beautiful job, and economy of space, by Robert Franklin and staff. I'll have more to say in the fuller review in the next edition of Bob Long's Chess Views. If you aren't a subscriber, contact me about the cost and FREE WEEK!

It looks like I will have to order more of this magnificent volume already as the pre-orders ate them up. You may not like chess history all that much but you will like it a lot more when you check this jewel out.

Everytime a new book is announced by McFarland I know I will see "insipid" reviews which are not reviews at all but 1 or 2 line plugs to keep McFarland sending them free review copies. Doh! to quote my friend Homer.


Friday, January 4, 2013


Make no mistake about it, everyone likes "free" things IF they are useful.

Last night I sent out a 24-page booklet on HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CHESS by C.J.S. Purdy. It took me several days (3-4) to put it together from some Purdy articles in his old magazine "Chess World." It is loaded with good ideas and an idea I intend to incorporate into a manufactured product.

The only way you can get it now is to be a subscriber to 1 BOND Street, which will be 6, 50 page+ publications in 2013 for Purdy fans. You have to plunk down $99 to subscribe and all these fine folks did before I ever told them about a FREEBIE down the pike. That's when it is glorious right? I have more FREE ideas.

I sent out a two Bonus package a couple days before that to all those who purchased, from me, a copy of my October book, THE CRITICAL SECRETS FOR PLANNING AT CHESS AND ANYTHING ELSE. This bonus was 27 pages. The book now costs $79.95 and has 220 pages. "Secrets" cost money to write and produce and I am amazed at the number of "authors" who give them away for next to nothing and does it increase their book sales? Nope, not at all. Their editors don't get it either. In John Nunn's case he was putting the word "Secrets" on everything, probably even had a "secret index" somewhere. This is no good either. We haven't seen the word "secret" on a John Nunn Gambit publication now in some time.

I like to give things away when my customers have shown faith in me! If you give away "stuff" first, you get a lot of folks who want free things but do not want to commit.

Next up with by the 2013 Red Gold Card for $50. I have some great ideas for the coming year, just need a day or two to give it more intense thought. Last year TPi sold more Gold Cards than in any other previous year. I suspect 2013 will be even better for a lot of reasons which I will tout in a release to come out soon. I've kept the price the same in the last 5 years but I see the day coming will I will have to raise it, but also "sweeten" it some more too.

Personally, I hate REWARDS cards because one has to wait for something we want right now. For example I am in Staples the other night and I have a little chat with a very accommodating Manager and give him my view. On the QT he said he had no "input" but he certainly saw where I was coming from and if there was such as thing as "agreeing" with me where we were outside of camera or audio "view," he did. These big box stores want to move everything online which is a giant pain-in-the-rump as far as I am concerned (won't give the reasons now). Mainly, get rid of managers, the store, inventory... eventually, themselves. When we need a pack of pens don't most of us just go and pick them up instead of ordering them online?

Keep in touch:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


A couple days ago I bought a $4.99 DVD called Classic Movie Musicals. In the main I am not a musical lover although I have one or two favorites.

This DVD had Fred Astaire on the cover, search or spotlights and great typography. That's what I was after for another design project.

I knew that no matter how many movies there were in that package that it would be mediocre reproduction in most likely, black and white. Not disappointed, it was. But while working I thought I would pop the first one in for background. "Stage Door Canteen " was a patriotic movie loaded with stars from stage, screen, and clubs. All entertaining stuff, decent but predictable background story (maybe not predictable that far back though). Good looking soldiers and USO types but during one of the entertainment interludes some famous guy (I couldn't understand his name, the audio was a little wonky) played Ave Maria which the troops loved, but when he did "The Flight of the Bumble Bee" they went totally bananas.

This guy "seemed" totally relaxed, and while there were no words, you could see that while he was playing his brain and fingers were on fire with perfect execution. It was the result of 10,000 hours of daily training, perfection. No need to look at sheet music for it was burned into his brain AND fingers. Every body part was doing its thing.

This is what top grandmasters are like when their game is on, which it has to be when facing another top GM. When one reads words by C.J.S. Purdy about top flight players, their practice, and their follow through let it be known this could happen to you too IF you are dedicated. Maybe you feel "over the hill" by now, but if you have kids or grand kids they aren't over the hill. Their mental reflexes are often just that, trained reflexes.

You know "thinking" doesn't really HURT the brain, it's what the brain wants, that mental exercise. "Think" about it. Promote chess.