Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I will be working on another 1-2 page brochure to send out today on why it would benefit you to come to this Last Chess Clinic. If I sit still and just try to "crank" usually not a lot comes to me. I take advantage of "annoyance" sometimes. That is, as I work on finishing up something else, little sparks will fly and I jot them down and in a few hours, I have reasons including perhaps, some new ones. This presupposes I can find my notes.
And, later today I hope to have one of those NEW ideas because it's already in the cauldron.
By the way, for you Gold Card customers and subscribers to The Chess Reports, the Big Sale at those Everyman Chess prices ends today. Tomorrow, everyone else will get a chance at those Big Discounts.
So watch your email box today and tomorrow.
Chess Clinic 6
Clarion Hotel (563-391-1230 for reservations)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Today I begin a few changes, some small number of corrections, adding a chapter, a big index, and a title change to CJS Purdy's most famous work (with the help of others: Anne Purdy, John Hanks, John Hammond, and Robert Jamieson).
Originally (1982) it was The Life, Games, and Writings of C.J.S. Purdy, published after his death (1979).
In the early 90s I had obtained the rights to republish Cecil's writings. In 1997 I redid the 1982 book and retitled it: The Search for Chess Perfection, named by my manuscript associate, Pat Scoville. It was one of the fastest selling books I ever had. I had also changed the descriptive notation to algebraic figurine notation. Then I used chess symbols in the text, which is quite uncommon (maybe I was the first, I do not know). This year, thousands of copies later, I received an email discourse on just how crass this idea was from a guy working for an Italian chess publisher (no comment). The guy is a little late, no one else has ever complained... nor would I change it. It's quite easy to read.
In 2006 and 2007 I made changes, corrections, added some great art by my late friend Bill Morey and added chapters on combinations from the 1982 book which I had left out. I also deleted many games which had hardly any notes, and this was seconded by Frank Hutchings, Purdy's son-in-law. They will reappear, along with others, in a book of Purdy's games (2011?)
This time I am adding "On castle walls" which for some reasons was not put into any of my Purdy books (I somehow missed it). And though few or maybe none have mentioned the lack of an index, I am going to add one even if it is only for me! Finding things would be greatly simplified for one of the greatest teaching products ever put out on chess.
The price was $39.95 and probably be available in September. AND, it will have a revised cover.
Monday, June 28, 2010
When you run a company like G&L CHESS you have to occasionally make "command decisions" or, what are you good for?
An example came this morning. A husband and wife (Mr and Mrs Jon Fortune) and a chess friend are registering for the Chess Clinic (#6). Jon has a Gold Card so all three got the $125 rate! Yes, Barbie Fortune is planning to attend too and with a university student named Andrew Smith from Cheyenne, WY while they are from Oregon... finally some West Coasters again!
Of course the favorable decision is that people with Gold Cards CAN have family and friends ride in on their coattails. As I remarked once before, there are all kinds of reasons for owning a Gold Card.
SPEAKING OF THE GOLD CARD
However, people have been asking me how to get a Gold Card and I've had to tell them that the offer ended, effectively, March 31. They can still be had for $100 but no one wants to pay that (yet). However, a couple weeks ago a thought occurred that I should not be punishing those who have never had a Gold Card nor those who haven't made purchases from me since I re-opened for business in 2009.
Hence, and please pay attention, if you've never owned a Gold Card (say for 2009) nor have you made a purchase from me since Feb. 2009 (a helluva lot of people qualify!!), you can get the Gold Card for 2010 if you pay $50 for it BEFORE August 1, 2010. One MORE deadline.
You will be amazed at how many special offers, private offers, and such are made as a result of owning a Gold Card, and there are more to come. This is something even the MIGHTY Amazon can't match. Their idea of a special offer is not the same idea as mine.
WORKING WITH THE CUSTOMER (me!)
Today (actually, over the weekend) I have found a supplier for the big toner cartridges for my HP ColorLaserjet who will ship the day the order comes in and without sticking me with special taxes and handling charges like CDW (Chicago) does. These are vital components in my business. I ordered a big yellow (6,000 impressions) one last week (really, it was Tuesday) for $150+. It's still not here and I am 160 miles away. I have bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff from them and this has happend like 4 of the last 5 times. They aren't helping me. I am going to the company, today, who will help me get these things when I need them so I can get offers, flyers, mailers, and stuff like that to you. Yes, I will end up owning 2 Yellow toner cartridges, but at least I can use them.
Back in "the old days" I kept extra toner cartridges on hand, anywhere from $500-1000 worth of components. Because I am starting up again I can't quite muscle my wallet to do that, but I suspect the day will come. I've always been about having duplicates of everything... you don't wanna know. I don't think it is UPS, I think it is the shipping department. I've written to my sales rep and he hasn't written back. Sorry Colin, you've just been fired. I don't need Donald Trump. My customers come first.
If you need something from me, you can contact:
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I am nearly finished with Andrew Tocher's book, In Your Face Chess Novelties. He takes on some difficult subjects, I think all just KP systems (not all systems, just the ones he takes on are KP). If you love the Latvian Gambit, the Evans Gambit, the Ruy Lopez, the French, and others you just might enjoy this book. I'll get a complete list of openings to you soon.
To take the pressure from heavy thinking (don't we all have way too much of this?), he has some interesting stories in it about dinosaurs, the Bible, and mythological characters. Andrew plays the role of an armchair general and gives out doses of ideas and possible play. He also has definite thoughts on certain subjects. It will be reasonably priced at $15.95.
Hope to finish it up today. Runs a shade over 110 pages. Due to a less than average complement of diagrams you may actually have to play over some of the nameless games.
This could be the place to find out that Thinkers' Press does personal publishing, such as this book. I've done many others too which might surprise you:
The History of Correspondence Chess in Canada (hardcover)
Fisching for Forgeries
You Move... I Win! (on Zugzwang)
Chess in the Movies (a huge book)
1933: The Devil Comes to Henry County (hardcover) (a huge book)
Thermodynamics of systems in nonequilibrium states (hardcover) (a huge book)
Zuke 'Em: The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionized (a huge hit)
The Moment of Zuke
Chess on the Ledge
There may be others, these are the ones I can recall. So if you think you have ALL Thinkers' Press books (as some claim), check your shelves for these.
If you believe you have a book within you, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is called "self-publishing" even though it is done under the Thinkers' Press brand. One thing TPi is known for is the covers we produce, nothing staid like what you see from so many others. An attractiveness factor. Quality printing, photos, charts, great content, and excellent binding. My books generally cost more but you can see why as soon as you have one in your hands.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I watched The Squeeze DVD from Daniel King last night with particular attention to the game Botvinnik-Alekhine AVRO 1938. Botvinnik's play was extremely impressive (as was his brilliant win against Capablanca in the same tournament). His "paranoia," if you want to call it that (I do), was about the square c7, protecting it or invading on it.
No less brilliant was the defender Alekhine. No doubt Botvinnik was thinking "This guy won't give me a break. He won't let me in." Just when you thought it was safe to go back to pressuring Black Alekhine would come up with a move that would let you win the pawn, but start losing material in other parts of the board. Maybe it was a tempo. That ONE extra move Botvinnik had (being White?) was all the difference it took. It showed me that even in 1938 Alekhine was still very strong and a match between the two would have been stupendous.
The "Squeeze," to put it fundamentally, is a method by which small improvements in the "attackers" position makes it "impossible" for the other side to do what they want to do... and to keep applying that pressure. The main advantage of this stand-alone DVD in the "powerplay" series is that is the main subject GM King concentrates on. He doesn't apologize for older games because it is a truth no matter what age the game might be and in this case the level of defense was extremely high, 72 years ago!
At the end of that tortuous road he gives Anand-Karpov where Anand applies a similar idea in putting Karpov out to pasture.
Except for the first game, where Andras Adorjan was putting the Squeeze on King in a simul game back in 1977, and lost, all the rest of the games seem to be White victories. IS this the advantage of the first move?; to zugzwang from the beginning?
I have supplies of this enjoyable DVD at $35.95 for regular customers and $33.95 for Gold Card customers.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Nigel Short is a character and the English GM shown in the ChessBase DVDs (both 1 and 2) prove it. Nattily dressed in a suit and sharp tie, and speaking with confidence, carefully chosen words, and impeccable diction, he's entertaining to listen to.
Today I was listening to his second volume and one of the games he discussed was his 1990 Interzonal game with Mikhail Gurevich. MG only needed a draw (Short needed a win) in the last round and chose the Exchange French and tried to trade off all the pieces. At one point he might've actually had that draw but Short's calmness was unnerving. As you no doubt have guessed, going for a draw was a bad strategy. Here's ONE reason why. When you are doing well, you'll usually continue to do well and you may as well play chess, and play for a win. Unless you have chosen that point to die on the vine, you will often win and at no worse achieve a draw (if you are a stronger than average player--but what is average?), which would have put Gurevich through... but I suspect he either didn't have a coach or he disdained his advice if he did have one. As it was he had a "string of draws" before this last game and that no doubt only made it worse as his "guard" was probably weakened.
At any rate you've probably seen this game in a number of places but now you hear it straight from one of the participants. Now I am watching and listening to Kasparov-Short 1987 in a rapid (game in 25 minutes) event. (Naturally Short won this quite slick game.) It started 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Bg4!? 3. Ne5 Bf5. Then 4.c4 f6 (yes) 5. Nf3 c6 6.Nc3 e6 7.g3 Bb4 (Short mentioned that in order to get Garry off of his stride he wanted to "slap him around a little bit." This is hilarious stuff.
That game proceeded with Short getting a "grip" on the position and he shows how strong masters attack weaknesses, such as a backward pawn on c3. There is some good natured "mocking" asking Kasparov to "show me what you've got." Funny. A nice finish, played in a discotheque. When Kasparov resigned Short got a prolonged standing ovation! Home crowd you know since this was played in London.
If you WANT to get some "offhand" study in instead of playing mindless speed chess on the internet, I recommend studying good DVD games from ChessBase. Make sure your mind is alert and you aren't tired.
I've also been watching the White Shockers and Black Shockers DVDs. These are QUITE good! By IM Andrew Martin. Complete set at discounted prices is $89.90. If you have a Gold Card for 2010 you will pay only $79.90. Great value. 10 hours of commentary.
I will be looking at Danny King's The Squeeze later today also. In the meantime I am almost finished with the 108th issue of The Chess Reports. If you subscribe to this publication which averages 16-18 pages I think you would find it different and refreshing chess fare from anything else that is published. This issue has 10 annotated games, a further continuation of the Queen's Gambit Accepted, a review of Mike Henebry's book and a MONSTER SALE of chess books, over 90 of them. I invite you to subscribe at $59.95 and 13 issues.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Probably most would say, to paraphrase General McChrystal, "Bob who?"
On page 212 of my book The Chess Assassin's Business Manual I mention a partnership idea for making scalable income to whatever is your limit. Getting that book is a good start and I do have a few left at $34 which includes shipping. In it I mention you would need:
a) A rating of at least 1200;
b) A telephone;
c) A calendar or Planner;
d) An appointment to see me.
For my part, I have prepared a 4 page PDF in MS Word to be sent to you via e-mail if you would like to do the above and meet those qualifications. Plus, I want to meet you in person and I will even buy your dinner. I will also be available at the Last Chess Clinic to talk with those who might be interested. Simply put, if the two of us can agree on some basic things I will create a spreadsheet showing you the plan for success and teaching it to others (chess, that is). Two years later I got a call a couple months ago about this mention of page 212, now I am prepared to put it into action.
A terrific new book has just been published in both digital form and in the traditional printing process (that one is coming). I will have it in stock in about a week (it comes from California, so not everything in California is screwed up). It is over 500 pages and is titled Chess Words of Wisdom. This is nothing like GM Andy Soltis' recent The wisest things ever said about chess. In Mike's monster volume there is only beautiful text and thousands of paragraphs of research into tips, quips, and handy-dandy comments from all over the chess globe about chess. Especially targeted is: improvement. It's more than "think long, think wrong" though that one is covered too. No diagrams, not one game. At first, like some might be, I was slightly skeptical but I got a copy and it was more than promised. Mike has been a customer for years and I have to say, it looks like he is trying to crowd out Thinkers' Press for high-quality publishing. The book is $34.95, visually attractive (i.e., good typography), and indexed to the point of absolute usefulness. This is a book to be read, used, and enjoyed. I have consumed 160 pages so far and it is a delight.
In addition, you will find a review of this tome in this Friday's edition of The Chess Reports. If you should snap one up, I can tell you Mike will be thrilled beyond reasonable expectations. It is not available for the time being from Amazon so the knee-jerkers who react to Amazon like Pavlov's dog will have to wait a while. You'll love not just the quotes but the synthesis of improvement topics and principles.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Greg Delaney, from Menasha, WI has signed up for room and tuition at the Chess Clinic 6 Academy. Greg is a student of the game and has been to my events before. Thanks for getting on board Greg.
WEEKENDS SHOT TO PIECES?
Let's face it, most men are not overwhelmed by Graduation Days, Weddings, Funerals, parties dominated by kids, etc. They are a lot of work to attend (usually) and except for a few pictures the memories are often fleeting. Some people have others plotting their life out in front of them with one endless procession of "shot to hell" weekends.
I have just finished three weekends in a row like that and I have one more, this coming Sunday. After that, some peace and quiet. If you don't go there are people who think you are EXACTLY what they had already thought you were (whatever that is). If you do show (maybe because you have come the farthest distance) they are amazed and happy you showed--which, unfortunately, tells them you are not exactly like what they thought you were! How do I know, they express "surprise, surprise" as if it were a Gomer Pyle show.
If chess were fish, the Clinic would be a whole 'nuther kettle. Those who come to a Chess Clinic hosted by Andrew Martin and myself remember things from them for years and not just from the weekend. If you want to take pictures that is okay too (if they are flattering!). You don't have that problem of sitting next to a relative you can't stand... these guys are cool and friendly.
The 'vent is October 22-23, 2010. The Clarion Hotel # is: 563-391-1230 and mention the Chess Clinic and you will get the lower $74 rate. Unlike many shows around the USA, we do not get any kickback from the Hotel, this is their lowest rate and half of our rooms are already taken. Most are signing up for Friday AND Saturday night. I wouldn't wait around, but then, I live here!
If you need to know more you can contact me at: email@example.com
Oh yes, the prices are $125 if you own a Gold Card for 2010. $139 if you register before October 16th and $150 at the door. One CAVEAT: These prices go out of effect if we have 50 paid up registrants (that is, in advance), which is what we are attempting to accomplish. There is a BONUS drawing if you sign up before July 16th. Details in upcoming brochures.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Every now and then I miss a day to post in this spot. Friday was a very hard work day, where one is keeping 4 balls in the air and still walking around the office checking on everything to make sure the technology and the inter-relatedness of everything is up to scratch.
When a DVD is encoded the process can take 8-14 hours. But before that one must create the "mapping" of chapters, photos, music (or noise) if any, and proof watching and listening until you know things by heart. That was one of the balls being juggled.
The bonuses to get people to come to the Chess Clinic may be having a desired effect as people try to figure out what is the most beneficial for them (yep, of course). I ordered 700 mailing labels Thursday (a juggle for that day) for chess people whom I have not done business with, to send out information on the Chess Clinic. Based on past experience I can "expect" a certain number to say "yes," and perhaps be primed for a "Boot Camp" in 2011.
Since I am going to limit the attendance to 50 people at Chess Clinic 6, this takes away more chairs and those who are waiting to maximize their "bonus present" may end up getting nothing because conceivably there will be no late registration or $150 cost at the door.
A friend recently asked if "winners" of one of the various drawings could choose which bonus they wanted. Sorrowfully I had to say "no" because the biggest prize is for earliest registrants. He then asked if the prize included the "entry fee" to the G/30 tournament for next year. I hadn't thought of that (I am not inveigling for maximum position and thus I overlooked this possibility). So I said "yes." He's going to wait until August (for the Black and White Shockers drawing)!??
This is why it is important to listen to customers and to answer questions--a business person can find out what they don't know but where it could be a good idea TO know. So, some more detailed explanations will be fired off, via email, with more explanations, ideas, and ooomph to bring in those from around the byways.
I did step out to have a laugh last night. I went to Borders and picked up a copy of The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book. Some good stories, art, and some funny stuff about how tough Chuck is. There are several other Chuck Norris books with no facts but such hilarious quips as: "When the boogeyman goes to sleep he looks under his bed to see if Chuck Norris is there." ANother one, "Yes Chuck Norris does iron his own shirts, while he is wearing them!" So, I do take breaks from chess. Two weeks ago, for one of the primaries in Iowa, Chuck Norris was here in town. Didn't try to shake his hand or get close to him because everyone else was so I just watched his demeanor: friendly, lean, smiling... a different day for Chuck.
Oh yes the important stuff, the Chess Clinic is being run Oct. 22-23, at the Clarion Hotel in Davenport, IA. Their number for a room reservation is: 563-391-1230.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I am working up more DVDs to send to those who want White Shockers, and some who want to pick up the earlier edition, Black Shockers. Because SOME want only "single" discs (which I do not sell until well down the road) I can infer some things:
1) People are only looking for "shocking systems" with what they are familiar with. This is kind of crazy IF they are already familiar with Opening ABC because it is doubtful if will we be able to show them something they don't already know.
2) I suspect they order the Sicilian, for example, because they are a Sicilian Defense fan. Not a terrible idea in itself, but don't you think it would be MORE shocking to your opponent IF they knew you to NOT be a Sicilian Defense fanatic? What a SHOCKING surprise.
3) Afraid of learning new stuff. I call this the "PC High Priest Syndrome." This is the guy who has learned on PCs (DOS, OS2, Windows, Linux) for 10-15 years (or more) and just can't bring himself (women "seem" to be less likely caught in this Trap) to learn something else. Why? So much time invested in putting up with crap! He wouldn't learn Apple's OS X operating system at gunpoint. Even if its implementation is easier, more fun (when I was working on PCs my ONLY concept of fun was when I found a backup disk to restore some file that had died!) this seldom happens except when the "bulb" finally goes on and you realize life contains ONLY so many minutes.
Some of these "systems" are perfectly sound and some are "edgy." Yet, if used with care and not in every game you play, you could pick up baskets full of points here and there... what is wrong with that? Right, nothing.
Maybe the steepest learning curve is the Polar Bear Opening and that's because in reality it is a Leningrad Dutch in reverse, which you don't learn in 5 minutes.
Once again Martin has brilliantly executed these pieces of art and I invite you to pick them up (2 dual layer DVDs, about 5 hours of goodies) for $44.95 + $2 for shipping. If you own a 2010 Gold card it is $39.95 + $2 for shipping.
Tomorrow: Good News on Gold Card purchasing for 2010 for new customers!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It seems like we're on a roll. Let's keep it going. Dale Suilmann from Minnesota has joined us as has Julian Wan (the man whose quote is on the front cover of the brochure I send out).
Ten people have either registered for the Chess Clinic (#6) this fall or have already reserved a room at the Clarion Hotel (563-391-1230, $74/nite). This is great news of course.
Soon I will be putting out another brochure with variegated info in it such as Conviviality and Rating madness. When I used to go to magic conferences (performing hang outs) in such cities as Wichita KS I met with and palled around with some pretty fantastic entertainers. I even played chess with the legendary Dai Vernon (he's all over YouTube, in books, and is now dead at 101 or something like that). Everyone was treated pretty much as regular guys. (BTW, Vernon was a tough competitor in chess even at 75 or so and I had to work for the win.) You were in the sanctum sanctorum as long as you paid the registration fee which I think was about $75 ALL those years ago (early-80s) and they had 150 people show up in that Hilton Hotel. (I even ran into Alex Haley and wife in the elevator.)
I was not a magic performer even though I ran a magic shop. Magicians loved showing you their stuff and fooling the pants off of everybody else. I even talked with the famous mentalism performer Kuda Bux who did such things as drive around town blindfolded. I asked him if he had a son name "Sousand!" (joke).
The point was three things:
1. Being around people just like yourself.
2. Having a great time.
3. And learning something.
It was a winner on all 3 counts and there weren't even any come ons, coupons, discounts, etc., just 150 people who loved every minute of this. "Room lectures/shows" were going on all day long, some repeated. The really well-known magicians had no problem showing up (try getting a grandmaster to show up anywhere these days in the USA with out it being a money tournament). The funny thing, there were "non-paid performers" if you want to refer to them as such, who were every bit as good as the MAIN performers it's just that they had separate lives (jobs). And to pull off some of these feats of legerdermain these men spent a lot of time practicing their craft while chess players today lament how little time they have. It really IS about your passion isn't it?
Rather than let the "little woman" discourage you from coming (are men such wimps when it comes to chess?), have her encourage you to come... she will reap the benefits later! Or bring her... there are plenty of places to shop (now all of a sudden chess seems like the least expensive form of entertainment doesn't it?).
The dates are: Oct. 22-23 and more can be found in the brochures or I can quickly email you the latest one. Bonuses are now being offered for early registration.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Yesterday I made a request from readers to send me the games of Rashid Nezhmetdinov which I had placed on a diskette years ago. Long time friends Jim Perry and Andy Ansel promptly answered. I will be going through exercises tonight to drop them into my database system and end up with a new DB which will be put out on CD with a wrapper. I believe these had notes to them and at the time I had made them quite a number of games did not exist in ChessBase's Mega Database. So thanks to you guys.
CHECK YOUR PULSE
Bathroom reading material is always important to me as I hate to waste time (except for looking stuff up on the internet--often a monster time waster). Not always chess but this morning and yesterday I had grabbed Gary Lane's Batsford title, Find the Checkmate. Let me tell you why I enjoyed this book.
When you checkmate someone it is final. There is no jargon about "White goes on to win the endgame," or "Black has many ways to win, can you find one?" Those are useful real world chess questions but often are only definitive with extensive analysis. Even John Nunn has been known to throw "ringers" in his books as I have been caught by them. Just as you feel you have conquered Mt. Everest some sneaky little "gotcha" move shows up to make you start over.
In Lane's book one of the earlier chapters is on "mate in one." Invariably some player (sometimes very good ones) behaves like Ford's old slogan, "I have a better idea." Next thing you know, it's mate in one. There was one of 24 positions where I needed to extend my view to see the mate. The black Queen had to go clear to the other end of a file to mate on a diagonal and Johannessen did, to mate Beliavsky. Lots of well-known names, as I said earlier, bite the big banana.
There is a rating system included and the chapters become more difficult: mate in 2, mate in 3, etc. If you own a copy it is worth getting it out and surprising yourself. A fun read.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Some years ago I published a book called Super Nezh. It quickly sold out because, let's face it, many had heard of this chess whiz who slammed many, many strong players to the chess mat. GM Andy Soltis selected Nezhmetdinov's game against Polugaevsky as the "best" game of chess of all time, eclipsing even Kasparov-Topalov 1999 (which was No. 5).
The reactions were 99% (or higher) positive. The paper edition sold out quickly and the hardcover edition took long enough that it proved to me that I and ten other people are the only ones interested in owning and reading hardcovers (I bombed with Smullyan's hardcover book too, Some Interesting Memories.)
One fellow, from Australia, wrote in and gave me point by point everything that was wrong with the book. He was wrong on several things but he obviously had nothing else to do.
I had mentioned that the author, Alexander Pyshkin, died during the production of the book and I was on my own though I elicited some grammar help from Don Aldrich (thanks Don). The author, at that time, did not own any chess software engines, just his brain. Of course I always use engines to "clean up" errors and to double check the author. It mostly works and I've done it for years. In a few cases I didn't reorder the evaluations to a note from best to worst, or worst to best, whichever was required. One guy got all upset about this. I was amazed someone actually read the notes! Somehow, obviously in a "mistaken" stupor, I've allowed these people access to my life and I doubt they write to John Nunn (although I am sure I am also as wrong as can be about that).
I was able to get some unique photos which made my book rather original and now I can't remember how, but everything was on the up and up. The cover (pictured above) has been ripped off (I never cease to be amazed since I pay real money for design work and these clowns don't). The cover was nifty as well as the back cover showing that Nezh was in the assassin business. GM Lubosh Kavalek thought it was not correct to label Nezh as an assassin since, realistically, he didn't always win. These things are called METAPHORS for crying out loud.
Ask Mikhail Tal, who was beaten so many times by Nezh that Tal made him one of his seconds for training. Ask Spassky, and many others who went down the tubes. This guy was aggression personified and way ahead of his time in opening theory.
The book was a fun and cool project and I have been asked to bring it back, and, maybe that will happen. In the meantime I also offered a small floppy disk of a BOATLOAD of Nezh games (that's another thing, someone thought I was being disrespectful for abbreviating Nezhmetdinov to Nezh--clearly he didn't have to typeset, hyphenate, or proof the book--even the author started referring to him as Nezh in our communications; now everyone (almost) does). I can't find my original master disk and if I did it no doubt would be no good as floppies don't last that long. I am looking for someone who bought that disk from me and who, perhaps, loaded it on their computer for quicker access! I want to make a CD of Super Nezh games, replete with art etc. Whoever FIRST loans me a compressed file of Nezh's games which I produced (not something ripped off from ChessBase) will get a boxed CD case with wrapper of what they loaned me (and perhaps upgraded) absolutely FREE. You can send the .cbv file to my email address below.
I went through hundreds of Soviet chess magazines to make this compilation so there is no problem with royalties to Pyshkin's wife (if she is still surviving).
Hope to hear from someone who can do this now. I have one person who told me he has them but at the moment he is too lazy to send them to me. Maybe 3 months from now. I'm already bored.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
My friend Sam Naylor, from Carthage, IL is my first person from Illinois to sign up for Chess Clinic #6. I've known Sam for many, many years. Sam is retired from the State's legal profession. At one time he was a pretty strong player but now he spends his time playing chess, reading, and sending me funny wisecracks about his chess ability. Welcome aboard Sam. He came to last year's clinic too.
I've heard from several about getting prospects for the Clinic to register earlier, and the ideas seemed to oppose each other (life is never easy). So I am working on some other possibilities. Those who have already registered will benefit too as I've always believed in "dancing with the one who brung ya."
Lately I have come across some very specific and very interesting information about chess players, their personalities, and examples. I've even published an exercise in The Chess Reports where chess players can try to determine what TYPE of player they are... but what I am thinking goes beyond that. Some information from IM Hans Kmoch! And of course there is the SECRET about getting better faster than any other method I can think of PLUS a few subheads that will help too. Perhaps there is something to a limited edition print run being offered to those who register early... for FREE! But not delivered until the Chess Clinic itself. These are things which would intrigue me--would they intrigue anyone else?
Other suggestions welcomed.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I heard from Jessica today and she said she would add another 10 rooms for the Chess Clinic crowd (#6) at the Clarion Hotel. Thanks Jessica.
Time to put your "thinking hat" on. Naturally all those who have registered for the Clinic (not the rooms) are from out of town so far (Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Iowa and New Jersey.) The locals generally wait until the last minute. I am trying to figure out HOW I can get people to register early and the only thing I can think of is to RAISE the registration fee to $200 and thus offer bigger discounts for early registration.
I know of a group I belong to who have registrations between $2000 and $3000 each year for their three day event with 4-6 established and incredible speakers but who offer like $1000 discount if you register early. It must work (of course there are reminders) because they fill the hall of 800 registrants every year! (Invariably they end up turning people away.) I have yet to make it to one of these events due to lack of funds, but no one has ever told me they wouldn't come to my events because of the CO$T.
$50 isn't much of a discount to many people these days even for chess tournaments as the number of people who show up at chess tournaments at the last minute each year testify. $1000 is the new $15 savings (wow, what a steep increase!). The biggest expense for many is the cost of travel and lodging. It's ironic that rooms can cost $100 on up and you are asleep most of the time (haha). This event is $150 and there is about 9 hours of good stuff!
Last night I asked a friend if he was coming to the Clinic and he said "probably." I asked him if the registration fee was $50 would he sign up right now and he jumped and said "Yes." In other words, if I make the fee low enough, so that I lose money but that they get the bargain, I could probably get 100-200 people to show up. I'd also have to get a bigger room, more chess sets, help, and then all my costs skyrocket and the $50 fee is a mere joke on myself. I would have to sell a TON of chess merchandise (if those who come don't already own most of it) or have huge after sales (sales afterward drop actually).
So every time I do this I go through with this arithmetical and mental battle. In other words, make the fee low enough and people CAN make a decision. Make it high enough and they postpone (the fee this time represents a few hours of work for most people) it.
Here's another idea: premiums and why they don't usually work for me. If I offer, let's say, a copy of Rybka 4 for early registrants, say to the first 20, those who have already registered will end up getting most of them and the person at the other end will think, "There's no point in trying, they are probably all gone." So they won't come because they feel screwed for not getting something they haven't even put one cent down for. (Besides, the cost of Rybka wipes out any profit I would make.)
So here are some things I have thought about in the past:
a. An appearance by Kasparov or Anand. Registration would be $500, few would come.
b. $50 reg. fee. So many would come I would have to move the site and expenses increase.
c. Put the event in Chicago to get a bigger turn out. While this is most likely true, my expense of promoting, going to and staying in Chicago, would dwarf the amounts made. Besides there is NO proof this would work, just a surmise. And in Chicago you have the problem of getting the word out to the clubs, news organizations, and the "right" people (or else they won't do anything for you).
d. Get a talent who is worth seeing and hearing and fun to boot. I have done that, Andrew Martin--tried, true, and tested. Almost everyone knows who he is and few have seen him in person. His books and DVDs speak for themselves.
e. Gifts and coupons as well as PDFs to go only to those who register early. How early is early?
f. Have a tournament at faster time controls. This is being thought about for some future event, not a clinic--maybe an openings workshop. I know Clinic/Festival people who will not play in a tournament. My events are about learning and having a good time, not ego or disappointment. (An example: A friend of mine lost last week to a USCF rated Expert. He didn't play well. So this week he played another strong player and lost again. We looked at his game. He missed a killer and obvious move. In fact, he missed several strong moves because his mind was trapped into thinking a certain way. I detected a number of "weaknesses" in his "chessic attitude." Two of them I told him about previously and he has yet to correct them. That's the price one pays for "ego" or "the stubborness" of not thinking at the board. He had the advantage and somehow thought the game would play itself to a win. Purdy, and many others after him, have said it a 100 times: When you are winning, play good moves, not necessarily moves to win more material. Andrew Martin says it on all of his DVDs. FEAR is a major component of losing!)
I think what I will do is increase the cost of the Clinic to $200 with bigger reductions the sooner people register. Those who have already registered will be happy about that. It will slow down AT THE DOOR people who show up and throw everything into disarray!
In the meantime the only action I am taking is to see what YOU think and if you have any workable solutions. I look forward to hearing from you. Many people read this blog but only a few participate, so here's your chance as to how YOU might do it.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
CHESS CLINIC #6
Six have registered so far, the latest being Dr. Julian Wan, Bob Lynch, and Lazaro Munoz (who is from NYC so "distance" as a reason for not attending is out the window). Julian is from Ann Arbor, MI and Bob is a return visitor too and he is from New Jersey. We clearly welcome newcomer to the Clinic Laz Munoz.
CLARION HOTEL ROOMS
Six have also registered for the Clarion (where the event is [$74/nite!]). But the registrants for the hotel and the event aren't the same but they will converge as time goes on. I've asked Jessica at the Clarion for another 10 rooms. I have yet to hear back, hopefully tomorrow.
Remember a week ago I said I had "discovered" and "affirmed" a SECRET for better chess! I also said I wouldn't REVEAL it until the Chess Clinic, to the participants in a PDF style paper and presentation? Sorry, I have been asked to openly reveal it but I will not. If I did, what would be in it for me? Quid pro quo.
I will say that I have been practicing it on Thursday night with a friend and the results ARE very encouraging. I also have done a little extra research (so you won't have to) in between Thursdays. It's not real difficult and if you have a friend it's much better. If not, it still works... but if getting up to speed is what you hanker for, then a friend can help. I haven't even told the friend about the secret but he cooperates anyway. When revealed it will blow your mind, or at least 95% of those who participate. So come and join us and accelerate your growth even if you are over 60, like me, and especially people like me though as I wrote, it will work for anyone. If you are under 25 your progress will be amazing. Scary.
THE CHESS REPORTS
They go out in a few minutes and with it a FREE Bonus to SUbscribers for Semester 9.
The issue is 16 pages (to fulfill the 16-18 pages criterion), there are a few more games and another TIPs column but the Special feature is the inclusion, in a separate PDF (75 pages, letter-size), absolutely FREE to subscribers to The Chess Reports, of a true-blue opening repertoire. Strong players have played it with success and it is yours at no extra cost because Andrew and I really love our readers/subscribers. If you haven't subscribed yet just send $59.95 for 13 packed issues, AND the FREE PDF on this opening repertoire from Andrew Martin will be emailed to you. It's full of original and interesting games and you can print it out. For those who also would like to have it in a *.cbv compressed file, just ask me and I will send it to you--again FREE. If you put this into a book format it would easily be worth $20-25 these days and $35 on a CD!
Another Bonus to those who live in the USA, for your $59.95 I will also send you, again FREE, the book King's Gambit by Paul Hoffman (a $24.95 value) for any book or DVD order you place with it. If you don't have one of the G&L CHESS' catalogs, I can send you one. If you live outside the US you would need to add $10.00 for the shipping costs.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Ron Nurmi and Steve Lamansky have already registered for the Sixth Chess Clinic in Davenport, IA and they have also taken two rooms of the block of 10, leaving 5 left.
AND NY friend Laz Munoz has just registered for the Chess Clinic. Meet the guy who has written all those great and informative letters which have been published in The Chess Reports.
I wouldn't wait around. I once did that with my wife in Lake Geneva, WIS for GenCon and ended up sleeping in the car! Mosquitoes on the outside as big as B-52s. Not a fun experience. Yes, I have slept in Ys (terrible), and in Hospital lobbies. Don't emulate me in that regard. The hotels and motels need YOUR business...LOL.
New book by Vitiugov on The French has arrived (Chess Stars). It gets BETTER everyday doesn't it?
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Order got shorted. More will be here next week.
Also stocking Deep Rybka 4.
Deep Rybka 4 retails for $129.95 I've also seen it listed at $159.95!!)
My G&L CHESS price is $102.50. Good only through June 16th.
The Gold Card 2010 price is $97.50. Price good only through June 16th.
Add $3.00 for shipping in the USA for any and all Rybka 4 items.
Rybka 4 regular retails for $64.95. (I've seen faux retail prices at $75!!)
My G&L CHESS price is $54.95. Good only through June 16th.
My Gold Card 2010 price is $49.95. Good only through June 16th.
Rybka 4 Book. Openings stuff, new, latest stuff. Retails about $32.00. I've seen it at $40!
My G&L CHESS price and Gold Card price are the same: $24.95! Good through June 16th.
Requirements: Deep Rybka 4 OR Rybka 4 recommends: PC Intel Core 2 Quad, 2.4 Ghz, 3 Gb RAM. Windows Vista or Win 7 and a Direct X10 graphics card (or compatible) with at least 512 Mb RAM loaded onto that card. Windows Media Player 11. Activation of the program requires internet access and of course a DVD player.
If you have a "regular Vista" or XP (service pack 3) you can get by with a little less such as DirectX9 with 256 Mb RAM and Windows Media Player 9. To play, yous gots to pay.
And, Jim Perry from Texas has signed up for the Chess Clinic, #6, and also reserved his room.
I hope all of you are coming and you reserve a room quickly with the Clarion Hotel. That same weekend, a Tattoo convention will be there and those guys are MORE rabid about tattoos than people are about chess... so they will fill up. Do NOT poke around. Take a stand (but come)!
The phone number is 563-391-1230 -- tell them you are coming to the Chess Clinic. Have 7 rooms left in the "block." Don't know yet if we can get more.
Monday, June 7, 2010
This is the big news for today (one of several anyway).
The two DVDs (White Shockers) by IM Andrew Martin have been duped and printed and will be put into a 2-disc box tomorrow with wraparound jacket... and be available for shipping. Here are the details:
$49.95 Retail. DVDs dual layers should play on most modern computers, Mac and Windows (I've tried them out on G4 (running 10.4.11) and a G5 running OX 10.5.8 and Windows 7.
G&L CHESS price is: $44.95 + $4 for shipping.
GOLD CARD 2010 price is $39.95 + $4 for shipping.
If you buy both the Black Shockers and White Shockers together you will get about 9 hours of video (dual layer DVDs, 4 of them). Retail is $99.90. The G&L CHESS price is $89.90 but I will drop it to $84.95 for both + $5 for shipping IF you order by June 16th. AND, the Gold Card 2010 price for both would normally be $79.90 and I will sell them both for $74.99 + $5 for shipping if ordered by June 16th, 2010.
On the White Shockers you will see and hear (on #1): The Ruy Lopez Exchange, The Sicilian Closed Extended (wild), and Prie's 1. a3 in detail... played to win. On disc #2 you will get a way to deal with the Caro-Kann, a "new" move in the Scandianavian which will catch players off guard, the "Old Speckled Hen" which is a Santasiere idea originally but ramped up in modern GM chess by GM Mark Hebden (the name Old Speckled Hen comes from a brand of beer), and finally the Polar Bear Opening--with lots of details on how to play a Leningrad Dutch in reverse with an extra move!
This is "shocking" stuff and will make your opponents flounder unmercifully.
CHESS CLINIC 6 EXTRA NEWS
Second bit of news (besides the NEW iPhone 4--which looks remarkable):
Registered for Chess Clinic so far:
1. Ron Nurmi, IA
2. Steve Lamansky, IA (who changed his schedule around to be here)
and others coming I am told...
Hotel Registration (so far)
1. Greg Delaney
2. Johnny Owens (a newcomer from Kentucky)
Remember, you can call and register now and pay later: 563-391-1230 -- tell them you are coming to the Chess Clinic. $74 room rate per night. Most will take Fri and Sat. nights. Don't put this off!
Seth Godin published on his Blog today about his recent receipt of 1,000 applications for his free nano MBA program. You would have thought that would have gotten people activated right away. Wrong. Day 1 and Day 9 were second strongest. Day 10 (the last day) had most applicants coming in!! They had two weeks to respond. Then what happens? He wrote:
"I can guarantee I will hear from several (or dozens of) people with ornate, well-considered and thoughtful arguments as to why they missed the deadline. Never mind that they had two weeks... the last 15 minutes are all they are concerned with. If it's important enough to spend an hour complaining about, it's certainly important enough to spend four minutes to just do it in the first place."
I couldn't have written it better. As I've written before, "It's NOT about the cost."
I have at least ONE person who always registers at the Last Minute for everything. I said to him, "I know why you do this. You are afraid that in the interim something even better will come along and then you've already spent the money." He looked at me (I know this guy personally) like a deer caught in the headlights, and said, "You're right." It was pretty obvious to me--somehow he didn't think I would get on to him.
So I will make this guarantee right now. Register early (I do need to know HOW to set up the layout, they charge $300 for a room change! And, I need to know how much equipment I will need, and items to give away in a gift bag.). If something drastic comes up and you can't make it, and it is at least 10 days before the event, I will refund ALL of your money. That's pretty hard to beat. Time to "belly up" to the bar.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
I was going to publish it today but it seems like most people do not look at their email seriously on the weekend... so let's wait a couple days.
Something that is still serious but just a reminder is that I signed and faxed back the contract to the Clarion Hotel on Friday and I did get the message that the desk will now accept calls to register for $74 for the "Chess Clinic." Make sure you mention that so you don't pay any higher price even if you have AAA! Hotel phone: 563-391-1230
We are starting only with a block of 10 hotel rooms for Friday and Saturday and if they fill up I will ask for more (but there is no guarantee I will get them). I checked around and this is a very good deal. I think the only one which will beat it is Motel 6 and they are a mile away.
Yesterday I mentioned a valuable Secret and I better get working on that PDF. This ONE thing will do more to improve your play than any book or DVD (unfortunately). Done the right way you will actually begin to start "understanding" those books and DVDs (fortunately!). Then the Secret really kicks in.
I remember being in the magic business and a professional magician told me, "If you want to keep something a secret, publish it!' What he meant is that the pros (because they ARE pros) will pick it up, but the regular "magicians" won't. It seems it is that way in most things.
I hope you people have a great weekend... no more news today.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Find out what it is at the October 22-23 Chess Clinic.
Subject: What to do to REALLY get better? It works for 95% of us. Guaranteed. No joke and no funny business.
I "discovered" it yesterday while in a bookstore. It turns out I already knew it, but now I had scientific research to prove it. And, it's not that hard and it is fun.
But I can't reveal it here, I want you to hear my mini-lecture on the subject this fall at Chess Clinic 6. I will deliver a white paper on this. I know Andrew agrees with me on this because in one of the DVDs I am working on, he mentions it without realizing it!
I signed hotel contract papers today. Hopefully the Clarion will have the "Chess Clinic" stored in their reservation computers (I am getting questions!). Please don't dink around. I have 10 rooms set aside for Friday and Saturday night. There is another convention there at the Clarion that weekend and they will fill up as it is one of the bigger hotels in the Q-C area. If we need more rooms I need to know in advance. The rate of $74 is extremely reasonable these days. On the brochure I sent out I did list other place to stay.
I want you to come. I have already heard from one person who said the event looks interesting, but he can't make it, but maybe in the future (I am amazed at the # of people who already know what they will be doing in October when I don't know what I will be doing next week!). Apparently he didn't look at page one which said LAST ONE! I need a separate clinic for this type of person, a medical clinic.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Yesterday PDFs went out to a bunch of people announcing the details of Chess Clinic 6 by IM Andrew Martin and myself (Bob Long). Ron Nurmi signed up first and so became #1. Ron has attended most of the Clinics (hurrah) and always brings conviviality and fun to any of our functions. His spirit of enjoying chess is contagious. Even though his USCF rating is below 1500 (I think) he gets tremendous enjoyment from participation. Welcome Ron.
It takes all night but the "master" for White Shockers #1 is almost completed. It will be checked over to make sure it makes sense (I hope) and then copies will be made. Ditto for #2. It's not like copying ONE DVD in your computer, there is more to it than that--lots of encoding. Then printing and then shipping. It will be good when those phases are completed. I know some of you have waited a long time.
When Chessco had autoships for British Chess Magazine, Chess Informants, and New in Chess, business was pretty good for those several-times-a-year products (except BCM). Starting over means teaching new customers the advantages of getting certain publications as they come out. Hence, I have been preparing a several pages PDF on the HUGE advantages of getting "regular" with the English version of New in Chess, esp. issues 91-94. It's funny that when one goes into more than ordinary research on subjects such as this how much one learns for themselves. In a few days the PDF will be finished and FREE upon request. Myself, I prefer buying (no, I do not get review copies, unfortunately) the hardcover version, but a softcover edition is also at hand.
Boris Gelfand, a very strong GM and player who has won very many big events probably doesn't get the credit he is due, yet in a rare show of photography in an Olms' chess book, there is a picture of him and his friend Alexander Khalifman playing or studying chess together when they were much younger. They are almost unrecognizable, esp. Gelfand. Boris is known for two things in opening theory and practice and that is the Gruenfeld Exchange Variation and the Petroff Defense. I hope to have more on those and him in the future. I don't think I have any in stock at the moment, but if you are interested let me know and I will lay in a supply. Sometimes "gems" are found in dark corners, or maybe I should write, especially dark corners.
I hope others come forward soon to sign up for the Last Chess Clinic (#6). Last night Bob Rasmussen asked why it would be the last one and I spent quite a bit of time telling him why. I'm not sure I will be going through that again, just take my word for it, it will be the last chess clinic. So if you've been "meaning" to come for years, this is your final chance. Besides the usual frivolity and fun, Andrew will be concentrating on:
attacking the King
The night before, Friday, will be a question and answer session (2 hours). Questions must be submitted in advance to me (email address is below).
Prices have finally been established:
$125 if you own a Gold Card for 2010;
$139 if you register by October 16th;
There will be T-shirts sold at this final event.
Hope you come. There will be giveaways, gifts, and coupons.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Hello Daily Friends!
Showers are great places for me to think. Yesterday I came up with an idea for G&L CHESS, which I am sure some others may have already implemented to a small degree, but not this way.
As some of you have discovered, every month I put out a "Tip sheet" (I include it with your orders) on ways to improve your chess, or to get a book that will improve your chess, and so on. This month I am combining a Tip sheet of 4 books (with lots of tips in them). That TIP sheet is enclosed with each order I sent out to you. Hopefully this might generate a few extra sales.
But here is the important part, the books which have been hi-lited for that month are discounted even beyond the regular G&L CHESS prices and beyond the GOLD CARD prices, almost an extra 8 percent!
So while I won't be twisting anyone's arm or credit card, if you've been looking for some top-drawer improvement, you can save some more bucks also. On top of that, this month, if you live in the USA and get all four books, the shipping is FREE--proving I am nuts.
Before 1-2 out of a 100 become unhinged at how much money I am making (I see people online decrying the pricing of Apple's electronics, all the time, when somehow it has never occurred to them that Apple is not making them buy anything--except that it looks so good they can't resist). Same here, good deals but it's other people products so basically I am solving an inventory situation rather than making $$$ (unfortunately). What happened this time, as it occasionally does, is a supplier shipped me stuff I didn't ask for with my order. I don't know if they do this on purpose or not because I am sure they are aware of what a pain it is to return products for credit, adjust for shipping, etc. Or perhaps their employees are from another galaxy. It's annoying but I can't waste minutes over it. Doesn't improve my bottom line, just solves a problem... and you will benefit. No way to run a Navy but I hope it helps you.
As to the Chess Clinic (#6), I have heard back from the hotel and details appear to be finalized. A brochure will be sent out today. I hope you'll come, Andrew and I are counting on 50, and if we get that many he will work from a platform. As I mentioned earlier there will be another convention there at the Clarion that weekend. I have to get the contract signed and then you can call in and register. I wouldn't wait long as they tell me the other convention is taking the spaces (rooms). This may sound freaky to you but Davenport, IA has long been a convention center across the United States. At one time the big Bowling Congresses were here. Across the river in Rock Island they had National Baseball events for kids (Little League). It isn't easy to plan a weekend with these or weddings, etc. (Civil War re-enactments, Bix Beiderbecke, the huge Mississippi Valley Fair) I will however list other hotels and motels, some close by. In the meantime they will be giving us a block of 10 rooms (singles and doubles are the same price I believe).
I haven't finalized a price yet, but it will be somewhere around $150 (less if you register early or use your Gold Card). In Savannah, GA it was $195 and it was easily the best Clinic of them all. This one will be my last (some have groaned and sent in regrets, thank you) but I will be selling T-shirts for it. Probably something else will take its place, but I don't know what that is yet. I will be contacting USCF members in the surrounding area so expect this to be more than the usual event. Remember, this will be Friday evening and Saturday.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Came in this afternoon... will be shipped tomorrow along with other mail orders. This terrific book covers a lot of ground. It's a monster 614 pages, retails for $34.95, G&L CHESS: $29.75, Gold Card $26.25. Add $4 for shipping.
It includes: the King's Indian, Dutch Defense, Gruenfeld Defense, the Benoni, Benko Gambit, Budapest, the Modern Defense, 2... b6, b-pawn systems, English Defense, Black Knights Tango, Old Indian, Queen's Indian "Attempts," and Odd Ideas such as 1. d4 e5 and The Chigorin Defense.
The book is: Grandmaster Repertoire 1.d4 Volume Two by GM Boris Avrukh.
Also restocks are in of other Quality Chess products.
I am watching out for John Nunn's now book, Vol. 1, on Endings. You know some times it feels disheartening to get a book and discover your "moves" or ideas are marked is "wrongos" only to find out that perhaps you weren't nuts in the first place. One of the things about John Nunn is that he bends over backwards to give you Correct Information, especially on the endgame. So I suspect these two books as well as his recent one will become quite popular. If you remember some of the tug of wars in the recent Topalov-Anand match you will note how important the endgame is at the higher levels... I'm certain it is just as true at the lower levels... or should be.
More work is being done this evening on the White Shockers DVDs, hopefully it will be finished.
Chess Clinic #6 details have been pretty much finalized and the brochure should go out tomorrow. Just doing some last minute checking with the hotel and the various fees I will encounter.