Tuesday, January 15, 2013

THE PROBLEM (?) WITH CHESS BOOKS

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.

bob@thinkerspressinc.com

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