Thursday, December 31, 2009


What a great welcome I received yesterday and today. I'll give a little run down and answer a few questions... the light-hearted type of thing before actually beginning the New Year.

Israeli Amatzia Avni wrote and said I was the original blogger. He's right, at least as far as chess was concerned. When I had people putting my old web site together I was writing as many as 5-6 times a week about this and that. I've looked back at some of them (although they don't seem to work any more) and laugh about some of the stories and photos I put up. All of that was time consuming, esp. the photos which require some effort. This went back to 1997!

GM Karsten Mueller (Hamburg) is glad I am back and wondered what my thoughts were on his new ChessBase DVD with friend Meyer on "tactics." I will be commenting on that soon. I want to see how these two guys handled the transition from book to DVD.

Someone else wanted to know whether I would be commenting on games of the old masters and my first thought was "No!" but I have "rethunked" it. I just finished the nuts and bolts of a major project I will be announcing very soon and it involved studying in detail a lot of games! More info later. But, I've always liked the efforts and challenges of the old-timers too (such as Lasker and Alekhine). Yesterday I was thumbing through David Shenk's "The Immortal Game" and he reprised the story of Steinitz' beating of Carl von Bardeleben (at Hastings).

It seems that Carl was winning the tournament, but Wilhelm put the hammer to him and during the game (!) Bard got up from his table and left. No resigns, nothing. What a jerk! One might think more modern upstarts are guilty of bad chess manners but this goes back to 1895... and I am sure bad manners predated that by centuries.

I have gotten private posts to my email address ( too and that's fine. What is surprising on this Blog are those who choose not to include their email addresses (though some have). It's not 100% easy to figure this out. I like to have an email address to respond to when it appears that I am not going to publish something for everyone else. On the other hand, there are the email scarfers who are more interested in "bodies" than helping out the cause of chess. People who read these notes might be interested in knowing that I have not sold email addresses to anyone, ever.

The main thrusts here, and in private emails, are "congratulations" that I am starting the blog again.

Every day it's fun to wake up to "new stuff." This morning my son Rob presented me with some logo ideas which might be turned into book covers for reprinting some of the Purdy books! Dad gets to make his mark and try to make everything more commercial because you CAN tell a book by its cover--that is, if the cover design is awful, it takes steely nerves to look inside at the contents!

Heard from buddy Andrew Martin today. He entered the Hastings Tournament (an open) and has an equal score after 3 rounds after losing in the first round. But he is happy despite the damp weather. He is recharging by relaxing, reading, and studying. My son Rob put out a note on his Facebook page writing briefly about the subject of "burnout." He's a graphic designer, who like many GDs, isn't paid more than enough to get by. And so, like others, he works at night and weekends to meet those unexpected bills (often these seem to be related to car problems). After doing this year after year, it gets wearing.

(Commercial) For those who are interested, I can send you the January 2010 chess catalog I've recently updated. I've included few pictures primarily because it juices up the size of the PDF sending and some seem to have trouble opening them up due to limitations on their email inboxes (I suggest changing ISPs). My occasional comments on how to improve your computer/email life may be uninteresting to some, but we have to remember that new people do come along frequently (thank God!)

I wish everyone a Happy New Year and Thank You for dropping by. Let's see what 2010 brings to improve the chess scene.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Hello Chess Friends

Like in "Poltergeist," I am back.

My website ( occupies a placeholder position at the moment while I seek out a competent and affordable web designer. I should have this rocking in 2010.

In the meantime, I will be posting chess comments and product reviews. While I have current chess publications (The Chess Reports and Chess EXTRAS), in general content from these will be not be used--you'll have to subscribe :-)

Every week new items appear and it means updating my catalogs. While I am at it, I may as well publish the info here for the "early risers." You can email me if you have questions or comments. I have spent several hours reading how to do this Blog business and there are no guarantees I have it right... but I am working at it.

There will be typos because I am not paid to be perfect. Some issues will be posted hastily to get the data to you (for whatever reason). I don't really see this as a "gossip" column. I am interested in focusing on chess, how you can get better at it, and providing the tools to help you. I've been doing this for a long time. A long time.

Hopefully I have made the settings for type color to be black, not that horseshit gray that way too many bloggers use because someone told them it looked cool (it is mainly annoying and poor typography). If you are wondering how I would know, I would add that I was in the field of typography in 1980 as a professional and the sales figures of the books I have sold are proof enough to me that I am giving my readers what they want: readable and legible words in paragraph form with appropriate design.

As Dan Kennedy might say, "My outlook is generally sunny, my patience for incompetence is short. If you don't like what I write, or how I write it, I'm sure there are many boring copycats out there who would love to have you read their breathless prose."

I will post pictures, hopefully now and then, some funny ones. If you have ideas or suggestions that will aid my readers, let me know.

My catalogs on chess, in general, are FREE. But, I will need your name and email address (preferably not a corporate or .edu address. Earthlink tends to suck also with all of their anti-spam tools.) If you mail to me, I won't hide. My address is: Bob Long, 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803 USA. My fax # is: 563-322-8001.

I restarted my business as G&L (Gilbert & Lange) as the older name (Chessco) was sold to someone else when they took over the Chessco stuff. Some people still write to me as "Chessco." Hey, whatever winds your watch.