Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Ed Reedy, who came to our Clinic last year is back again. The Illinoisans may have passed those from Iowa. I'd like to see that change! Ed, besides being a martial arts guy, works at Rock Island Arsenal and he said he had a great time last year and we were glad to have him at the dinner that evening.

He stopped by and saw all the activity here and said "he couldn't believe how much I get done." It's called "no life Ed." I hope that changes, this year!

There's a possibility #30 will sign up by the end of this week if someone else doesn't beat him to it. Several have already paid for the "Secrets" book in advance now so that means I HAVE to get it finished and I have been working on it. This little 100+ page project is almost 150! And it will get bigger. It will be the size dimensions of my other book, The Chess Assassin's Business Manual (7x10). The Secrets book already has a title change but I will tell you what it is later. It is the same book, same idea, but I want to broaden the title to increase sales for those who are interested in things besides chess, even though I use it as a metaphor in this book.

The Chess Clinic appears to be heating up. Get those Hotel Reservations in folks... nto joking about that.

Glad you're coming Ed. Have also been talking to someone, not connected with chess, to help me at the sales table this year. We'll see how her schedule stacks up.

We'll explain more in this weeks The Chess Reports. About 7 different and updated titles from Foxy Openings. Remember them?

The artwork for Lasker, Blackburne, and the new edition of My Search for Chess Perfection has been done. You guys are in for a real treat! Finishing up the books will keep me busy. I'll also have Andrew Tochers new book in a couple days: In Your Face Chess Novelties.


Monday, August 30, 2010


Over the weekend I heard from a customer who lives in New Zealand. He needed some questions answered about what kind of airport is here in the area where I live (MLI=Moline International) because he will be on a business trip to Orlando, FL just a few days before the Chess Clinic takes place. At one time he viewed this (before the business trip) as a 0% chance even though he wanted to meet Andrew Martin. Now he rates it as 5%. I mentioned a 95% chance as being really more fun. So we'll see.

I have a customer in Germany who also asked similar questions. Moline International handles quite a bit of aircraft every day. One of the popular airlines between Moline and Orlando, Florida is AirTrans as they have a hub here (I think American and United do also). The hotel, the Clarion, does have pickup and delivery service to the airport. It's about 10 miles from the Clarion.

A feather in our bonnet would be anyone who shows up from WAAAAY out of town!

Speaking of out of town, "Mia" is coming to the Last Chess Clinic. She's from Chicago, and I am guessing that her Dad (William Shehan) is bringing her! Good show Dad! She gets in at the Special Student rate ($99). If you have a similar situation, let me know. Thanks for coming Mia. When you folks get here, make Mia feel welcomed. She's doing more, through her Dad, than most people would. A few years ago James Hodina brought his son and that seemed to be a positive experience. Hope he comes again. Barbie Fortune is coming with her husband Jon also. This is the first time we have had females attend (wow, I've been all for that for years!). So I will have to rewrite future copy for any other events that are created to include the fairer sex.

Speaking of people making an effort, I am reminded of a funny story I just read the other day. It seems that a fellow came to one of Dan Kennedy's seminars on better marketing, how to put yourself in Scrooge McDuck's shoes, and so on. After the event was over (several days long) he was really, really pumped. Ramped up. He came up to Dan afterwards and said, "I am really jazzed about this. I think I can do it, I want to do it, I am ready to do it but I can't work on the business on Tuesday night." Dan probably knew he shouldn't ask "why?", but he did. The guy replied, "Tuesday is my bowling night!"

That may make you laugh but it does show the short-sightedness of many. If this guy had taken the tools to make his business grow, and generate lots of new income through a better marketing system, he could BUY a bowling alley. Bowl ANY time he wanted to! Bowl at 3 a.m. in the morning. I used to tell my friends in the scientific community to accomplish anything, you GOTTA WANNA. After that, you GOTTA DOA.


Sunday, August 29, 2010


If you like Larry Evans and former editor of Chess Life Larry Parr, you will get a lot out of an interview between those two and one that was also conducted on CNN with Larry, Don Schultz, and Paula Zahn. I picked up a couple tidbits from Larry that I hadn't known. It's at the Chessville website. Go to:


An interesting read.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Two things I've noticed, one of them not so obvious.

First, what is with that ad for DVDs plastered right in the middle of the screen? I understand commerce, and I know there is an X box in the upper right hand corner to "close" this ad out, but its blatancy is like getting an email from someone written in all CAPS.

Secondly, I can't seem to "easily" find (if it is at all possible) older NEWS articles unless you pick a specific subject in the "search" box. Sometimes I would want to scroll back (using the lower right hand portion of the screen) for a couple weeks to see something I have missed. If it's still around, I don't know where it is.

I emailed out my first Newsletter for "Chess Company" and it is a little news (for now) but contains a big DVD pricelist with a new pricing structure. Also, on the back page is a list of past ChessBase magazines and other products I am selling in LOTS.

I hope in the end this pricing system will be more popular. It's a well known piece of advice to try to make thinks more understandable and simpler these days, but sometimes we (the industry) tries more complicated things to see if it can strike a better chord. The deal for today is that if you order by Midnight tonight you will get FREE shipping anywhere in the USA.

I hope everyone out there who reads this today has a great weekend.


Thursday, August 26, 2010


My long time friend Andy Ansel is coming to the Last Chess Clinic Oct. 22-23. I also think he could use the vacation! (Me too!) Andy's into everything chess whether teaching, playing, and definitely, collecting. He will talk about David DeLucia's book (Retail $300!), the photographs, the contents, Morphy, Fischer, Capablanca, etc. on FRIDAY night (Oct 22). Another reason to come, plus, if you order AFTER the Chess Clinic is over, you can save BIG bucks on this book--a collector's treasure trove (yes, I have one, and I don't collect anymore!) It's a beaut.

Welcome Andy and thanks to another New Yorker.

Someone (not a chessplayer per se) told me the reason I have so many out of staters is that no one locally has any money! That's a pure crock. When the economy was humming along just fine, they still didn't come to my events SO.... I am going to contact people who MIGHT be interested in chess (people talk about it a lot), learning more, having fun. Those who just play in club night events, well... I can't do anything about them... maybe they're afraid of you! Thanks to the rest of you however!

There are thousands of people at the John Deere Classic golf tournament, there are thousands of people playing slots and black jack at the 3 casinos here. 40% of Davenport's work force lives across the river in Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline. Those who talk like this do not market, do not look, they just HOPE things will return to the way they were once upon a time. We are entering a NEW economy, the old one is history. History.


I have the proof in front of me, Andrew Tocher's new book: In Your Face Chess Novelties. It looks great, I will be ordering my copies tonight. The retail is $15.95 and it runs 115 pages. Send that amount plus $2.50 for shipping and I will send out your copy as soon as I get them!

Also, there will be a one day sale tomorrow, from Friday to Saturday. Can't tell you yet what it is, because I don't have the details worked out except in my head. But, it WILL be worth your while... guaranteed!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Every now and then it is time to stir up the hornet's nest. It always makes 1-2 people feel squeamish or uncomfortable and that is the point.

When I was in H.S. my senior year we had this nun at Cardinal Stritch who was big on tests, tests of all kinds, day in and out. I don't know if she got to see the results and find out whether we knew anything or not but besides the SATs, PSATs, ACTs, and whatever else was out there we also had the Air Force Entrance Exam!

What I discovered is that I had a flair for "pattern recognition." Guess what else that is good for? Okay, no bonus points for getting that one.

But I was thinking recently about when I make a bulk e-mailing about the Chess Clinic or a catalog invariably I get one or two "please unsubscribe mes." They are usually polite and short. I have notes besides the email addresses of many I email to in case they ask me where I got their email address, etc.

Guess who is the biggest group of "please unsubscribe mes?" It is our chess politicians! You know, those people who "organize" events, or direct tournaments, or just love being in the limelight.

I know one guy who moved from one state to another and when I was at a banquet in honor of Anatoly Karpov I heard someone say, "That loser (the announcer of Karpov, in a long drawn out speech) moved from one state they wanted him to leave to this one!" Yes, the voters are watching you! This is not uncommon.

In 1975 I was at the US Open in Lincoln and walked into a journalists meeting after most of the people there had received some several sheets of announcements. But some were asked to share because there weren't enough. At that time I was reporting on a variety of stuff and this guy lunged a copy of HIS announcements to me lest I "vote against him for USCF president." I overheard other scuttlebutt years later about another person running for that office (and I think, got it) who felt they had put in THEIR time as a state organizer, etc. and NOW they wanted to be president of the USCF. Over the years we have had some pretty strange officials in that office. I never wanted to run for anything in that capacity lest I be treated as a "guilt by association" type of individual.

I remember being at another US Open where the late Jerry Hanken was holding forth about this and that (he was a delegate from CA) and people wanted to lynch him for not saying his piece and sitting down. I was told he always did this. I remember sitting in one "back room meeting" many years ago where money deals were trying to be worked out. Finally, a solution came about (??) and it would be implemented at next year's event! It never happened, the guy with the $$$ changed his mind. If there was a bidding process for some venue I found out that it leaked like a sieve, with insiders telling outsiders what the current bids were. The reason for that is that someone had a reason for wanting their man in place, so other bidders ALWAYS lost unless there was ONLY one bidder.

What is amazing is that of all these people I knew, in some capacity, none ever bought a book, a set, a dvd, or anything from me. Some of them even expected things to be given to them! You might've guessed how far that got. But except for a small percentage, maybe 20%, most of these people did not play chess, nor talk about chess. I've even been told this was common practice in USCF Policy Board meetings!

I will give these people credit for one thing (sort of), for some reason, known only to God, they "love" something about chess enough to continue having tournaments, scholastic events, and so forth. Maybe they like seeing their name in the State Newsletter, I don't know, but the average chess player, in many instances, wants to play chess and not run chess or organize chess. Practically speaking, they are both selfish.

Well citizens, any thoughts? (In the interests of boring disclosure, I have run 30-40 events in the last century but never held a state or national office, nor did I seek one.) No I am doing Festivals and Clinics and those don't seem to be political at all.



Last night I sent out a pricelist on Four lots of ChessBase materials to a few customers. I have been holding on to these for years. Some materials I sold several months ago, this is another selection of magazines, the EXTRA issues (discs), and the like. If you would like a copy just send me your email address and I will fire one off to you right away.

In the meantime, am swamped with projects, so will see you here tomorrow.


Monday, August 23, 2010


In my chess works there is always something going on behind the scenes. You know I can't report it until it is a "fait accompli" (done deal). Sometimes things go sour before they get better, let me illustrate:

I got the proof off to my printer for In Your Face Chess Opening Novelties, today. I tried to do that several weeks ago, but 1) the author changed some material, and 2) the print house asked me to check with my "credit representative." #1 was done in 15 minutes. With respect to #2 I contacted my rep., left a phone number and email address. Never heard back even (I contacted her twice, voice mail is the refuge of cowards) though I took my phone with me while out of town a couple days last week. Apparently everything is OK because I was able to submit for a Proof this morning. People like she are irresponsible. I have an author waiting on pins and needles to see how everything is going and it is awkward to explain that the money he is spending is "nothing" to these twenty something kids who only worry about their own paycheck (and they should!). When Andrew Tocher calls this Monday morning, as he usually does, he will get good news.

Another topic, the inestimable Chess Clinic:
Several have reported to me the possibility of getting others (new candidates) to come. I think this is great! I hope it happens. In a sidebar I have discovered, long ago, that people LIKE to be asked to do something with a friend. The reason is, I think, is that it confirms there is some special status between the two. Usually the "problem" (if any) is the asker (!!) They are afraid of being rejected by their acquaintance. Now hold on for a second. Yep, rejection by someone they thought was a friend. They aren't always rejecting your request, their answer may be 100% legitimate. On the other hand, there are "fair weather friends" aren't there? I personally know several. I have the advantage. I "know" they are opportunistic in advance and so there is no way I am disappointed by their "failure" to step up to the plate. I pretty much expect it. But ONCE in a while they fool you. What can be sad is when they say "yes" but you want them to get their own room (they snore, for example, like a wild boar).

So, in this instance I can't report on who else might be coming until I get $$$ confirmation. Years ago, at one of the Chess Festivals I was running, one of the club's stronger players was in my shop and said: "Put me down for coming." I told him I would when I saw his money. He never came. Later he was seen at a casino throwing money away. After that he joined the Army. Disappeared.

I have related that Andrew Martin and I were dropped as the editor and design dudes for The Right Move, an English Chess Federation emailed newsletter which went to 5,000. It was an important source of income for both of us. I can report today there are discussions with others to continue bringing the magazine to the youth across the pond (as we both say) and setting up a different arrangement with others who are more business-minded. I can't say more, but we are hopeful. Hopeful because Andrew is well known and well liked almost everywhere. This is another reason for coming to the Chess Clinic.

At the moment I am preparing a special brochure to go out to locals who have not signed up. They are always the hardest to capture. If I was living in Chicago and tried this same idea, it would be a struggle there. Too often there is no respect for the local "medicine man" (at least that's how some portray us). I remember some years ago bringing Andrew by the chess club and introducing him and what I was there for. They barely could look up and nod, their pregame activities were just too engrossing. Many of them are still playing the same way they did years ago. Somehow the dots just never get connected.

When I was younger I read about magicians and their exploits such as John Scarne, Dai Vernon, Slydini, Ed Marlo and others. Scarne was dead too soon. Vernon I plaed chess with in Wichita, KS! Slydini was the premier performer, all the way from Argentina and NY, at one of my magic soirees. We had a huge turn out. Marlo became a personal friend (What is personal? I got invited to his house and met his wife. That seldom happened with Ed.) It's nice to have some heroes even if they have flaws as we all do.

Hope you come, we'd love to have you.


P.S.: I have a web site name picked out and a most likely provider (ISP). Everything looks excellent so far. But once I "attack" the problem, it will be balls to the walls as there is a tremendous amount of data to be added and things to consider. So I haven't been sleeping, it just is a huge undertaking.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Mark has registered for the Last Chess Clinic, making him #26 according to his post to me yesterday. Mark is from Davenport, Iowa and he has been to almost all the Chess Clinics. Mark is a firm believer in the value of chess books (and sci-fi and other books) as opposed to video and he has the scalps of chess players to prove it.

Am working on a new Chess Clinic promotion. Yes folks, this is work. If I paid myself for doing these promotions, it would be better financially than actually doing the Chess Clinic itself! However, I am building a foundation for the future where the announcement of an event will result in 60% of next year's attendees is automatic! (This is not as crazy as you might think.)
Thinking of putting out your own chess magazine? Consider subscribing to The Chess Reports, semester 9, where I will give you some tips. For an upcoming (next?) issue... yep, next issue. $59.95 for 13 issues. The article (#1) is already written.

Am getting in touch with a celebrity spokesman for the new chess business I am putting together. No announcements until it is a done deal.


Friday, August 20, 2010


Am looking for someone who has a familiarity with doing a little video on Friday night at the Last Chess Clinic. I will be doing a small presentation on "Chess Secrets" that evening and later I want to burn it to a CD or DVD. I will have the camera, stand (tripod), etc. and I need someone to "aim" the camera to get some video. If you have any experience in this, let me know. I'll give you a FREE t-shirt if you can help out. I contacted an old friend and discovered he died a month ago. A shame, great guy, extremely talented, hence the call for help. I contacted another person I knew and got NO response. This is why so many business are run so piss-poorly.

Today there is a lot going on! So I better get at it.

I do believe I have a chess website name, which has been the major thing holding me up. I've already checked and I don't see that anyone has already used it. But it did give me a chance to look to see what others have done (Truly, I'm amazed how many bad names there are out there. Names which offer NO proof for the put-forward assertions.)

The book Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter will probably have a price adjustment and the darn thing hasn't even been released! I looked at it briefly and it is so good (you'll see), and I did put some extras in it. But there still is a way of getting it free... details coming.

Anyway, later...


Thursday, August 19, 2010


Back again but with some new ideas. Rest and some research can do that. You'll see or hear about them soon.

Getting ready for the Big Rush of sign ups for the clinic. It may happen. Instead of one FREE subscription to The Chess Reports I will be offering two and a FREE subscription to Chess EXTRAS (issue #4 was just released). These are $59.95 and $65 values respectively. This is for those who register between now and September 16th. You will be eligible to have your name drawn. For this past deadline I only had 5 people to consider for one prize. This weekend I will have someone draw a name and then I will notify them they have won a set of DVDs worth $100.

A NEWSLETTER from TPi will be coming and it will be FREE to everyone but if I don't hear from you your email address will be dropped like the proverbial lead balloon, I mean for Pete's sake it's FREE! If you write a letter or make a comment I will keep you on, but if I get those autoresponders about you being on your third vacation this year, you are toast. Go play golf and see if I care! The newsletter will be nice and have some info, but it won't be anything like The Chess Reports, or at least, very little.

Stay alert and keep those cards and letters coming in folks!


Monday, August 16, 2010


Be back Thursday night.
In the meantime, send me emails, orders, and feedback.

One day of R&R, 2 days on the road.

Thanks to Russ Miller for telling his friends about the Chess Clinic. This is the FASTEST way to find out HOW MUCH clout you have with your friends. I have 25 people coming so far, hence, a little bit of clout. If you can get ONE other person to come, I think you have GREAT clout!!

Or you could contact some friends and get permission from them for me to email something to them. If they come you not only earn brownie points with me, but I will have something worth at least $25 for YOU!

I am not wifi-ing while on the road, no laptop, no desktop, none of that stuff. Gonna let my brain veg for 24 hours.

See ya soon... write.



August 16th is the deadline for registrations to the Chess Clinic to make YOU eligible for winning a set of DVDs from Andrew Martin worth almost $100. The DVDs are the series White Shockers and Black Shockers and comprise 10 hours worth of annotated video. So far I think only 5 people registered in this shortened time frame of about 3 weeks, so unless we get some more today, you who did register during that time have a 20% chance of winning!

Chess EXTRAS #4 was shipped out via email after midnight last night. 40 pages packed with lots of visuals, stories, and articles all about the more unusual angles of chess, the part that got many of us more than a little interested in chess AFTER we learned how to play (and in a few cases, before we learned how to play). A nice rundown of world champions and how often they played in world class events. You might be interested in knowing that Karpov had the most, 10 times, but who was second most in a much shorter time frame (it wasn't Kasparov)? Subscription rates: $65 for six issues. $50 if you hold a Gold Card. First 4 are available. Also reviews of two new DVDs: Smith Morra by Lawrence Trent and 1.d4 White Opening Repertoire by Lubomir Ftacnik. Both retail for $36 but my price is less if you are interested.

Also there is a nice article of Gulko being interviewed in the latest issue of Chess Life.

More news either later tonight or later in the week. I am taking a couple days off and will not be using the internet. I will respond to you when I get back.


Saturday, August 14, 2010


The latest issue, another 40 pages (my attempt, as always, to assuage those who are patient with me even when I only promised 36 pages in the first place).

I think it is the BEST of the 4 issues. There is some great Harry Pillsbury vs Lasker stuff with comments by James Mason and the revelation of his REAL NAME. There is more on chess font design. In fact there is quite a bit about design in this issue from chess sets, to dealing with players who are boring to look at and boring to be involved with (a grandmaster no less!).

There is the usual "chess in the news" and an article on Ken Prestley who has done a number of covers for me and who now hails from Austin, TX, one of the art centers in the USA.

Two new DVDs are being reviewed, the Smith-Morra Gambit by that whacky but lovable guy Lawrence Trent, and the broad repertoire of dealing with 1.d4 by GM Lubomir Ftacnik.

All this and more. $65 for all four issues. If you have a GOLD CARD for 2010, you can get them (including back issues) for $50.00.

I loved working on this one. Once I got going, I couldn't stop until it was done. Will be finishing up the proofing today and have it ready to go on Monday.



Friday, August 13, 2010


John hails from Omaha, NE and was referred to by another attendee, Bob Woodworth (also of Omaha) who will get his choice of prizes at the upcoming Chess Clinic on Oct. 22. Welcome aboard John!

True. And it will go out to our Gold Card 2010 customers this afternoon. In a few days it will go out to our regular customers. The Gold Card holders get first pick and their chances of them getting everything they order from this listing is very high. You can still become a Gold Card holder if you ask me how. (email address is below).

The hardest part of creating such a list, in this case, 4 pages, is all the dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s. I spend as much time writing, "only in the USA," or deadline is such and such, because if I don't people show up like ragweed pollen looking for eyes or a nose to land! Fortunately, my clients have for the most part, become astute.

When I look at a site like Amazon, I say to myself, "What a mess! How much does all that gobbledygook actually upsell versus how much time ($$$) it took to create those little pieces of information references?" I am sure Amazon knows, but for me, it's not a good return on investment (ROI). And Amazon has NO stories because everything is DB (database) driven.

As with all sales, there's something in it for you, and something in it for me. We'll straighten it out in a little bit.



Thursday, August 12, 2010


Yes, if you are an attendee at the upcoming Chess Clinic (Oct. 22-23). You can send me $39.95 and I will bring a shrink-wrapped copy with your name on it and you can pick it up there Friday Night. Greg Delaney was the first to ask this.

In fact, I published a one page listing of things I know for SURE will be brought to the Chess Clinic in Davenport, IA. It was in that 10-page brochure I sent out yesterday. I will, of course, have other things but those are done deals.

In fact, Lazaro Munoz, who is coming from New York City, will be there and he wrote me a nice missive today on great chess books and their similarities. The unusual thing is many of these items were on MY list of MUST have books I'm bringing! So it comes from him folks, not me, and with his permission, I will be circulating that letter soon. He wants to MAKE sure he is ready for Andrew's interactive lectures. What an idea! Laz is not passive by any means.

In the meantime, I am putting out a NEW TITLES and SALVAGE SALE list, probably tomorrow, the one I hoped to get out last Friday. The delay was caused by adding two more pages. Hopefully the Headline will be an eye-catcher.

Sign up for the Clinic, soon as I get 50, I will quit bothering you!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


My biggest push, for the LAST CHESS CLINIC (#6), goes out tonight. I have a lot of material about a lot of projects I am working on and some of them will be FREE to those who sign up by September 16th.

I also have some "continuity projects" which will be explained to Chess Clinic attendees. At this moment the brochure includes a one pager Lasker The Ultimate Streetfighter. For those who buy stuff from me, this brochure is automatically included. Then I ask you to complete FIVE simple steps, which only costs you an envelope, one first class stamp, and 30 seconds of your time. Mail this sheet back to me and in turn I will mail an interesting report on HOW you can get FREE Thinkers' Press, inc. books from me! Yes, I have lost my mind, but it's mine to lose.

So hang loose. Get your reading glasses out of you need them. After you have read the brochure, some of you MIGHT want to register. If not, you are probably dead (and I would have to remove your name from this email list), in prison, on the lam, or you really aren't all that interested in chess and my email was a delusion on my part.

In the meantime, it'll give you something to do besides watching the News (aaargh!)


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


1. Am shipping large boxes of good stuff to Europe tomorrow.

2. Lasker The Ultimate Streetfighter marketing is underway. The manuscript is finished, next step, to the printer. Marketing sheets will go in with all orders from August 10th onward.

3. Soltis' backordered book arrived today (Studying Chess Made Easy). Now I can fill back orders tonight.

4, Another brochure is nearly completely for Chess Clinic #6 signup.

5. Got specs today for the black Last Chess Clinic #6 t-shirts. Hope you get your orders in to me soon, that way it'll make sure you get one. And you have to go to the clinic to pick it up there. That way, eh, no shipping costs. I've used this company before and they use HIGH quality materials. No crap thin cloth. Expanded sizes: L, XL, XXL, XXXL

6. Sales Brochure showing the Ultimate Clueless Guy is underway, about half done.

7. Have about (5) promises to come to the Chess Clinic. Why do I have anxiety about this? Is it because these promises were made some time ago? Don't forget, the August 16th deadline to be eligible for a set of White and Black Shocker DVDs isn't far away.

8. Big Question for 2011. I've been getting some good vibes on this one but want to ask opinions of THOSE with kids who might be interested: Who might be interested in having a "Kid's Chess Clinic" in a Big City such as Chicago next year? We're looking at trophies (only for great results, this junk of giving EVERY kid a trophy for any old damn thing is a hoax. There is hardly even ONE kid who knows whether or not he/she deserves (!) one. I call THIS the "dumbing of American kids" who expect to be patted on the back for showing up! Kids first job??? Have a good time at a Kid's Event. Second job. Play chess. Damn, get priorities straight! They do stuff like this in England, Andrew Martin just finished one. The site was paid for. Over 70 kids. My price would probably be $75 per child. Let me know if you are interested in spreading the news on something like this.

Over the years I have been involved in children and high schooler events, usually one day! One Longgggg Daaaay. But I have done two day events too. A portion of the entry fee goes to trainers and the organizer after the event so they can get PTSD help (this is a joke).

More stuff in the wind but the biggie is to get you to come to the clinic. This is for the fellow who Laz Munoz tapped on the shoulder in NYC...okay? Coming? Great! I want to announce your name.


Monday, August 9, 2010


Yesterday: I don't have the Sales Brochure finished yet that I promised on last Friday. This may surprise some but these things take 4-6 hours to create and I ran out of time. So, this week... I hope to have the rest finished as I got a big box of books the other day and should have more today, and maybe some DVDs.

Today: Am working on Brochure #6 for The Chess Clinic after making a visit out to the Clarion a few minutes ago. John has provided me some great photos, and Jessica is most likely going to get me a platform for FREE. She told me we already have 15 registered to stay overnight... which made her day! She said if this keeps on we will get a price reduction on the room space! (Good news for me as these things, all expenses, often run into the thousands (and you thought I was keeping it all!?))

This new brochure will have some additional enticements and an updated benefits list. Some people are "vacationing" closer to home this year and that's why I have mailed and emailed brochures to the states which surround Iowa... so that drivers can be here within the day! Gas is affordable and if you are attending the events at the workshops and funshops you won't be gambling (Davenport, IA was the first city in the US to have gambling riverboats). Food prices and hotel prices are really reasonable. Everyone is bending over to get tourists and customers. Most businesses won't see you again, but I hope to. I have an excellent relationship with many of those who are coming and want to develop new ones. To my knowledge, no other chess business in the US conducts events like this and I won't bore you with the reasons why--some I am sure you can deduce yourself. (Example: I ordered a demo board, a specific kind, this morning. By UPS it will get here next Monday or later. It blows my mind how slow some of these outfits are. Many of them know next to nothing about chess also)

If you send a check it's better if you make it out to Thinkers' Press, inc. as that is the corporation name who is running this event. I am just the president/slave guy.

Tomorrow: Have you thought about writing any kind of book, not necessarily chess? I have almost 20 people on a list who have told me so. Soon a newsletter will go out to them asking them, "How's it going?" Let me give you a little help on writing. My soon to be published book Chess Secrets is done except for one chapter. I need it by October to hand out to the clientele who come to this event and who will get the LOWEST possible price ($39.95). I will be giving a presentation on it. This is basically the first time I have personally done something like this for one of my events. Hopefully, I will get you ramped up. I have worked with many printers over the years and in general what they do best is "disappoint" customers. At their end they blame the customer for everything that delays the project. Except I have done over 140 of these and I learned how to do it right a long, long time ago. But they have equipment breakdowns, people who don't show up for work (imagine that), vacations and screwups (this is one of the biggest ones). So I really need the book say in late September. I have almost all the MS Word files created and I need to lay it out. What layout do I want to choose? Hmmm. I think I know but there might be a little time spent on making sure I've got the one I want. Then add photos, and captions and sidebars to it. Clean it up. So I need to have that done around the first week in September. I have the rest of August to work on that one chapter and a quick look over. The last chapter is "serious meat" and so I want to g et it right. It will probably be done by next week as I have many other things to do. That's the way it is done. Set deadlines and stick to them.

In Your Face Chess Novelties goes to the printer today for a proof copy. Maybe I will have it by the end of the week. This morning, at the last minute the author called with several changes he wanted made! They've been made. I CAN work with you potential authors. If you want your book done "right" listen to me. If you want it done your way, you will be like the person who later regrets getting a tattoo. Your friends (?) may tell you they like your tattoo but take my word for it, everyone else is just acting nice toward you! As you age, they really start looking bad.

A check is being dropped in the mail today for a Clinic registration. I should have it tomorrow or next day. Who wants to be the 26th? The one who puts us over the 50% mark? I hope it's you.

Watch for the Clinic brochure today, it probably won't be finished until near midnight as it takes a couple hours per page.

By the way, did you look inside the back cover of the latest issue of Chess Life?


Saturday, August 7, 2010


or for that matter, anyone.

I know of at least one person who is waiting for August 17th to register for the Chess Clinic, to go after the FREE subscription to The Chess Reports in a drawing. So I know we will at least make it to the 50% mark!

That's cagey but perhaps not too enterprising at the same time. If signups drop dead after August 16th, then he has a 100% chance of winning. If, say 5 signup, then his chances are 20% of winning. Then there is the "last minute rush" bunch who are worried something "better" may come along, also at the last minute. This is nothing more than indecision and probably also plays a part in not reaching your full potential. Same for the, "Well, I don't know, but..." gang. Never quite sure of anything. I am sure of ONE thing, more people from out of town are coming than are coming locally! I still say that comes from the inane, "Well he's one of us, we know him, maybe even played him before, what's the big deal?" Well, basically I am not one of them and never have been because most of them never shop at my place nor ask questions about it even if I bring it up. Secondly, the STAR of the event is Andrew Martin, not me. Thirdly, don't learn anything new, it might take your game in a different direction than it has been going for the past 20 years! How's that working for you?

The last 25 won't be easy because you have to come up with reasons to come that I haven't thought of yet. And if I have, there's been no budge. What I always do is work well with those who show. They are worth it. I am still hoping and counting on 50, that's the only way to play--go for it!

Maybe you will too!

Clarion Hotel, Oct. 22-23, 5202 N. Brady St. Call 563-391-1230 about reserving rooms.
$125 for Gold Card carriers (2010 only) or $139 for the rest of you. Scholastics get in for $99 or $89 each if two or more come.


Friday, August 6, 2010


I have three folks who tell me they are planning to come and may see me today, or maybe tomorrow, or, possibly send a check in the next few days. Ah, the lonely life of an entrepreneur.

So I stalled today hoping for Success, but it will most likely come later this afternoon in the mail, or at the door, AFTER I am finished here today.

The Last Chess Clinic T-shirts will probably be $22 according to current calculations and who will do them for me. But this way I can get exactly what I need, and no more. Which is unfortunate for "t-shirt collectors." But, my loyalty has to be with those who sign up. As someone once said, I never kid about making money.

Remember the old Farside cartoon with the professor at the chalkboard and equations all over the place. The professor, of course, looked like Albert Einstein. At the end he had the equation, "T = $" or time equals money. And wasted time means lost opportunities. So if you want to come to the clinic and have MORE than just a good time (although we all can certainly use that!), it will be there, in spades, or perhaps pawns.

I have a new promo piece coming out today--maybe this evening. So watch for it. I'll be back tomorrow but in the meantime, enjoy the heat.


Thursday, August 5, 2010


You know I must've been busy yesterday as I forgot to do this blog. Income is first. Last Monday Andrew Martin and I lost our jobs in the production of The Right Move for the ECF (English Chess Federation). Making a "living" from chess isn't tough enough, but when you lose a monthly income it makes me work harder rather than looking for the food stamp lines. So if you or anyone you know are looking for a designer and a chess stalwart, let me know. We come reasonable for your newsletters as did it for 3.5 years!

Lasker knew what living from hand to mouth was like, more so than a couple of let go chess guys. When he was a teenager, he and his brother Berthold switched pants and would play customers downstars in the cafes and bars for money. I don't know how they handled going to school but this is the way they made it--in the street. Berthold was the older brother and Lasker gave him pre-eminence as being a better chess player than he, the future world champion!

Lasker was a scrapper, a tough fighter, and some of his methods for winning, legally, take brass balls, such as running into the open with his King (Steinitz didn't own the patent), allowing himself to be discover-checked, and so on.

I have almost finished a a small booklet of less than 50 games titled Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter. It is mostly little known games from the 1890s. It will be given away FREE with orders of $40 or more (postage on such orders is extra). Contact: G&L CHESS, 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803 USA... same email as below. It will be for sale eventually on sites such as Amazon.com for $9.95 and from the publisher (that would be me).

This will be first in a series of a whole gangland "tribe" such as Botvinnik "the Boss," Alekhine the "Enforcer" and so forth. The first in the series was prepared several weeks ago and is now being proofed. Excellent caricatures by Rob Long will be a part of the book. When life hands you lemonade, kick its ass I say.

Oh yes, for people who like such things, the book is lightly annotated and has diagrams and not like those cheap pieces of paper that used to come from South America.

Should be ready soon! Copies WILL be given away FREE (you guessed it), to those who sign up for the Last Chess Clinic! Can you tell, I want you there? Clarion Hotel, Oct. 22-23, 2010. Call 563-391-1230 and reserve your room and, send me a check for $125 if you are a Gold Card holder or $139 if you are not.

Thanks, we now return you to our regular programming.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Hailing from Chicago, Bill Shehan is the latest to sign up! He belongs to the Midway Chess Club (can we get more from there Bill?). I have used Midway to go to Las Vegas (to play chess and meet with an author). He told me he is bringing his family. Great! Bill's been working on a chess book of problems from the Old Indian Days!

Next is my dear friend from Dubuque, IA, Earl Zismer. Earl has been to quite a few of events in the past, always offering sound advice and a willingness to participate in our Jungle Fever. Thanks for the sign up Earl... look forward to having you. The beat goes on! I'll be passing out more worthwhile information over the next couple weeks.

This is the most, and hardest, promoting for an event I have ever done! It's paying off. When I ran the Chess Festivals I sent out a lot of Direct Mail and I got good people. Direct Mail reduced the cost effectiveness of getting people here because I would spend about $7-800. I love direct mail though because often you get the quality consumer. Now I target THOSE people also with email and it works MAINLY because they already know me from Direct Mailings.

Bob Rasmussen and Gary Barker are making some great donations to GIVE AWAY at the event, and I will report more on that soon. Since I pay zero attention to eBay (don't have the time, I must cut some things off) I don't know what they are worth, but having them is very worth while. I pay little attention to Amazon too for a lot of other reasons that others CLAIM they do not have nor have ever had--which, I must admit, boggles my mind but I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

In the meantime, you will be seeing some other changes here within the next 3 months. Most everything good comes down to time. Most everything bad comes down to a waste of time. But, speaking of TIME, you will have a great one BY coming to the Chess Clinic, my last one.

I've seen other "acts" claim to be their last tour, last act, etc. (and then they do it again) but I am moving on. Yes, the results have been good this time, if my "heart" holds out. Others have suggested a reprieve. What I will do is show you something new and even MORE fascinating for 2011. I've broached the idea to a few people AND they love it! Of course it is based on experience at doing this, the ups and the downs, but believe it or not, I do listen to suggestions. I got a good one from Dr. Julian Wan and his is the basis for new attempts. I will try to lock in the date a year in advance and tell you what it is at this Last Chess Clinic. So be there, be hip, and come!

October 22-23, 2010, Clarion Hotel. 5202 N. Brady. $74 per night. Get a room now: call 563-391-1230.


P.S.: Working on an outstanding savings deal unrelated to the Clinic. Hope to be able to email it out in a few days. If you want to be on my email list for BUYING stuff, rather than reading over your breakfast coffee, drop me a line. A lot more people read this blog than you might think, but they "don't sign in." I only read blogs by accident off of Google News, but I do recommend Mike Goeller.

Monday, August 2, 2010


(Pictured is Issue #1, Vol. 1, of Purdy's The Australasian Chess Review, 4 years before the US' Chess review.)

I have had a part-time job with the ECF, English Chess Federation, for 42 issues, or 3.5 years. The plug has been pulled. It was more like a small stipend really, but it came in handy because it came every month and allowed me to take no salary from G&L Chess while rebuilding my business. If I thought I was working hard in the past, I will be "working harder" in the future to make up for the loss (I need a day to recover from the "pit" I feel I am in).

1) I just opened two heavy packages last night from Australia which contain copies, bound and unbound, of CJS Purdy's Australasian Chess Review, Check, and Chess World. Before I sell them, I am going to glean unpublished material from them and publish it (for a fee naturally). Many are in like new condition, especially some of the bound volumes. It is MY JOB to safeguard the contents as a sort of caretaker for the Purdy Estate. So you will see some of that, including Purdy's thoughts on Opening and Endgame Theory. Just sending these two boxes to me cost the Purdys almost $100 Aus. so you know it is a bundle of goodies. I have sold 2-3 Purdy collections in the past... if you show some interesting interest (haha) I might part with the later issues (bound and unbound) for those who would "love" to own this genius' stuff.

2) I will be sending out more bulk e-mails. Sorry about that. Someone has to pay the piper, but I hope to keep them interesting as I have in the past.

3 I will be divesting (cutting open) two large boxes of TPi DVDs and books in the coming week. These were to go to New in Chess in Holland. However, my terms, and they knew them well, are to be paid in advance for any orders outside the USA. So far they have refused to answer my e-mail requests for payment (interesting, if you BUY directly from them, they ask for payment in advance!). Thus, I will be cutting open these two huge boxes, and giving you not wholesale pricing, but pricing that is really close to that to clear the space, inventory, and my mind. I'm seriously disgusted.

4) Today I have that giant time-waster, figuring out sales taxes for the past quarter. That costs about 2 hours and is a huge hole in the day... basically for peanuts.

The bottom line is, watching the bottom line. I seek your business now more than ever and ask you what I can do, as I have in the past, to garner your attention and orders. Unfortunately, I can't be responsible for merchandise that is shipped to me by slow boat from China (!) Theoretically I have more copies coming this week of Soltis' new book, some NIC Yearbooks, and a few other things including some new ChessBase dvds.

Lastly, (drum roll).....BRRRRRR... BRRRR

I am going to be putting up my new web site this month! I have been reading the particulars for the last few months and wow, what a HUGE time consumer--even though I will be working with templates! Descriptions of everything, photos, and pricing (I don't yet know how they will handle special pricing). This is for browsers who buy now and then and who want to use a secure online credit card taking service (and PayPal probably too). It will be a reference to point to for others. I still will issue my special pieces such as Chess Confidential, One Sheets, etc. The catalog (the ALL encompassing catalog) is probably going the way of the dodo as it virtually gathers dust, no sales... almost "everyone" is holding out for price drops beyond the already smothered prices that are posted.

I've been told this web hosting service will be able to dispense "information chess products." Hope so as I have some dandies waiting in the wings.

In the meantime, David Rudel is working on a new Colle edition (a completely different book), so that will keep me busy. And Andrew Tocher's book, In Your Face Chess Novelties is about to make its appearance. So I won't be lacking for things to do! Hope to hear from you and while I am at it, hope you sign up for the Last Chess Clinic (#6) (Oct. 22-23, Davenport, IA). Call the Clarion Hotel for room reservations: 563-391-1230.

Thanks, Bob.... summer IS over!