Monday, January 31, 2011


Yep, you can save $10 by getting Andrew Martin's CENTER COUNTER RISING today for $29.95 + $3.50 for shipping. If you live outside the country the first class shipping is $5.00 and it entitles me to fill out customs paperwork! (The excitement never ends here.)

137 minutes of heavy breathing by our international master on the whys and wherefores of the Center Counter plus a nice (3) game bonus on how to take down those "chumps" who try to prepare for you by varying in the first couple moves (they do NOT ever learn).

That's the big deal going on today. Check tomorrow to see what new trouble I can get into.

Oh yes, PayPal is fine, so are credit cards (most of them). If I don't have your CC on file, call me at 563-271-6657. You will find, in short, why it's so much better to do business with G&L CHESS than anyone else... periodsky!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Sometimes the last day of a sale or special deal is the busiest as we count our dollar bills to see if we can afford something. The problem usually is, something we want is often gone.

The special DVD sale which ends tomorrow, half are gone and unfortunately some had to be denied... but give it a try anyway since I seldom broadcast what is gone. I have others at their regular price which seems to attract little attention.

The Chess Stars books have their last sale day tomorrow before everything goes back to "abnormal."

And, the $10 savings for Andrew Martin's Center Counter Rising ends after tomorrow too. $29.95 + shipping for one more day.

A thought that nags me constantly is having special prices set up for G&L CHESS. I should just sell at retail as others nearly do, and have that occasional Big Sale which brings everyone else out. When one already has sale prices people wait until I have a sale on the sale! Insane. The profit margin on books is totally pathetic. I'll never make a living from that and so that's why I am introducing my own products. Soon, many of mine will go up on my web site. I saw it yesterday and it has a ways to go, a long way... unfortunately, but it will happen. I've been getting favorable publicity here and there. Why? My guess is that people are unhappy with who they have been dealing with. For one thing, I'm sure many of you know, there are a lot of clueless people out there in the chess business. Don't know the difference between chess and shoe polish.

Hope to change all that in spades. Remember the IDES of January 31... whatever that means.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I have picked two GMs to headline the event at the Las Vegas Chess Book Camp 2011. #1 has agreed pending working out details with #2 (a good and honorable friend). This is Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov a US Champion.

I need to clarify some details about the hotel and so forth too. I've calculated that I need to sell a minimum of 45 tickets to break even for my costs. But, as ticket sales go up, so does the cost, but fortunately a lot less than the first 45.

Also, the hotel rates for my event are $42 (+ applicable taxes) at South Point Casino. The price is $55 for the National Open. I won't comment on this at the moment until I get more facts, but many events make money from the sale of rooms. I think I did that once, in 2002 for the very expensive Chess Festival which was a rousing success at the Lodge. I made a few dollars for each one attending, not enough to cover the cost of the rooms for the celebs but it helped.

I am sure we will have a coded account for you to register; need a few more days.

Significant progress is being made on my chess web site. In fact I am working on some data conversion on the other side of writing this Blog.

Just keeping you up to date.

As to Shabalov, if you've never met him, he's a great guy! Met him in Denver years ago. Thanks to Andy Rea for getting his email address to me. I am trying to get Andy there too because as a raconteur, he's "right up there."

June 6-8th, week of the National Open.


Thursday, January 27, 2011


My life is a dichotomy when it comes to breaking rules.

I've broken them when I had to move forward, such as in areas of typography, and business.

typography: I designed books differently than the usual publishers. I get criticized and praised for that. Almost always by those whoa re not peers.

business: just because everyone else is offering a 50% discount to resellers doesn't mean I have to. My books sell, I don't need to give them away like Verizon gives away phones, to get people to bring me "some" business.

On the other hand, if you don't have some strong guidelines, then all hell breaks loose as some people feel they are an "exception" to anything. I have a rule about that!

Recently I mentioned to some of my subscribers of my publications that I would be giving away the new book by Frank Brady, on Fischer, titled, Endgame. I just sent in the order this morning. I ordered a few extra for my business because after all, the winners would own the book (from me) and therefore, most likely not buy one from me. It usually works like that.

I'm the one giving away the books and paying for the postage so I get to make the rules. To get into the "select" 20 for this $25.99 book (And I will ship them out as soon as I get them) you had to have purchased at least $750 worth of stuff from me since the beginning of Feb. 2009 to the end of 2010. And, you had to have a profit margin to net of 33% or higher. That last part is the stickler.

Some bought a lot of things but I didn't make much from the sale. And, if I don't make much, I'm not around for long. Giving away some things as I did to get people to purchase helps a little, but not in the long run.

So those who ordered things (DVDs, and Books) along with publication works created by me, stood to do the best.

The numbers are taken from 150 buyers in that time period. Dealers and non chess purchasers were excluded. That means 1 in 13.

I ended with 21 who satisfied the requirements, but one was at 31% in the profit ratio. So I sat on a thumbtack and I decided to give him a copy of ENDGAME, and he would be #21. Since only if you get a copy of the book will you know if you were a winner--you'll have to wait a few weeks. The numbers were taken from my accounting program and the winners worked out from an Excel Spreadsheet. I want to congratulate you as well as those who came close (I know that is paltry consolation, but there has to be a cut off). Since those who didn't win won't get a FREE book that means send the book won't lower my profit margin from you! (The silver lining in the cloud, as it were.)

A few big spenders were actually way down on the profitability list, that meant you could lose ground next year and get mad at me!!! (Yes, me.) Some only order stuff that's been heavily discounted, or given away, etc. As you no doubt understand, that's a hard-to-calculate "goodwill" percentage.

If you want to start off well for THIS year (only this year will be considered the next time, the dual year was a one time thing), I have the following available:
Chess Book Camp 2011 Las Vegas (Min. $199, Max. $250).
Gold Card for 2011 $50
Chess EXTRAS $65 ($50 is you have a Gold Card 2011)
The Chess Reports $69.95 (will include a CD)
Purdy Chess Chronicles $69.95.
My Search for Chess Perfection $39.95 by Purdy
The Chess Assassin's Business Manual $30
The Critical Secret for Success at Chess or Anything Else $79.95
My various Andrew Martin DVDs.

My margins are high on these because I don't get paid unless I make some $$$. I'm still paying off my expenses on these gems.

Hope to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This one does. Chess ones.

Usually I sleep well, like the proverbial rock.

But whenever I am putting together celebrity guests, a venue (this time, Las Vegas), working with a hotel, etc. it can get crazy. And it can be a sleep wrecker--soon as the thought occurs, I jump out from under the covers and go downstairs to start working.

The latest idea is that after 4 Chess Festivals, and 6 Chess Clinics, a Chess Book Camp® 2011 is in the cards, in Las Vegas.

Getting celebs to agree on a monetary package (which is not usually the problem), working out things with the Hotel (not too bad, a few bumpy spots), creating a program (organizing it is the hard part), airfare costs, and then hoping for customers... yeah, that's the part that makes or breaks everything. School is OUT this time.

Funny thing though, no one complains about the cost to come. Maybe it is because they understand that all these "points" do cost money. And of course if a good turnout happens and everything goes well, then plans for the next one can be made, with a reasonable cost, so that more can join in the "fun."

But this IS a problem too. One of the things I have heard is that people have a lot of fun at my events because of the "intimacy" of meeting me, the celebrities, and other friends they have gotten to know from the past. Intimacy has its costs. The bigger the crowd, the fewer that some people get an opportunity to do more than just shake hands with me or answer a few questions in the "purchase line."

There is a dichotomy here. If one has more celebrity guests, to spread the wealth around, then that cost goes up too. I've been thinking about Las Vegas and how big of a room should I have. I've been speculating on 50-100. If we have that many, I will have to rent visual equipment from the Hotel--and that always runs the risk of--"not working" when you need it. and interfacing with the celeb guests.

Also, I am already getting questions about an event in October with Andrew Martin. My plan is to make both events (if there is a second one) far enough apart that you can go to both. I've decided against 3, who has that much stamina? Not me. And after 2011, I will probably go to one event a year and perhaps some "private events." The private ones are the "invitation only" type where we have specific agendas and maybe ONE celebrity guest. The clients who have supported me would be the ones on my invitation only list.

This time the Book Camp will be about Books and possibly DVDs. All the work ahead sends a shock through my veins. The probable dates are June 6-8. I've been talking with the South Point Hotel and Casino, and am still waiting for some information. On the 9th there will be a big grandmaster simul I am told. Then the National Open starts on the 10th and runs through the 12th. It's like a dream week for some. One week of "information and fun" and also playing. Because the event would be held before the National Open, those who don't want to play could just go home, or hang around for the Simuls.

I am working with two US Grandmasters at the moment. Both of whom I "know." Working out a venue and compensation package are important here too.

Is there any in the Blog audience of mine who is interested?

A couple things: I think the hotel fare is about $45-50 a night during the week. Weekends are about double (maybe there is a special deal for the National Open, I do not yet know). The cost of the ticket for the Book Camp looks to be about $250. But, if you register early (by April 30 at latest, but there will be "tiered pricing") it's $225. If you also have a Gold Card 2011 and register early (NOW) it would be $199. Getting the Gold Card would easily be worth it BECAUSE things that you might consider buying at the event itself would save you more. The Gold Card would therefore be practically FREE.

This is the preliminary plan. Also, one book I am interested in discussing is the new one from Moskalenko to see if it can really help you systematize your play and make you a better player. I will be talking to the GMs about this. I also have a talk and a book planned called THE THREE P's: Planning, Publishing, and Practice and how it can transform yourself to be a better player. Do you realize that very little, except by Neil McDonald, has been written on planning? I am going to show you how important that REALLY is. And HOW Planning can relate to Strategy too.

I am taking reservations now and will announce the GM plans soon. I reserve the right to refund your money if it looks like the costs will outweigh the income. I need about 35-40 registrants to break even. (It will be worth coming.) If it does better than that, then a chunk will be set aside for next year's extravaganza.

That last word is the whole point of the "nightmares" and a "cushion" for the event. If I didn't have money to worry about, then all these arrangements would be ten times easier. I feel like an accountant is standing behind me with a sword in hand, over my head. The "announcement time" is only four months, shorter than usual... but perhaps a smaller time frame will move people to action more quickly.

What do we have now"
a) Las Vegas--a fun destination, lots of airport access and usually inexpensive flights compared to most other places.
b) A chess tournament following my event if that is to your liking.
c) Recommendations of books (and why) destined to help YOUR play and appreciation of chess (it's not always about improvement is it?)
d) A GM simul after the event where you can choose who to play since I have nothing to do with this (June 9th).
e) A fee which is modest compared to almost any other conference or get together in Las Vegas.
f) One, probably two, GMs to spend time with us. One has already been writing a review of my book from last year called "The Critical Secret for Success" and he told me he liked it, found some good ideas in it, and will tell us what is important in his findings.
g) More details will be up soon on my web site... I can't say when, the web guy and I are still working on this.
h) One other thing. A surprise... as always.

Conditions subject to change. The above are all "guidelines" at the moment.
Bob Long

So... open for business, today! The time to buy the Gold Card 2011 expiration window to purchase is March 31, 2011. It's $50, same price as last year.

NOTE: Laz Munoz commented that I neglected the dates! Yikes. I know I have been working from dates today on separate messages I have been working on. Thought I had it here. Have been discussing this with the GMs. My apologies. The Date: Evening of June 6th, all day Tuesday and Wednesday the 7th and 8th. Done around 5-6 Wed., p.m.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


There will be a 2-3 issue appearance of material on how to study a new defense--in this case, the Slav. It will start in next Friday's edition (not this Friday) of The Chess Reports, #122. It's unfortunately true, just like anything else, chess players can fall into deep ruts, and soon nothing new is learned. And results stagnate.

A friend of mine beat a player rated 500 points above him a couple weeks ago. And he won two other games. If he wins tonight he will win the tournament he is in. I'm pulling for him. The other tournament, the club championship, except for one person, is having mixed results. Plus a number of unplayed but to be rescheduled games. Does this favor someone? It sure doesn't favor the guy who is willing to show up at the right time. I think it is a matter of directors being unable to say NO coupled with not wanting to disappoint anyone for they might quit coming. It's always about stuff like that, not about doing the right thing, following the rules so that EVERYONE is treated equally (strong and weak). Back in the early 90s when I was playing we didn't have equivocation and had huge turnouts simply because EVERYONE (again) knew what to expect. If Mr. Bigshot showed up 20 minutes late he had lost 20 minutes on his clock because the rounds started on time. Why should others suffer for the sins of those who don't care or respect their opponent?

Monday, January 24, 2011


I have forgotten how people can become a subscriber to this Blog. When one wants to leave a "comment" it asks for your type of account. For example, a Google Account (probably email, that is, gmail).

I've come to the conclusion that Google doesn't make it easy in order to keep away the fraudsters, hackers, and just in general people who have nothing else to do except to try to be cute, clever, and just plain annoying. Apparently these guys aren't successful on their own (??) attracting an audience, so they spoil the party by putting Exlax in the chocolate chip cookies. It was juvenile even in High School. Actually, worse than Juvenile.

So if someone could leave a comment as to "how easy it is" to subscribe for my friend James, I am sure he would greatly appreciate it.

When my Blog is ready for prime time on my own web site, I figure all you will need is just to access my web site. I like that idea. Seeing Cody tonight (I hope) for more details.

Thanks for checking in--no other words of wisdom to pass on today EXCEPT I am working hard on another private index for creating future Purdy Chess Chronicles. Already I have over 100 entries. Lots of good stuff to come for quite a while.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


It's come to my attention that a grandmaster has been criticizing covers of chess books produced by Thinkers' Press.

I haven't seen the article yet, when I do then I will tell you about it. I hope he gave the correct name of my company and address about where to buy this disreputable merchandise. Any kind of publicity is expensive so maybe people will disregard these comments from someone who has NO stake in my company.

This guy, if this is true, must have a lot of time on his hands. Right? Here I am a one man publishing show and this guy picks on MY books. He doesn't even know me so does this make him feel safe? I know who he is but not why he is doing this. This is just another example of moronicity run amok. Who knows if somewhere down the road he wanted to meet me, or do business with me on some project or another party trying to put us together. Short sighted, Businesswise, seriously dumb. I've said it many times, there are strong chess players out there who know don't know jack about business, any kind of business. And for some reason they criticize the work of others. Better check that plank in your own eye bud before you start looking for the splinter in mine.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


George Eichhorn stepped forward, jumped through the Google hoops, and became the 50th registered person on this Blog. Thanks George. How come no picture George? You're handsome, anyone knows that.

Was supposed to meet with Web master tonight, been held over until 11 a.m. Saturday, so I won't be able to report on the "great stuff" he says I will see.

Received part of a review of my book which was published last October called The Critical Secret for Success, at CHESS and Anything Else. It was supposed to be listed on Amazon this year but my printer screwed that up. They claim they have now submitted the report to Amazon and others. The price is $99.00 or you can get it postpaid from me for $79.95. I may put the review by Grandmaster X (name revealed when I see the whole review) as a foreword to the book. The grandmaster even told me he learned a few things he CAN use.

One of my points in writing that book was to show others that if you HAVE a good idea, actually a strong idea, and a competent reviewer (ChessCafe does not have competent reviewers and hasn't had) you can make waves and get others to notice. Too much in chess is "me too" adulation. Strong performers have strong thoughts. Weak performers have "no thoughts," just repeated rambling.

When the Web Site is up, I will post the review on that site, which still remains unnamed until it is tested. Jana Sterling has also agreed to help beta test. Anyone else?

Back to tomorrow's Chess Reports. Still $69.95 for 10 issues of Semester 10.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


We have 49 registered Blog readers of "the chess museum." More than that read it, but 49 are registered. Who wants to become #50?

A little while back I issued my 90,000th invoice since I began keeping track of invoices with computer software. I've done a pile of these in the last few years by myself and all those while I was in Georgia selling used merch or things like The Chess Reports. Today invoices were issued for those who have signed up for the Purdy Chess Chronicles. I just forgot about the 90,000 and I wanted to have a prize for that 90,000 invoice so now I will have to get excited when I get near 100,000. Apple has had 10 Billion app. downloads so I am way off from that.

Think about it, it's a lot of paper and ink.

Will tell you this week, possibly, more about the Purdy Chess Chronicles. Lots of stuff going on here. Tomorrow night I am supposed to get a status report on the new web site. I am anxious to tell you the name but can't until I see it is working. Patsy D'eRamo has already volunteered to be a beta tester. Anyone else?

Because of dental and medical appointments I am running around like a whirling dervish trying to finish up this week's Chess Reports. I don't hear much from the readers about the annotated games but believe me, there is real meat in those games or I reject them. If you can't understand "New in Chess" magazine, and many have told me they can't, then the Chess Reports should be on your list of "must buy." Issue #121 will be out this Friday and one feature is the games with the black pieces by Dragolub Velimirovic. Unfortunately I do not have a photo for him that is free use. You will learn a lot about assaults with pawns, tackling bizarre white openings against the Sicilian and much more. While there are twelve such annotated games, 6 will be in this issue and the remaining 6 will be in #122.

There is also an article on Chess Terrorism where Karpov pounds some guy into walking funny. An a big overview of ChessBase 11... which unfortunately isn't the most flattering thing in the world.

Stay tuned.... like a ukelele.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The brochure for Purdy's Chess Chronicles is almost ready. The prizes for several lucky subscribers are set up, and the magazine itself was ready this morning. So everything should be ready by tonight.

Then I will be taking subscriptions at $69.95. PayPal or credit card (not American Express). Just call me at 563-271-6657 to give me your credit card details or send $69.95 to me at: for PayPal payment. It really is that simple. Or if you have an account with me, just tell me to charge your card and send it to you. That's a no brainer.

Then a mailing later this week to customers who have been with me since 2009.

Tomorrow, I finish up undone work for The Chess Reports with a novel Introduction of an Opening I am going to teach, and which I have NEVER played. This is how an old dog learns new tricks, by teaching the other pooches. I am not mentioning the opening (actually, a defense) here because I don't need the GROAN of "Oh, how dull... I've never wanted to play that! {precisely what your opponents thing too until you grind them into sawdust)." Almost every opening is playable and this is against the 1.d4 opening.

Subscribe today, $69.95 for 10 magnificent issues + CD (a secret for now).

Apple inc. lost about 7% share value today because moron investors (would that be California??) were looking for an excuse to sell (Steve Jobs medical leave). Yet, by the end of the day, they had made up 50% of their losses. You can't keep something good down. Invariably what happens is those with money move in and buy the cheaper stock that they wouldn't have been able to buy any other way. But one of things which Apple is absolutely FAMOUS for is their "secrets" which irritate the hell out of stock analysts. But I mean, why does ANYONE owe them anything? Good product comes out, skyrocket city. So "secrets" can attract people and I plan to do more of that.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I have completed issue #1 of Purdy's Chess Chronicles. There are no FREE sample copies... sorry.

I had so much fun working on this project I couldn't stand it (hence, one reason I missed yesterday's blog!)

Instead of the original planned and guaranteed 24 letter size pages, it is 40 pages, letter-sized! For those who subscribe before the end of February, 2011, or the next issue, whichever comes last (!), you will also get a free 5-page BONUS of an Index of all the games Prof. Ralph J. Tykodi edited for publication by TPi, over a 15 year period. That sucker took days to prepare.

Today or Monday I will be sending out a promo piece to ALL those who have purchased any chess stuff from me from 2009-2010. The promo piece will go via the US mail. If you haven't "bellied up to the bar" during that time (darn) you can get a copy of this Promotional Push for this new newsletter--sent to you in the mail (if you are in the US) IF you provide a physical address to you via email to me.

Why am I doing it this way, this time?
a) Physical mail gets opened more often, and read, than email does--which is often put off, forgotten, and never dealt with;
b) It's nice to get something via the post office that you can read anywhere. Most of us like mail that isn't from an insurance company, a credit card company, or some fitness club.

It will probably run 3-4 pages because, it will take that long to tell the story of what's in it, and the reason for publishing it (which is extremely useful to you by the way).

A BONUS "One other thing: giveaway!

The envelope that I will be mailing this out in says ""Special Offers For the First 100 to Answer!"
I want to surprise you with an almost unique chess gift so I am not going to tell you in advance what it is. But it is nice, and you probably haven't seen it anywhere else, and it was given to me by the publisher, a month ago. It's NOT a book. Probably worth $25 if you can find one.
Here's the bit, I will send those who drop me their physical address (and who haven't bought anything from me for the past 2 years) a Special Offer, mailed to that address. IF at least 100 readers, curious, etc. respond, I will have a drawing for this cool item (which will eventually be announced and depicted on here).

Other Prizes?

Yes. Second and Third "place" drawings of a different, but valuable, and NEW gift. Your chances of getting another gift are much better than throwing money away on a money losing lottery chance. I know a lot of people read this Blog because I have heard from you. But if I don't have your address and name to mail this brochure to, how can you win any of these Premiums (some call them Freemiums?)

What if you are Outside the USA?

It's more expensive for me and a bigger drain on my time and energy resources (customs, etc.), but if you are willing to go to the trouble, then I am too. Just email me your physical address (along with your name of course) and I will mail you a copy of the 4 page brochure).

The Big Prize has been kept sealed until I could think of some entertaining way to give it away.

If you want to subscribe, right away, the cost is $69.95. Four issues. I take Visa, MC, and Discover as well as PayPal (PayPal is easy, just use the SEND MONEY part of your account to offer me $69.95 at "" (without the quote marks).) They (PayPal) will tell me you paid and I will download issue #1 (and subsequent issues (there will be 4 all together)) to your email account. Print it out and read.

Thanks to Jim Perry for an advance reading of the contents to help minimize any potential boo-boos. If you want to pay by Credit Card send me an email and we can work out how to send me your CC info. Jim is already a subscriber. One reason he subscribed was simply, Purdy was a fantastic chess writer. Here is what Jim wrote to me:

"I liked the first volume very much, especially the article on annotating. Current authors could learn from it. I liked the historical pieces as well, they gave me the sense of being there and watching the events unfold.

"I am looking forward to the rest of this year's issues as well as future years."

The amount of material is massive as Purdy really fell head over heels about Alekhine and his play, the Euwe-Alekhine match, and so much more including what other commentators had to say. His friend GM Lajos Steiner said that in no way was Australia chess backward except in experience as they kept up with the latest theory, books, journals, and had some great players. So you know this WILL be a BLAST from the past including articles on opening theory, strategy, and the Endgame.

email me at:

If you subscribe to at least one of the offers I will send you, you will be put into the drawing. The offers will be:
a. The Chess Reports (semester 10)
b. Chess EXTRAS
c. The Purdy Chronicles.
d. The Critical Secret for Success at Chess or Anything else.

Four to choose from. 2011 is my GOAL YEAR for putting Thinkers' Press, inc. back on the map!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Am I an ingrate to Google's Blogger?

Probably, but I am not that grateful. Why?

CONTROL is the main reason. At least one third of the time Google requires ME to relog in to make sure I am accessing my own account, and then add my password. What a waste of time. Maybe Google should determine which Blogs are likely to be hacked first as an ongoing project. I think I read somewhere that there are several hundred thousand bloggers out there. Good enough reason to make me believe that I shouldn't be doing this! The amount of useless looking in the mirror must be astounding!

Although it says I have 48 "followers", It is actually a few less because accidentally I got MY picture on there one or two times while trying to figure this thing out. Then there are friendly people who tell me they read the blog on their phone or computer but do not "subscribe" because it's time consuming, etc. Well, maybe they are right! Why not just your name and email address?

My guess is that because of the number of losers that exist in the cybersphere, they (Google) need to control against really offensive comments, spam, and porn. When I lived in Georgia and looked at the Georgia Chess website, it was flooded with pornography because whoever handled their web site (anyone?) didn't care. If one did that kind of stuff in Arabic countries or China they would probably have their hand and/or head cut off. I'm for that. Teach your kids to not do that stuff and hopefully they will be safe otherwise, you'll have to grow some more (kids). If they are "adults" doing this, they are still behaving like widdle kids.

Issue #1 is done. It will take another day for proofing and cleanup, design changes and another day (no joke) to come up with a reasonable logo and/or masthead.

Originally a lot of people were interested in this concept of publishing unpublished Purdy stuff (the good stuff). I hope you still are because the Table of Contents and its 40 pages are a big WOW. 16 MORE pages than originally guaranteed PLUS a 4-5 page BONUS index. As you can tell, this took a lot of energy and time.

Hope you are still excited when I send you the promotional flyers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Can people with smart phones get and read a chess catalog from me on their phone or only on their at home desktop or laptop type device (or bigger screen such as an iPad)? The reason I ask is that people who call me and give me an email address which bombs I think are using their phone.

Even though some of these phones can hold a lot of data, who would want to read a catalog with pictures on one?

I may have to start asking people for email addresses which can be sent to me from their phone because I believe either the above phenomenon is happening or I am getting incorrect email addresses. Yes, I do go over it with them to make sure I am getting what they are telling me. I write it down too, no memory stuff here.

Now it's easy to gloss over, but I can almost tell when someone is using a new phone, especially a smart phone, because they say things that are redundant or inarticulate (I'm not sure why that is). And I've asked questions that in some cases where the answers given to me are not 100% correct. Are people so excited about using a smart phone that they are trying to pee and talk at the same time?

Myself, I do not own a smartphone. Probably I couldn't afford one (I pay Verizon $65 a month for the Motorola device I have) anyway. I see people in bathrooms checking their phone, looking at them in church and in the movies, and later again in the movie blinding everyone behind them. I see them texting and reading stuff on their phone while driving down the street OR the highway (that one blows my mind—I move beyond them as quickly as I can). I see them at the grocery store or the gym talking and texting and reading. I think I see a pattern here, NO LIFE. Can't be still for a minute. Be glad I am not wed to one of these things or you might not ever get your merchandise. It's got to be hurting American productivity.

It is really annoying when standing in line at the Post Office and some yahoo is talking, often loudly, to someone else who puts up with this and then when they get to the counter, they get all confused about whether they should continue talking, put the other person on hold, or shut up and take care of business. At one point there was a "no talking on your phone" notice on the wall, but I see it is no longer there.

Did the can and string device help cause the downfall of the Roman Empire? Were there even cans back then (I don't think so)? I banned the use of phones at the Last Chess Clinic but I still noticed a couple people checking them for messages. What is so DAMN important that it can't wait? What did people do before they owned one?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Buried deep in working on my new chess catalog, one chunk at a time.

First we will offer books from Chess Stars. Send to everyone.]

Then, whoever is next... and so on.

Back tomorrow,


Monday, January 10, 2011


Joseph Henry Blackburne was a killer, a chess killer. Estimated to have played in excess of 50,000 simultaneous games in his life, and a lover of whiskey, Ole' Joe was, to bluntly put it, over the board an ardent ass kicker. One of England's All Time Best too.

He had his traps, his setups, and his way of "gruelerizing" his opponents. As I came across many of his early games and simul games I noticed a tendency to chess violence. And sometimes in real life I guess he could behave like a drunk because, he probably was. His whiskey bottle was ON the table where the simuls were happening.

Yet, he could play some of the greatest traps and 4-5-6 movers. He also beat many very good regular players too. This book has several caricatures by Rob Long, my son including the fabulous front cover where Joe is running through a British pub brandishing a broken bottle of booze.

So how do you get one?:
1. Between the months of January and February, if you have a purchased a total of $200 or more of merchandise from me during those 60 or fewer days, you get one FREE and I will even pay the shipping. An $11.95 value. Blackburne the Black Death.
2. In the months of Nov-Dec. I gave away a lot of Lasker The Ultimate Streetfighter. A $12.95 value. Even sold a few through Amazon and my own customers, but only after December. And naturally you will get ONE of these title types if you come to any of my TPi sponsored events.

Every two months a new title will be released. For March-April it will be Alekhine. This promotion will run for two years.

The average publication will run around 40 pages, and have about 35-40 games in it, many not very well known but still typical of their type of chess game. Alekhine's will be called The Executioner.

Just another way of our keeping in touch with you. I want to offer you things you can't get anywhere else because I work harder for you.

Keep track of your receipts and let me know when you are over $200. It may happen in the first of the two months. Only good for books and DVDs and/or TPi events such as the upcoming Chess Book Camp®.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


A C.J.S. Purdy pseudonym for his alter-ego who would rave on about what a pain in the butt his editor was (who was also Purdy).
In the first issue of Purdy's Chess Chronicles I feature one of his stories called "Plugged at Polwhistle." It's about a woodshifter who gets his (and wouldn't we all like to see some of that happen now and then?). It runs several pages. Under "humor."

Been working hard at it, 4 issues per year. Already have 24 pages done. Promising at least 6 more. $80 for four issues later or $69.95 if you send in a subscription request right now.

PS: Oh yes, rare pictures of Purdy, caricatures, etc. Shades of "Where's Waldo?"

Friday, January 7, 2011


Yeah, I know some will say "I have no imagination." Probably they don't really know what imagination means even if they think they do.

I remember being told this once by someone close to me. Funny thing happened on the way to the Forum, he began studying the Khalifman openings series which exploited the play of Anand and Kramnik. He really took it seriously and figured out WHAT he wanted to take from them. He liked what he saw.

A year later he started playing at the chess club and raised his rating almost 250 points and was beating the club "hot shots." He knew patience was part of it and "appearing" cool under pressure (time, for example). His candle burned brightly, and then school, family, and a job took over. Maybe he'll come back; he's only in his 30s.

Where did the imagination come in? It's a PROCESS I call "immersion." It happens in all fields. Set the goal or burn the passion, and then go for it. Don't make excuses, timeouts, "I'm too old," my job, etc. I saw it in action as he began mowing people down right and left. Only one person was stopping his clock, and he was gunning for him. Self-confidence grew AND so did his imagination. If you do ANYTHING out of the ordinary, date, watch TV, drive around, go to Wal-Mart, stores, sports... there is extra time right there. If yo don't do anything, you won't be reading this.

This Blog is not a psychology course but in a way it should be. I am preparing a super document on who chess is for and who is success for through the Chess Book Camp. Come, see, hear, and learn (that ugly L word). Find out if you have what it takes or can develop what it takes. The answers, I suspect, will greatly surprise you. The reason I say that is that I am somewhat paralleling the work of another in a growth industry and there is EXACTLY no difference! This CAMP would be especially valuable to: tutors, mentors, coaches, and teachers. Some are TEACHING to the wrong people!

Hopefully some announcements real soon so we can start prepping for registrations and such. Will there be something for down in the dirt players? Of course. "No stone unturned," was that Fred who originally said that?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I could have picked a better niche to try to be successful, but instead I chose "chess." I won't go into that now. I am trying to make something positive happen that seldom has or ever has, been successful--doing well in chess as a business. Arnold Denker made the comment that he was the first millionaire in chess. Well, he certainly stretched the point as he was also in real estate (unreal estate?) and that's where he made it.

Kasparov and Karpov probably made it though they too have done a lot of other things, especially Kasparov.

About 1990 or 1991 someone wanted to buy into my fledgling chess business because he liked the way it was run. He wanted to be the CEO and make me president. I was trying to save my home from being taken by the bank. I had used it as collateral for a typesetting desktop service business (in the end I lost my house). He started out with an offer that would have saved my house and repaid the bank. But the more we negotiated the more he started dropping the value of his offer. If you know me at all, this was not a ploy destined to work.

One day he called me and made a new offer since I hadn't responded positively to his previous offers and I had to reiterate why he was disingenuous, how he screwed up a deal with me and another publisher by butting in when he wasn't even yet a part owner. Then we had to do the old "go ---- a rolling doughnut" euphemism. A year or two later I dropped him a line re-telling of a business plan I had proposed to him and was now completed, and how it did. The results were in with sales of 125% more than projected. He expressed astonishment and I said, "You didn't believe I could do it did you?" I guessed right, when he added, "no." Needless to say, who needs a partner like that?

Well, it's 2011, and unless it is the end of the world, or the US government completely flips out, I expect a decent year. Why? Because a few years ago someone told me "you aren't generous." This was a sour grapes thing as I performed many valuable services (in the thousands) but no longer had the cash to help this person from folding up their tent and leaving the scene of an "accident" they had caused with no help from me. So I am determined to show this person (a weakness of mine) that like Fast Eddie Felson said in The Color of Money, "I am back!" Business income was up significantly last year (but so were expenses--that will flatten out somewhat in 2011).

Why am I telling you this? Because you can expect more and more from Bob Long and TPi in 2011. I am monitoring the website concept, working on the Purdy Chess Chronicles, book reprints, the Chess Reports, etc. Even some formats will change as I experiment with DVDs and CDs as well as the Chess Book Camp format. God willing and the creek don't rise, you can expect 2011 to be a great year for you too. You will see what I mean should you take the plunge and subscribe to The Chess Reports ($69.95 for the 10 issues of Semester 10). The ideas seem endless. Which ones will be chosen?

As the competitors ignore me at their own peril, you will have the fun out of chess you should be having. I am working on a NEW book for the Chess Book Camp on a topic that has almost NO LITERATURE on it and yet it is one of the MOST important fundamentals in chess as you sit down at the board, play a few moves and then ask yourself, "What do I do now?" I will tell you. Years ago a friend told me, "Living a good life is the best revenge." That's true isn't?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Well it's another watermark in the life of Thinkers; Press inc. isn't it. 300 posts and it reminds me of Henny Youngman's joke, "I just flew in from Chicago and boy are my arms tired." My fingers??? Well, not as tired as I thought.

That other master of words, Cecil John Seddon Purdy will see Purdy's Chess Chronicles coming out this month. I have the info for you as I have a slew of people who want this and I will be contacting them too when I get a second, but if you want to get on the paid list right now, it will cost you $20/issue x 4 = $80. Or 4 issues in one year at $69.95 (the $80 is for the Johnny Come Latelies). I promise at least 24 pages and most of you know me, you will probably get more than that. This will keep me busy. It will be January, April, July, October. That should keep me out of trouble.

For the uninitiated I have secured early issues of Purdy's magazines such as The Australasian Chess Review. I don't have them all unfortunately, but a lot of them. I will be picking out bits and pieces not covered by Ralph Tykodi when he did the amazing series for us. Well, there won't be much repetition any way. Purdy's son in law Frank Hutchings sent me two boxes of magazines, some bound and some unbound. If I had the time to do all of them, say 2-4 years worth, I could then sell off the magazines. We'll start with 1929 when Chess Review (US) had never even been born (1932, both during the Depression).

This idea has been on the boil almost a year but now it will happen.

As to those who might be concerned about getting two more issues of Chess EXTRAS, don't worry about it. I have been working on #5 too, and there will probably be a different format this time as I attempt to spruce it up a little more.

If you want the Chess EXTRAS it is $65 unless you have a Gold Card 2011 (then it will be $50).

I am thinking of changing the name of my business to The Chess Crankout! Do I have a life? Well, I am working on it. So, just subscribe to everything and you will even see a fresher me. I am hoping this year to take every other Friday off. hard to believe isn't it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


touches on The Chess Reports #120. 22 pages.

If you are not a subscriber but would like to know more, drop me a line:

Tonight I will do a couple things but one in particular is to work on the Purdy Chess Chronicles. I've started getting subscriptions. It looks like 4 issues per year, $20 per issue of $69.96 for all 4. I suggested 20 pages but I suspect it will be 24-30 because once I get started I can't slow down.

In the meantime I am working on a review of Mihai Suba's Dynamic Chess Strategy which is an absolutely wonderful book. Too often strategy is made to look dull but Suba (pronounced: Shoo Ba) injects more... an energetic way of looking at things. So why am I interested? Mostly because I want to win more games. Does it make sense (his theses?)... I am sure it does because he is so funny and funny people (without being silly) are often exuberant for a purposefilled reason while adding imagination to their "madness."

Better get back to the world of sales.

Monday, January 3, 2011


By that I mean I occasionally give out things you haven't bargained for and were happy to get. Like a FREE book for resubscribing to The Chess Reports. In one resubscription notice I mentioned that if one re-upped, at the end of the semester they would get a CD with over 500 games on it from the 91 issues of TCR. That happened.

Another time Andrew Martin gave all the TCR subscribers a FREE and fully detailed ChessBase and PDF file of 1. b4. It's like a book but FREE. This past week he sent me another FREEBIE for Semester 10. It's already been sent out to subscribers. Complete manuscript in PDF and .cbv (ChessBase) format.

I started this publication at the end of 2006 and it came out every week. I must've been nuts. Now it is only every two weeks. It's over 1800 pages now... a monumental sum. Are my fingers bleeding yet?

What does it include? Everything. What doesn't it include? Kid stuff, politics, ads for tournaments. Virtually NO international or national chess news either; ChessBase and the like have that. In issue #120 Andrew Martin writes about Queen sacrifices in opening theory and how sometimes you can take a beating even when it has been published and tried.

In issue #121 there will be a lengthy endgame article where CJS Purdy looks to have made a mistake in discussing a Rooks and pawns ending (which ended in a win but shouldn't have.) Maybe there will be even more on the endgame in that issue.

Back to 120, I write about people who have contacted Thinkers' Press (me) about publishing their chess book and how some "expectations" are worse than believing the Chicago Cubs could win the world series.

Also in that issue will be a 4-page book review of In Your Face Chess Novelties written by a reviewer who at least knows what the hell he is writing about! By the way, he came to me, this wasn't a solicitation for hire type of deal.

Finally, what it all comes down to is TRUST and $69.95 for 10 issues and to include a CD of some type you can play in your car. The bonus is the CD. The first issue #118 was about 28 pages, #119 was about 16, and #120 looks to be about 22 (I think). So those are bonuses too.

I have felt, for all 120 issues that these are great buys and bonuses in themselves. In the past two weeks I went through the first 91 issues and I was amazed at ALL the good stuff in them. When I get a chance to put together a detailed ad, I will tell you more about them. In the meantime, if you trust ME I think you will be more than pleasantly surprised. I have about 7 more people to resubscribe from the previous semester to bring it to a complete sweep once again. I love it when that happens. Some two dozen or so readers have been with me since the beginning--I think that says a lot, don't you?

What HOOKS you? Try reading some and you will find out. The content is ALWAYS different and each semester seems different. You are juiced and jazzed each time. I get private emails from people which I occasionally publish in which they tell me they eagerly look forward to each and EVERY issue and get spazzy when Friday morning rolls around because usually it is in their Inbox by then but always before Noon on Friday. It is like clockwork.

What is one of the purposes of TCR? One is to make you a stronger player. Another is to show you chess is fun and you can feel it in your bones. A third is that tough one, to educate you... lots of people hate being educated. Hey, wasn't college enough? Probably not. Are you busy? Who isn't?

Lots of people like to give their opinions on a wide variety of stuff. I try to avoid that (although some disagree because they don't know the difference between opinion and a thoughtful judgment). I reorient news, I tell you what I know, and I deduce other things. I expect to go over the new ChessBase11 package. I was trying to use it last night to determine the name of an opening and it was a total irritation. That's the kind of thing you will get from me.

So sign up. And while you are at it, get your 2011 Gold Card for $50 and save a pile of dough throughout the year. Signup time ends March 31, 2011.

I can send you a sample if you want but in all the years I have sent out requested samples, hardly ANYONE subscribed because of the sample. Most subscribed when I talked them into it OR they new me from previous publications and kept hanging in there. Writing this journal is what keeps me in touch with chess.

At the same time, I am working on some very NEW ideas for the Chess Book Camp--which have neither been published before or, only in disguise... and, they are worthwhile. Chess is never short of NEW material, just short of good, new writers.

Remember, just $69.96 for 10 fat issues. TCR i NOT "New in Chess," and has no pretensions to be--you are paying for something entirely different. TCR avoids the gossip and opinion business too. How tragic to rely on that.