Friday, December 31, 2010
Well, 2010 is almost gone but I am still getting phone calls, letters, and emails from those who were at the Last Chess Clinic telling me what a great time they had, even better than 2009. I have been leaking some very vague details to some friends for their opinions.
Everyone seems excited. Not one person said anything even remotely like, "Geez, what a bad dream" or "It's too far," or anything else of a negative nature. I am trying to organize something around the National Open in June. No further details yet. Everything emerges over time.
I wrote about mastermind groups yesterday.
Lots going on... let's see if we can keep the momentum up. Am hoping for 50-100 attendees at Las Vegas. The more, the better the event will be (you know me). I've been to Las Vegas many times, always on business or to play chess. Of course it is a gambler's paradise but that's not MY reason for going. At any rate I am looking at a "during the week event" which drops the cost of staying overnight by a staggering amount.
More details coming...
Oh yes, by the way: Happy New Year.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Would you like to be part of a mastermind group with me?
Not everyone can be, so if you have a "rejection complex", you can still have fun with the things I do as TPi, G&L CHESS and lots of other stuff. No problem there.
Today a lot of things crossed my mind, organizations which are useless, advertising which is worthless to you from other sources. I told a GM recently that the publicity in the US (and world?) for chess is a joke. It's amazing the number of "weak" people involved in PR, tournaments, and all that because of politics and people who are looking to enrich themselves.
I know things few others do because people who I trust (and who trust me) have told me things they would be afraid to tell others. The chess world, in many places, is quite corrupt OR, worse, completely incompetent. I doubt there is anything we can do about that... but, we can do our own stuff. Maybe we will become our own force, but, barring that, we can have some great times and learn some powerful stuff at "meetings" that really accomplish something [if you know me, you know I hate meetings]. One of the biggest obstacles to progress these days, which I found out a couple days ago, is called The Learning Curve. Many no longer want to be educated or learn anymore than they already know... and I imagine we all believe that.
Napoleon Hill came up with the idea of Mastermind Groups. It can be finance, education, fund raising, and why not, chess? Hill, some of you know, built a tremendous business concerning helping people of all kinds really achieve their goals or even find their goals to achieve.
I am not looking for credentials. If you have them, fine. But I am looking for talent. Leaders. Organizers. Doers, Thinkers--people who would like to make PROGRESS. The key to forming a mastermind group is to get people together of a like mind. This doesn't mean "yes men," it means people of a like mind and value. We have to have common goals--for example, the Good of Chess which many of the honchos could care less about.
Would it cost to join? Yes it would cost something as all mastermind groups do, because I would expend a lot of time and energy starting the agenda, a place and ETC. The first meeting will be in Las Vegas at the Chess Book Camp. Like I said, these be will people who can help each other be MORE than they already are. If you ever heard of the Bourbaki Group, then you might have some idea what they did... revamp modern mathematics.
Take a chance... contact me:
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
throw a shoe!
I remember trying to sleep one night and the landlord was in the next door duplex tearing up something, at midnight. I threw a shoe at the wall, heard some plaster fall... he got up and went home.
Sometimes you have to get people's attention.
I was sending out emails to my list of friendly folks this afternoon when all of a suddent it went into a stall, retrying 300 customers. Finally, after this had ruined the pixels on my screen for 3 or 4 hours I dropped the geniuses in Massachusetts a line asking, "What's up?" Turns out they had a database error which was finally fixed. (BTW, none of these "genius" companies EVER let a user know there is a problem.) My guess? They are afraid if they say something your brain will mentally recall it the next time, start adding them up, and go somewhere else. Hey, I am more forgiving than that. Anyway, the rest are now being sent.
The Center Counter Rising DVD has been burned, printed and put into a printed wrapper and case. The PDF has been vetted and is ready to go. I was cutting wrappers all evening which is more tiring than watching parking meters expire. But, they are done. Tomorrow some of these will go out. $29.95 + $3.50 for S&H. $5 to New Zealand and Australia if sent in a "lite" bag. At end of January 2011, price goes to $39.95.
Am preparing a wholesale sales' sheet for all the lazy resellers there are out there. This is why Amazon has taken over. Everyone (almost) has capitulated. Not me. Just lay on your back donut brains and have the big A walk over and step on your cajones. When you yell "Ow," I will stick a sock in your mouth.
Too many in America have caved in. Our society may still have morals but too many are afraid to show them while the movie industry is trying to MAKE our lifestyles for us. They wouldn't know the difference between THEIR version and an alligator biting them in the ass.
BTW, has anyone seen the Bobby Fischer movie which supposedly was made and with an actor who from the pictures I saw looked nothing like Fischer? In MY life I've known several people who looked like Fischer and some even played chess. Casting sometimes is amazing aren't they? If they are only looking for an actor why not choose me? (Yes, I have acted before and was even in a movie as an FBI agent.) I can brood. I can give quick answers. I can pretend "someone" is after me. And yes, my name is spelled "Bobby Long" for purposes of those weekly checks. One of my brothers has the name James, does that count?
I was supposed to write about chess clubs today but it took a while for Google to post my blog from yesterday so I haven't done it yet. Now it may be next week.
New pic of me, with my haircut. It was getting so thick I would lose my hairbrush. What a handsome rogue. Tell your sisters to stay indoors unless you want me chasing them around the dining room table! (Fantasy land)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
1) Yesterday I received an email confirmation that THIS blog is HOT... that is, it is considered knowledgeable and useful to chess nuts (like most of us) all around. There is some Blog type Badge I should sport and perhaps I will get around to it. In the meantime, if you cruise to this site, why not sign up and prove it? My web guy is working on setting up this Blog on my new web site (don't hold your breath)... so we can badge that maybe. I am not 100% sure that these places are on the up and up. There are a lot of blogs out there and you've noticed mine has no ads. Not a good way for me to pick up a few extra shekels. When I have seen, by the by, what some Blogsters write about, I can tell it is all about getting attention, or love, or something. To me, it is simply to grow my business. I've been around, one of these days, I won't be. Right offer? I'll sell. Still, you can't knock 40 years of experience and doing it all except perhaps playing in a world championship event, which, by the way, has no interest for me.
2) There is a TRYPTICH SALE going on right now. Three things: New Books, New DVDs, and a SALE on recent or older DVDs. The prices are a lot lower than usual. I have already sent the SALE list out to all Gold Card 2010 holders. They DID respond. What's left will be for sale to the rest of my Gilbert & Lange list. If you don't get a copy later tonight (good through this Friday) send me an email and request to be put on my catalog lists.
That email would be:
PS: Remind me tomorrow to write about the "high-end" chess club plans I had when I was in Savannah... nothing like it anywhere, anywhere. Including hot shot St. Louis.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Today it appears I lost all my emails for 2010. A blessing and a curse. All that stuff I haven't acted on has now been acted on. A blessing. The curse part: I was intending to go back to October 8 and take one last look at things to take care of and now I can't. And there were some messages in the past several days, new customer requests, that I was going to take care of today, Monday. If you sent a message in the past week or so, two weeks maybe, could you resend?
More aggravating for me than you... I value the email I keep. Of course all my replies can be had, but it I the stuff that I had yet to reply to (not much) that is the berserker. Say to "backup" before you "rebuild." This time I didn't get that message.
I am working on a Special SALE for tomorrow, so it looks like my attention will certainly be undivided for that!
Will I be grumpy for the rest of the day? Doubt it. Unhappy maybe, but not the same thing.
A couple projects I have been working on are almost done.
CENTER COUNTER RISING by Andrew Martin is one of them. DVDs are burned, the PDF is completed. But I need to put graphics on the disks and a wrap for the DVD case, which I will do today. Price is $29.95 + $3.50 (USA only) until end of Jan. 2011. After that the price goes to $39.95. I've beaten my brains in on this one, so in order to recoup my investment, I need to sell 43 of them at this very reduced price. So if you haven't reserevd one, this is the time to order, perhaps along with the Special Sale list. It is an amazing piece of work--hope to tell you more about it later this week.
Friday, December 24, 2010
It won't happen, I've done the math. You've noticed I am not on here EVERY day. If I missed two days in a row (Sunday doesn't count) some might think I have given up--that's not me. So there never was a goal of 300 in one year (even though I didn't start until several months into 2010, I think).
So what has happened?
1) Christmas Eve. I always loved that day, Dec. 24th--more than Dec. 25th. But I still haven't wrapped presents or tucked gift cards inside an envelope (seems like no more free envelopes). So that's what I will be doing this afternoon before heading over to my daughters and parking in some God-forsaken place so I won't get stuck and then trekking to the dinner and party.
2) I spent time with my web master last night. Basically, the new web site looks good. We are shooting for end of January. But I know how that stuff goes. I also have a little research to do here and then "fix up" product dimensions and weights. We are talking a slowdown at that point. Measuring 400 items or so!?!?! Give me a break. Video will come later. The Retail portion will be ready to go before Wholesale. For those who love to browse web sites you should be in hog heaven.
3) The Chess Reports #119 is out. Yippee! I do my proofreading everywhere I am, always something seems to slip through.
4) Nostalgia: I am going to go through 119 issues of The Chess Reports to create a big research book on books and dvds for the past 4 years. Did the first two year's last night after spending a while trying to find ALL the right files. I was humbled by those early years. I shouldn't feel that my latest efforts are better (just larger?) than the older, earliest ones. There was a lot of good stuff in those issues. Really. All those older Chess Reports will also be offered as downloads from the new web site. Different kinds of graphics, many provided by Rob--some cool stuff as well as some great Definitions (such as Expert...). The lengthy articles on the Stonewall were good reading too. I believe even GM Karsten Mueller commented favorably on them. The content IS a virtual secret not shared in other books or magazines that I am aware of.
So... 2010 has been a busy year and we still have a week to go. At the moment I am thinking about the future: Las Vegas, other books, new and more effective marketing techniques. I look forward to a great website to take away some of the heavy lifting when it comes to shipping and packing. And I am looking at doing more writing, finishing up the Critical Secret Workbook, etc.
Hope the weekend is great for all of you. Enjoy the look, the snow, your family (if you can). Hope to hear from EVERYONE very soon!
Bob "Chess Bookman" Long (for those who remember the "old" Chess Gazettes)
PS: Taking tomorrow and Sunday off from Blog writing.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
While I am good at keeping secrets, I am not so good at keeping my own because I enjoy (most of the time) sharing what I've learned over all these years. Maybe it will help someone else. Sometimes there ARE trade secrets as "adverse" competition may be around the corner… not that I have any competitors, mind you.
Several times recently I have received notes from very strong players, telling me they read my Blog with more than a little familiarity. I thank them. It's not unusual that they also tell me they haven't "subscribed"--for whatever reason. Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY.
I am not "afraid" of lowering myself to share with others. For example, last night a friend showed me a couple rated games, played at the local chess club, wherein he beat people significantly stronger than he is by 200 points or so and maybe more. Here's what I noticed:
1) In the most recent case he has beaten a player rated 250 Elo above him, 4 times in a row. The opponent, in my opinion, feels he can get away with anything against this guy. So he experiments, usually makes bad decisions, and dies. So if he IS superior, he hasn't shown ANY sign of that--but you know, you just know, that secretly, inside his heart, he thinks he is better--"Just look at my rating," Well, should I reinterpret that, I would read it this way: "You are superior to others, just NOT this guy you keep losing to!"
2) In a game played earlier, Black (his opponent) faced the Smith-Morra. Black should know better. He knows my friend has played this and yet, he played like a complete nincompoop. No rationality for his moves, just sheer PANIC. White sacked some material to get at the uncastled King. When the fog had lifted, Black was a dead duck.
Now my friend was pretty jacked about his two victories and I was too until I saw how they were won (I know, a win is a win). His stronger opponents were breaking chess principles right and left. In one there was no castling. In the other there was late castling, but, too late. Clogged, meaningless positions. Missing sacs, opening up the center too soon when there were tactics elsewhere and the worst: saying you are developing your pieces when you really aren't, you are just moving pieces already out, around and around.
In both there were "ghosts" everywhere. Things that basically were impossible to play and yet part of a PLAN which never got to first base. I kept hearing the word "threat" but they were ONE move threats. This kind. "He can't do that because I will play Knight here attacking his Queen." My response was, "So what? His Queen can move away. There is no lasting threat. All of these so-called threats threats accomplish exactly, nothing! Create something with some 'scare' in it." These are ONE MOVE plans.
He missed a number of plays whereby he could sac a Rook and push a passed pawn which couldn't be stopped! Surely (Leslie Nielsen) his opponents had seen these things and no doubt WISH they were playing his side of the board.
Takeaway: He has not improved in HIS play, his opponents have degenerated in theirs. I kept grumbling, "I wish they would play these idiotic moves when I play them." No joke, I felt his opponents were on mental downers! I can't comment more, it depresses me. I will need SHOCK therapy to bring me back. So just because you are a very strong player, don't feel like others will say, "What's HE doing on here?" Maybe you are only on here to search for some tidbit you can use in your own marketing. most won't or can't market like I do because they have too much fear in their bones.
Anyway, if you are read this blog frequently (or, infrequently), subscribe so I can get my count up and give some credibility to what Google tries to do. Tell me you subscribed and I will send you issue #119 of The Chess Reports, which is out tomorrow. Who knows, maybe you will subscribe.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Recently, very recently, I had an experience that would have exasperated Wild Bill Hickock. The main difference between the two of us is that I would like to think that "ole' Bill" would have shot the "evildoer."
I get, from time to time, proposals from "authors" for me to do their "fabulous" book. Funny thing though--the best books usually are somewhat understated while the "fabulous" books, the Big Moneymakers, the monster sellers, are usually full of clueless ideas, none of which resemble the publishing business (or any other).
Some think they will have the next HIT. Well, it could happen if the senders had lots of relatives willing to spend their cash on something they know nothing about and, neither does the author. Let's say that with all the progeny left over from Noah, if they each bought a book, and are still alive, it COULD happen!
So I have decided to put a column into The Chess Reports once a month to detail some of the really crazy ones. When they are really over the top, "how can I tell?" Easy. They begin insulting me as "not getting it." Think I am kidding? The last one said I would make all my money back after the first 200,000 sold even if I only got paid a $1.00 per book!
See you in the magazine, The Chess Reports. That's $69.95 for the next ten issues. That's less than the cost of a handwritten letter from the funny writer Robert Benchley. About $7/copy, less than the $10 I spent last night on "Esquire's" BIG BLACK BOOK, a fat style magazine I picked up for some design ideas for future publications such as Chess EXTRAS also working on #5). A subscription to "extras" is $65 for 6 issues.
If you like Tall Tales you will get them beginning with issue #119 of The Chess Reports. Here's the weird part: I'm not making any of this stuff up!
PS: Hope to publish a little info on new books recently received in tomorrow's Blog. It's ALL happening right here at the OK CHESS CORRAL.
Monday, December 20, 2010
What a day and it's only just starting! I've helped 3 other guys install and setup 3 big Christmas trees this morning.
I bought some food at a local grocery store and Miss Perky, who is always there in the morning, was delightful as ever (she does her shopping elsewhere because I've run into her at another store which I stop at on my way back from the post office)
I'm taking my sister to her job today because her "new" car won't start. Picking her up tonight.
Yesterday I watched and heard the choir I used to belong to perform. Excellent! Refreshments and being acquainted with old friends took place afterward.
Found slippers late last night for my sister for Christmas.
Will be getting a package or two out for customers today and down to the post office which has no small lines.
Got emails from my buddy GM Karsten Mueller helping me out with a couple matters.
And it's snowing.
Not bad. How about you?
Saturday, December 18, 2010
One sees few comments on the Blogs I write and there are several reasons for that:
1) Readers agree... yes, that happens;
2) Readers could be lazy, but I doubt it or why waste time reading;
3) I get emails mostly.
But it's okay to share thoughts with others... at least I would think so.
I don't write what I do write to stir up trouble, I have other things to do... but sometimes responses do show up! You might guess that yesterday's brought a few as others are also PO'd about the poor level of service in this country. Here's a few things:
1) Service costs money, we all know that. So try making a product that doesn't break (that is, not a piece of s---) and include instructions which make sense. I have a master's degree in mathematics and sometimes the instructions would task a math professor. We know people can write poorly but who checks the writers? Does anyone?
2) Customers going somewhere else costs money. Believe it, there are companies who are satisfied with getting into your wallet ONE time, if the purchase is big enough. I'm never that satisfied.
Regarding #2, if I build a successful business out of G&L CHESS, which does seem to be happening, it would stand to reason that the more successful it is the more I would profit IF one day I should sell it, right? So how come there are those who buy a business (which is usually cheaper in the long run than starting a new business) and instead of running it the way it was being run, they drive it right into the ground? Usually this happens when the "new" guys believe they know more than the guy they bought it from. That is NOT the same thing as recognizing OPPORTUNITY.
A similar thing happens in publishing chess books. A newbie will look at TPi, or some other business and say to themselves: "I can get more type on a page which reduces the cost OR because I get more type on a page I can have more pages and charge a higher price." Gee, I wonder why no one else has thought of that??? Often the book will take on an appearance of being unreadable which pretty much will kill future sales and future business. I knew a company like that. They folded. The boss was a numbskull, but here's the cool part: He thought everyone else didn't know what they were doing.
It really is worthwhile to study the WHYs before going off half-cocked. Now while this may possibly be discussed in side-sessions at the Las vegas Book Camp I intend to have, there really is so much more. Yesterday, or the day before, I was in contact with someone who knows the Boot Camp idea, or Retreats... whatever, and the ideas were so good I will be incorporating many of them into what I want to do while keeping the subject on chess or possibly other high-brow but interesting material. And to make it all successful, it has to be intense, info packed, accomplishing something... and so on. Then, relax in the evening. I am excited about this and will be telling you more soon.
I need a little more time to get organized... and finish up a few other projects such as the "Critical Secrets Workbook," a video, another book, etc. The variety including a project call "A Million Games" blows my mind. A title like A Million Games will get your attention even if no one but myself knows what it means. Sometimes one needs help. So stay tuned and we'll see what happens.
Friday, December 17, 2010
If there is a reason to deal with an individual and not a conglomerate, today proved it in spades.
A customer notified me that I overcharged him a few dollars on a book he ordered this morning. Fair enough, he was right. My accounting program did not have the same price for the item that a sale list had. My mistake. I refunded his credit card payment, recharged him, he wrote back and was happy about the quick fix... end of story.
Now to me:
1) I am looking at the www.medicare.gov link to determine which plans I need for Medicaid. My doc recommended it. What a miasma of mishmash stuff. After almost every item there is a blue question mark (where one can get more information which will inevitably make you check another place, and on and on). To get back to the original home page I basically had to quit and start over. The only drug I take is BP medicine (I wonder why). Yet, if I don't sign up for supplemental coverage and I need to enroll 5 years from now there could be a 60% penalty (not mentioned in the copy by the way) and shell out as much as $1500 to buy $120 worth of stuff as generic. I'll check with another source next week. Unreal. I dread this.
2) I paid via PayPal for a program which was due to expire on Dec. 3rd. I resigned it on Dec 1-2 to prevent them from autocharging something I didn't want after one month (yes, I did read all their terms). You guessed it. They did anyway. I complained to both them and PayPal. All that amounted to was more grief. I contacted Customer Service and they do an auto keyword search to my complaint and send me an email faster than I got out of my browser! The information was NOTHING I didn't know and nothing about how to resolve my refund issue.
3) Recently I had a reason to go to the US Post Office's website to file a complaint against the local postmaster who purposely keeps the counters understaffed at 2 people instead of the former 3. We had lines almost to the parking lot. The employees are pissed and stressed not to mention the customers. One of them told me to say something to the postal officials via their website. I tried. I checked dozens and dozens of links some of which appear to be circular (a favorite trick of PayPal's). I found where one could send "compliments" but no place where you could complain about lousy service. If you tried "customer service" it was all marshmallows and cream. I never could find a place to "bitch" about something that has been bothering me since last summer (it's not about the Christmas Season--don't get me started on that).
You might ask, "Yeah Bob, but how does this relate to chess?" You shouldn't have asked because I am going to tell you. This morning I got an email from NIC about a video they prepared on the New in Chess magazine. I clicked on play and everything went into freeze mode. Yes, I have DSL and it locked up everything anyway. I think there is a reason for YouTube and this would have been it. I had to FORCE QUIT this so I could do other work.
Lest it sound like I am everyone's answer to their prayers--well... I am! I will get your problem solved if there is one. I work with people who claim to know what they are doing technologically and when I put up my web site if there are any recommendations, etc. I will link you to YouTube, somehow.
It's not just callousness nor arrogance (well, maybe) it is the "assumption" (and you know that one) that YOU (Mr. Big Shot at such and such company) KNOW what you are doing because YOU ARE WEALTHY. As a matter of fact, you might know something about $$$ but chances are that you know anything else are pretty dubious--that's why those with dough often consort with others who know what they are doing in the first place and they aren't afraid of that connection. You might think it is worth saving $200 to do it yourself. But to a wealthy person, it is cheaper to hire a "geek," get the problem solved, pay the $200 and get back to making $1,000 per hour! If you are really with it, you might have TWO duplicative systems (business, technological, practical, customer service...).
I am HOPING this afternoon goes smoother. Really. I think hi $IQ and high IQ in general is inversely proportional to having a clue. There's all kinds of reasons which I won't go into here, but I had to get this off of my chest. Most of the time "I eat it" and then never do business with that outfit again... just not worth it.
How hard is it to make it right, right now, and save time and money and keep future business?
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Spent time last night putting together a list of recent titles in both book form and DVD. Why not, it snowed last night?!
Inventory has been restocked, refreshed, and is sitting here waiting for you to get something for you or a friend, or both. My daughter and I talked about gifts last night and she has some of the best ideas. Talk to your daughter(s), spouse, or even son (they have good ideas too). And it's always a good way to catch up.
If you aren't married, "friended" (whatever the heck that is all about) then, YOU know best. In the meantime, expect a list today with a couple, hopefully, interesting OFFERS included plus a VERY simplified "terms" box.
Except for the expense, I love this time of year. I've been meaning for some time to get a large screen for watching movies. That meaning is being put off again until next year... darn. I don't whistle while I work, I "watch" DVDs, sort of.
And for 2011 I have a monstrous plan which I can't reveal until I try it out and see how successful I am. I think it might be too ambitious, but hey, what's new? In the meantime, if you are "thinking" about a Gold Card for 2011, or a subscription to The Chess Reports for 2011, let's go. One less thing (or two) for both of us to think of.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Andrew Martin's Center Counter Uprising (I'm calling it.) will have most of the text straightened out tonight and then I'll make a PDF with some kind of cover. Maybe investigate an eBook next month for the iPad, Kindle crowd.
Friday I might be able to get the DVD finished. I have a bunch of people eagerly awaiting this DVD, but will need 43 to break even (I think), so get your advance order in now for $29.95 because next month it goes to $39.95.
Since I've been through the book and the DVD I can tell you there are some nice surprises in this edition and it looks like White might be going back to the drawing board again.
One last thing, been watching DVDs today until my fillings are falling out. Will be a big review of recent ones in issue #119 of The Chess Reports. Subscribe today, just $69.96.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Selling Quality Chess books is not the easiest task in the chess world. They are usually big, they are usually more expensive than the books of others (except perhaps those of TPi!!..haha), they are often written by Grandmasters, and they get pretty good reviews.
Most of my customers have not been over enthusiastic in buying these and often I have a lot of $$$ tied up in these impressive books.
But, as I keep beating the Dead Horse it gradually seems to be coming to life!
The HOT book is Alterman's Gambit Guide (KP). Next week I should have Play the Scandinavian, And while I am at it vols. 2 and 3 on the English Opening by GM Mihai Marin should be arriving too. So hang on to your hats and give 'em another chance. I am ordering more and more so that I won't run out.
If you've never tried them I can send you a copy of the Quality list of books I have, engineered by Scottish GMs Jacob Aagaard and John Shaw.
Never too late to change your mind. They are called "Quality" for a reason, a good reason.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I have not forgotten the CJS Purdy fans. As I mentioned several months ago the first issue would be in December, and it looks like that will still happen, only a little later in the month. I have been working on the contents as well as a list of games that Dr. Ralph Tykodi published in the first four volumes of CJS Purdy's Fine Art of Annotation and Other Thoughts. I don't want to duplicate. Also, there were some games Ralph didn't do, but besides that, there were some amazing articles on things which sound simple but show you that problems existed 80 years back such as "Time Controls" and oddities like that. The yin and yang of Purdy's chess publications was very interesting and in most of these areas Ralph did not too much concern himself.
Everything goes along at a pace and with respect to this NEW publication, rather than every two months it makes more sense to make it every three months. As it is, I have two issues left of Chess EXTRAS and I have been working on those too. I have the material, always varied, the time is the problem. The squeaky wheel gets most of the grease. Subscription to that is $65 for 6 issues.
In the meantime I will be making MAIL RUNS to the post office every day up through Christmastime. Today, Dec. 13th is a deadline for the Special BOX offer but that was already cancelled last week. But I still have the other items on the revised end of that list. I will update this Wednesday, as time permits.
Work on the web site is continuing unabated.
Keep in touch,
Saturday, December 11, 2010
In 2004 Thinkers' Press (me) published IM Andrew Martin's The Essential Center Counter. It was about 140 pages and steered purchasers through the complex sea of openings choices into an area where knowing some setups (far fewer in nature than say, the Sicilian or French Defense) could get one going right away. Yes, there were dangers, but Martin handled them as he usually does, with plenty of games to steer around the rocky shoals.
That was 6 years ago and since then White has been concentrating more firepower on 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5. More games, even more higher level contests, and lots of games at the "mere" 2200 and above levels!
It has gotten a little more tricky but Martin has shown that players such as Tiviakov and Nakamura can be death to White. Along the way, lesser lights have been showing the same thing. And while most of Martin's 2004 suggestions still work, refinements have been made and some new suggestions offered, for instance, to be even more aggressive. Martin said he was "suspicious of a line or two" and so he has offered good to better alternatives.
The past few days I've been working on a 15 game DVD with video notes as only Martin can do them, and for more than 20 years he has done so. Last night I turned my attention to the PDF which is comprised of 18 more "main" games and 11 more unannotated games, as well as another 5 games which "appear" on the DVD.
The PDF annotations contain content in more detail than on the 2+ hour DVD, and in fact sometimes contain more "uncounted" games. What I am getting at is a great windfall of Center Counter, or Modern Scandinavian games, all collected in one place in video and written format. This method is NEW and is not merely a ChessBase file taken from a book like in the Everyman Chess series.
Having played through all the games one will note typical setups, outlandish moves, and killer strikes. Pawns are sacrificed, names are recalled (Shirov, for example as White), and systems are worked into place. What was "complex" has become MORE stable, usable, and infinitely more interesting... and "simpler."
The International Chess Master has even gone one step further--in the field of a "pre-emptive strike," or first blow. As your opponents begin to think they have you figured out, Martin unleashes some changes to the repertoire which will confound White and make him feel as if he were starting all over again in understanding you and what you play. These lines are to be played judiciously so as to not be so predictable from that standpoint too!
The PDF you will get when you buy this DVD and PDF from Thinkers' Press (me again) is extraordinary! Why? because it will contain the content of the first book too, which is now out of print. In effect, you are getting a goodly-size book WITH a DVD which allows you to brush up on the new face of the Scandinavian and get you ready for action. Needless to say, I will be trying this out myself (as I did after the original book came out).
Here comes the KILLER Bonus! If you act NOW you will get the new Center Counter DVD AND Pdf for only $29.95 !!! If you wait until 30 days from today, i.e., Jan 11th, the price will be $39.95. No ifs, ands, or, buts.
Please add $3.50 for S&H. For the next 30 days this DVD and PDF will not be offered to anyone else at the $29.95 price except to my current, former, and hopefully new customers. As you may have noticed in the past two years, due to the lackadaisical nature of most resellers when it comes to buying OUR products (instead of only selling THEIR stuff to me), we are building our own following of book and DVD customers.
1. From Complex to Simpler Setup;
2. Patterned templates offered as a Repertoire;
3. From IM and Scandinavian practitioner Andrew Martin;
4. The original book + the new one in downloadable PDF form + DVD!;
5. Lots of NEW games and notes.
All for $29.95 + $3.50 for S&H in the USA (a little more outside the USA). Price good through January 11, 2011. ACT NOW! I'll be busy this holiday season just like you.
Can be paid via Visa, MC, Discover, PayPal and check.
Availability. December 27th, barring any computer hiccups.
BONUS BONUS: New Subscribers to The Chess Reports are eligible for a subscription to Semester TEN for $59.95 instead of the regular price $69.95 IF you also purchase this Center Counter DVD +PDF. If you want to know more about The Chess Reports, read Blog Posts from the past several weeks.
The illustration above is the cover from the original 2004 book. There will be a new design for the DVD.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Didn't even realize that I missed Thursday. Anyway:
1) TCR #118 is out. You might recall that for Semester 9 everyone who had subscribed for Semester 8 re-upped for Sem. 9. For Sem. 10 we have 11 more to go. Expect to pick up at least half of them.
2) Things are happening with the possibility of a place, and a time (May?) in Las Vegas. Been talking to some potential guest speakers. Those "celebs" who are slow to answer will be left behind. I've never had time for primping and posturing. It's amazing how many interesting people I meet through my business either via email, post, or phone. Just finished talking with Mike V. from Wisconsin (returning customer) who has been selling books on poker (if you are interested, contact me). Now he's selling playing cards and said he's doing OK. He suggested a place in LV and I checked it out and it looks great.... so, stay tuned, will let you know: great food, new, stylish, always looking for customers, and such.
I've been planning a "book" for the Book Camp and now I have to retrace my steps from what I was thinking about this morning. The brain is doing 60 in idle and 100 mph going down the one ways.
I am always getting questions about books, dvds, equipment and FREE stuff for inmates who beg me for things by telling me they have no money (the first con), and how they intend to become world class players (a second con), and on and on... but it gave me an idea... to help everyone. More time to use up. Mainly, everyone has to know "you" in your specialty. You don't have to be available to everyone, but they need to know where to go to get what they need and then, be on their way. The website will come in handy there.
Soon as you see me being "knocked," think of the word "jealous." Been happening for years. I never gave ti much thought until when I was married in 2001 my wife said she saw it all between the lines as well as overtly. Now I get it. I look at what these other outfits are doing and I am NOT impressed in any way. "Old School" thinking and promotion. Makes me feel sorry for the real "old schoolers" who actually knew what they were doing because the new crowd has to compete with texting, and being unemployed (how the heck do they afford cell phones?).
Been a rocking busy week, so better get off the seat and spring back into action.
PS: Am out of the "Box" promotion unless I can find more of a particular issue of SQUARES. Sorry 'bout that.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I hope you weren't one of those who has been waiting to buy the $99.95, eight pounds of goodies box, which was to expire after Dec. 13th. No more complete sets.
Ah the early birds did catch the worm. I went to my old shop last night as well as my office basement to see if I could find more boxes of issues of SQUARES and of course I found plenty. But there was one magazine (nope, not the low print run of #8, which I still have some of), which I won't name, for which out of all the boxes I had, several dozen, that # was missing! I only found two copies and today they go out to fill orders received yesterday.
So... I am sorry to report that until (if) I find another box, this SALE has to be suspended. Rats.
I am doing some thinking to see if I can come up with something else to offer a BIG wow or send off and so far nothing has appeared. I have some copies of Chess Previews (somewhere), but do I have enough complete sets? All of my materials have not yet been moved to my offices, so I can't check at the moment, it may be January. I have had requests for Chess Hammers too but can't find the digital files.
Maybe I can offer another box, sans the complete set of SQUARES, at a reduced price. Let me think about what I have. Supplies were dwindling.
Experience has shown that I get orders at the last minute on things like this but alas, this time I can't fulfill. Please check back. In the meantime, i am putting the finishing touches on the new Semester of The Chess Reports.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Personally, all the other editions of this book (TPi published the first one) pale in front of this one and that's not because of size (area, volume, number of pages) or price ($29.95) but because the content is basically totally changed (and better).
I'm heading out right now but this will be covered in more detail in issue #119 of The Chess Reports (as #118 is totally full at about 29 pages!) It's still about "imbalances" but I think in Jeremy we see a grown up, i.e., mature writing style.
Most of the blurbs on the back of the book are unnecessary, all written by friends or people whose names should remain unprounceable. The book is the main thing.
Lots of goodies. Why not, and I mean this seriously, subscribe to the Chess Reports if you don't already do so. It's $69.95, and will come from Semester 10, 10 fat issues, in color about games, reviews, and thoughts from the editor. Completely different from New in Chess or anything else. Anything else.
Or if you want to spend a little more, get the BOX, the $99.95 (+ $3 insurance) for a nearly 8 pound bundle of chess goodies. It includes a subscription to TCR and a bunch of other jazz. (See earlier issues of the chess museum blogpost.)
THEY KEEP ON SELLING. I hope for the run of SQUARES I have all the issues. I thought I did, but it's going to mean a big trip to the basement tonight to make sure. This is the best time to get a complete set. If you already own one, give to a chess friend or list on eBay (there are always geniuses on eBay who will pay $70-80 for something I was selling for less than half that!).
Went downstairs to LOOK: Couldn't find more os issue #5. I hope I have a box of them down at the old shop. Eeek. Won't know until Thursday.
Need to know something? Contact:
Monday, December 6, 2010
This idea is still on my mind. I am looking around for a place and a date for my CHESS BOOK CAMP 2011.
What is the purpose? Well there are lots of them but I will list a few in NO particular order (this means that whatever I list first will be deemed the MOST important by a select few who i have discovered have a problem with discernment of content [main reason? They don't read the copy but instead flit from here to there]).
1. Q&A session on how to get your chess book published.
2. A GM talks about his authorship and publishing experiences.
3. A silent chess auction.
4. How to get a Book of the Year Award.
5. What's important in a chess book AND which ones are essential to quicker improvement? (This will all be confidential to THIS event.)
6. An evening out of fabulous entertainment (If this guy is still in LV at the time I am thinking of--he is absolutely hysterical even if you have no sense of humor but think you do!)
7. Possibly a simul.
8. Setting up a Study Plan (a la "The Critical Secret for Success," a book you must own or buy).
9. Probably two days, leave on third.
Maybe more, maybe less... need more time to work on it. Suggestions are welcomed. Email address is below.
None of these ideas, at this time, are guaranteed. Completely different from the Chess Clinic of which the one in October was the Last One (I still know a few people who don't believe this. No doubt conspiracy theorists.)
I also have an idea for bringing another person in to extend, and amplify, the Camp. Nothing is set in stone yet. The event will probably be $250, with a discount for early registration or owning a Gold Card. At this time I am still trying to work out a Membership in "Gold SQUARES" which would include owning a Gold Card, no details yet.
The problem isn't the concept or even having ideas of what something like that and what it would include, the problem is putting together something great, exciting, fun, and rewarding that won't be picked apart by that always present element of "wannabes" who like the "idea" but only on their terms, dates, etc. Fortunately, over the years I haven't be very plagued by them because I go out of my way to have them weed themselves out beforehand. Remember that New Testament line, "Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen."
Funny thing, more and more marketers have come around to MY way of thinking in just the past year or two. It used to be that you could find books or tapes or CDs, etc. with the idea that one could sell even to the sales resistant or the person who is a total pain in the butt. Now these geniuses are starting to come around to my years long thinking that "Who wants to make money off someone who will cause more problems than their couple hundred dollars are worth?" Personally, time wasted is time lost.
But here is the crux of my philosophy: the reason we have fun at these festivals, clinics, and camps is because I do not solicit everyone! There ARE people I leave off of the mailings because previous "experience" has shown they would drive me crazy (I am not going into the details because that alone drives me crazy).
I have already received some interesting comments. One fellow who was at the recent clinic wants to bring his wife (no problem, she will most likely be doing something else because, chess "bores" her.) Another fellow who was also at the clinic is worried that we will be bothered by "hookers." Well, I have been to Las Vegas 4-5 times in the past 25 years and it has never happened to me. However, in my shop downtown in Davenport I would occasionally be "met" by hookers on my way to the post office or who came up to me while I was dumping trash and I know how to "politely" but firmly say no. I don't like that they feel they have to be in such an occupation to "survive," but I can't change that. For me, there is no temptation.
Let's face it reader--these Blog Posts are unique aren't they? Especially for chess aficionados.
Send your suggestions, queries etc. to the email address below. I will try to give everyone at least 4-5 months notice. I am looking at, seriously, the possibility of getting at least 70 people there to help pay for this extravaganza. Las Vegas has a very good chess population so it is quite possible. I know that $250 will be a lot to some people so I have have to keep on trucking with those who believe they can afford it (read next paragraph) and want to do it. The feedback I got on this Last Chess Clinic was fantastic.
One thing I have learned over the years and had reinforced in something I heard on a CD recently is that the problem of "I can't afford it," 95% of the time, is a LIE no matter how you slice it. Here's why. There are folks out there with multiple loans, multiple credit cards, flat screen TVs the size of a football field, all kinds of animals, etc. but they can't even afford to "go to a movie" that costs $9.00.
One marketer I know was asked by a startup if he could give them a great program to market their business, get it off on the right track, etc. but be careful with the cost. The marketer broke his own rule of saying "No" to their request because they were long-time customers (that's why he decided to listen to their tale of woes). So even though he kept the price the same for what they were looking for, he stretched out the payments, added a royalty program (where he would get a percentage of profits of success), etc. It came to about $15,000. (Reasonable for what this guy charges.) Later, near launch time, the owner of that new startup explained there would be some delays because they were still waiting for their Logo ($15,000) and some other promotional work ($25,000). My marketing friend was aghast! One, no one needs a $15,000 logo or even a logo at all if they are short of funds. The $25,000 additional program was unnecessary since the work to get the business up and rolling was already included in the $15,000 consultation job. So the startup guy poor-mouthed about his financial woes, and yet he could spend $40,000 on crap that would make no difference to the success of his business! (He had been reading some ridiculous book written by an author who didn't really know what he was writing about.) THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! ("I can't afford your marketing plan of $2,500." But next week you will see this guy driving a new car. Which, in the long run, will be the most important to his future success?)
It will be my job to excite you to come to Las Vegas. And you know there will be those who come for other reasons too and will use CHESS as their excuse for coming. I've been to Las Vegas shows and every one I saw was incredible. The architecture was incredible. The fun lasts all evening, cheap breakfasts, buffets you can't believe, amazing hospitality. Yes, I've played in chess tournaments in Las Vegas too. It's all just one heckuva good time... and, I am sure there will be some overlap with some other chess event somewhere on this planet! So what? A National Open is held every year. A US Open is held every year. When I go annual/bi-annual I do something different each time--how else will you be convinced?
All I can say is, here is my email address--drop me a line.
PS: Just got in the 4th edition of Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess. G&L price is $$25.95. Gold Card price is $22.95. Big book, please add $4.00 for S&H.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
A number of "fans" now refer to the $99.95 offer as THE BOX (I saw the movie too and I hope it isn't like that!).
I bit off more than I could chew because the other day I sent a box of these goodies to the East and the post office clipped me quite a bit for the shipping.
I had forgotten that with MEDIA MAIL it depends on which postal zone you are in. To the East is zone 5. I thought too far out of the "box" this time and am looking forward to this Promotion ENDING! Yes, I have sold a bunch of boxes but the Shipping turned out to be a killer.
So if you are still interested, I have about 25 left. Is that enough? I don't know. Another fellow is giving the "extras" of what he might already have, to his local library. Great stuff. So maybe this "raffle" has some value.
More and more are signing up for The Chess Reports and this is one way to do it.
This promotion ends Dec. 13th. I am looking forward to that!
Have fun in the meantime.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Today I did something that I don't like to do, go to the Post Office when there are bad weather conditions. But, I know customers are counting on G&L CHESS. Really. You paid, you would like to get your stuff ASAP. Other times I worked only 2-3 blocks from the PO.
The traffic was pretty bad. I took side streets and also cut out when I saw the traffic would not move, etc. Keep an even keel, don't rush, don't spin tires--because all you will do is slide sideways or, not make it up the hill.
I managed to get to the post office because there were some smart people who decided not to go. So I was waited on, then left with 10 minutes to spare. In front of me were big Ford trucks, SUVs, and people who don't know about weather forecasts (yesterday they said 7 inches of snow--but I am sure most were too busy texting to pay any attention). Through it all, I got home quickly... while most everyone takes the main routes???
Earlier this afternoon I was working on a big article for issue #119 for the Chess Reports due on Christmas eve. I am looking at Boris Spassky playing as White and some dude who has a better idea. I recall saying to myself, "No, don't do that! You're gonna die over there." He did. Spassky smashed him. Principles are around for a reason: get your pieces out, avoid moving pieces multiple times in the opening, don't win a pawn if it costs you a lot of time. "Genius" ignores that. Maybe he thought Spassky would beat him anyway and his MA (mental attitude) was, "Go for it!" Lesson: Leave the MAIN road only IF you know what you are doing! The way I travelled? I have used these alternate routes many times and have a good feel for different traffic patterns. Like looking at possible moves ahead over the chessboard, I was thinking about the possibilities of alternate routes BEFORE I got there.
I was going to go to Borders after the PO, get some hot chocolate, and do a lot of thinking about 2011 but I decided to go home and count myself fortunate. Maybe that was a DRAW, but I am here right now, writing to you.
Tomorrow, if I haven't gone on the road to my Mom and Dad's I'll write a little about Las Vegas in 2011.
Contact me: email@example.com
PS: Be really careful on the roads. Put weigh in your vehicle (ballast), in the rear. Were the street crews out? I never saw them--in Davenport they wait until everyone is stuck on the side of the road before they show up and bury you in more snow.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
My friend F.M. brought up a great idea today which I have thought of in the past, but not for my $99.95 Special! (By the way, thank you.)
He said, "Bob, even though I have most of it, too good a deal, I will use it as presents to a few friends. Will PayPal Friday. Thx, Franco. Choose Semester 8."
Hitting myself up the side of the head I thought, "Why didn't I think of that?" Probably because, if I had thought of that, it would sound like another ploy for selling something!
Well of course it is, I am in the marketing and sales business, that's what I do--but when it comes from a customer, ah then, it is even MORE real!
This was brought home to me last night when I was reading something (absolutely true) before I got FM's email. There was a guy running an auto repair business, or maybe a body shop business, and he recalled this one customer, let's call him, Ed, who never got upsold, never wanted anything else, all he wanted was the bare minimum for his car, and that's all he got (5 years worth of this!). But this time, while in the waiting room, he saw a binder and went to look at it and found it was full of testimonials from customers of this auto shop. The light bulb went on!! From then on, Ed, bought extra services, etc. because he saw that so many others were pleased, he knew that the shop could be trusted to deliver.
Sounds whacky doesn't it until you think about it. Aren't at times, many of us like that? I have seen around my office, a big folder of testimonials Rita got about my business when she worked for me. It would probably fill a 50-page book, maybe even more pages than that. I am now giving some thought to creating such a book and sending it out to everyone. These would be words from my clients (you) and not me.
IN THE MEANTIME BACK AT THE RANCH
I am conducting an "m&m" campaign for all those who order from me during the month of December. No, this is not owned by Mars candy company, but it does stand for McFarland & Mongoose publications! This is a special sale which will not be advertised anywhere else! To get this sales' list, I have to get an order of some kind from you, even one of the $99.95 orders qualifies. Then you will get an M&M flyer! And remember, these flyers don't melt in your hands but they "might" attack your wallet.
So stay inside if you get hit by a pile of snow (our turn is tomorrow) and send in an order and I will include the M&M flyer. Those who read this Blog post will know about it first. I was induced to create the flyer the other day and then I was re-reminded today when I got a NEW book from McFarland: James Mason in America, The Early Chess Career, 1867-1878 by Joost van Winsen. It's a $50 hardbound and absolutely beautiful. I will probably sell a bunch of them (many more than I ordered!) One reason is not just the history and very interesting games, the usual beautiful typography (which as you know by now I highly endorse), but the other is that outside of players in America like Steinitz, and Zukertort, MANY people think that Mason was the third strongest player, probably rated around 2700 IF there was a rating system in those days. That's impressive to me. Means his annotations can be reliable (as shown in issue #4 of The Chess EXTRAS, this did NOT include if he had been drinking!) By the way, Chess EXTRAS is $65. Four issues have been released. The next two will be in 2011.
Get your orders in, resubscriptions to The Chess Reports, getting a Gold card, whatever, and I will send you the M&M list and THIS book on Mason will be mentioned in it. Also a couple other surprises. Christmastime is the surprise time isn't it? Well... surprise me and you will surprise yourself! Contact:
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
When I finish writing what is mostly a daily blog, I will be packaging up another BLASTOFF package of TPi jewels at an incredible price, for a customer in South Dakota. I've gotten them from other states such as California and Washington too.
All of these fine folks are looking for Christmas bargains! This time it is for Thinkers' Press products, the only ones I can actually discount without coming out on the wrong side like I would with the products of other publishers. Here is what they will get. (I sent out a revised flyer yesterday and I don't think all of my readers of thechessmuseum are on that list (I would require an email address)):
• Chess Reports Semester 10 (worth $69.95).
• A Chess Reports Semester from (1-8) your choice, worth $50.
• A mint copy of Purdy's Chess Gospel According to John* ($24.95).
• Hoffman's King's Gambit, a $24.95 value.
• A mint copy of Lasker and His Contemporaries #5 ($20 value).
• A mint copy of NM Alex Angos' You Move... I Win! ($20 value).
• Mint, 8 issues, of SQUARES, #1-8 including the rare 8th one. ($79.15 value).
• Brand new copy of Bob Long's Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter (a $12.95 value).
• Printed disks and jacket of Andrew Martin of Chess Clinic #2 DVDs. A $29.95 value.
• A mint copy of Purdy's Action Chess listed on Amazon at $66.99 (actually, higher).
$400 worth of TPi product for less than a hundred. Specifically, $99.95 + $3 for insurance. Shipped FREE! in the U.S.A.
That's a 75% discount on great stuff in great condition. I have enough for about 29 more packages. Now this may mean nothing to Carsten Hansen, who "reviews" for ChessCafe and who hardly ever has anything nice to say about anyone's products, but he isn't my customer--especially those who doesn't care what he says.
This is MY ultimate Christmas present for those who know who Santa Claus (Santa Chess) really is.
For one thing, this is a method to subscribe to Semester 10 of The Chess Reports for about $17.50! Ten issues, 18-20 pages in each. The first one comes out Dec. 10th and most of it is already completed. There will be a special section on how to play chess differently even if you are over 50. See how one well-known grandmaster did it before his untimely death. Ten games, annotated. For another, you can pick a semester from 1 to 8 as a "sidekick." The first one chosen was Semester 8, and that is a good one to start with.
COMING TO GRIPS WITH CHESS
I have included two Purdy books, Action Chess (an opening repertoire which included the Colle) and The Chess Gospel According to John*. The John* part was Cecil Purdy's middle name. Just these two are almost 400 pages. The second book is a reintroduction to Purdy's Guide to Good Chess with 3 additional chapters added from his book My Search for Chess Perfection (temporarily out of stock).
KING'S GAMBIT? why me?
You might say, "But I don't play the King's Gambit, or, even want to. This is not an opening book. It is a story of chess, non-fiction, by Paul Hoffmann who grew up in NY surrounded by chess. It is subtitled The World's Most Dangerous Game. It's a good read and shows you lots of of behind-the-scenes goodies about chess, publicity and problems. Over 400 pages.
ANY ENDGAME HELP?
Why not? In the 50s Alex Angos was the chess champion of Greece. He moved to the U.S., and in fact, to the Milwaukee area. He was an endgame expert and Master. I recall standing with him one day at a tournament where a master had a Queen against his non-master opponent's Rook. He couldn't win. Angos whispered to me, "He doesn't know how to win this!" All that emphasis on opening theory! In "You Move... I Win! Angos imparts some great wisdom on endgames where Zugzwang is the point of focus. The subjects include pure pawn endings, minor piece endings (a biggie), Rook endings and Queen Endings (two more biggies). Lastly, Zugzwang IN the Middlegame! Almost 200 pages. Oh yes, if you've never heard of Bahr's Rule, you need this. It shows how pawns (only) on the last two files can be determined as to whether there is only a win or a draw! I'm just saying...
One of my Proudest Accomplishments
Some years back I embarked on publishing a Chess magazine called Squares. A huge job yet, with almost NO help from any outside sources (envy and provincialism) and borrowing thousands of dollars, I had over 500 subscribers. I paid for articles such as by GMs Jonathan Rowson, Karsten Mueller... I actually received advertisements from companies I had never or seldom ever seen advertise anywhere else. Sarah was also responsible for this (credit where it is due). Each issue was 64 pages and there were eight of them. Stuff in there no one else dared print such as Alekhine's questioning of Capablanca's supposed endgame mastery. Some sterling articles by NM Ron Wieck. And so much more I can't list them all. By the way, this INCLUDES the rare issue #8 (the print quantity was cut way back since I knew I would be folding the magazine.)
There will be a few (there always are) who will say, "But I already have book X, can you substitute a mint copy of Bobby Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games?" Answer: No. You are contemplating throwing out the whole offer because you already own something?? Use your imagination and give it to someone else. Or, you already have issues 1-8 of The Chess Reports? They represent $12.50 of this whole package! Don't be lame (tight fisted). I'm giving away the farm here and you are worried about removing the "cow pies" in the pasture?
Back to Lasker
The Ultimate Streetfighter. My recent book given away to those who came to the Chess Clinic in October. 51 pages, lots of cool, virtually unknown games (especially the real early ones). Part of a series you will want to get in on. Also included is issue #5 of Lasker and His Contemporaries. One of these days I may publish #6, right now, just no time, even at $25 per copy. In #5 we must have had some decent material as John Hilbert and I won the Fred Cramer award from the USCF for best new something... (Eeek, I can't remember). It wasn't a joke, we got a nice marble green obelisk and cash (more than I got for a sci-fi movie I was in as an FBI agent--no kidding).
A few years back I filmed some Chess Clinic sequences and put them on two DVDs. One of them shows me annotating a game at the Chess Clinic (I was slightly nervous never having done this before). There are 3 hours of content AND, I counted, Andrew Martin gave away (if you listen closely) about 40+ tips on improving your game as he annotated 7 others.
All this for $99.95! The Shipping and Handling is FREE! All I ask is $3 to cover insurance at the Post Office. This deal lasts through December 13th. No substitutions, I am not a restaurant.
Personally, I recommend "Santa Chess" ordering this right away as I will be busy working on Andrew Martin's newest DVD on the Scandinavian. Hopefully details on that tomorrow.
Yes, you CAN pay via PayPal too (my email address is below).
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, November 29, 2010
Am I behind the times or what? I don't care if it means that "some" enfeebled pantywaists are now referring to Christmas Trees as "holiday trees." Give me a break! Apparently there are merchants who are trying to satisfy everyone, an impossible task, certainly, and it doesn't satisfy me. Who was it that said, "A rose by any other name is still a rose."
People are still "inventing" bogus holiday events like this Kwanzaa thing which started in California (?). If you have nothing to do, come over to my place and help me sort pieces I want to send out as direct mail to former customers.
Which leads into Tim S. in Hesperia CA who I haven't heard from in a long time. He took me up on my offer of $400 worth of Thinkers' Press products including the latest Semester of The Chess Reports, for $99.95. Fortunately, just in time boxes have arrived where I can ship out this jumbo-package (almost 8 pounds) to guys like Tim who got my 4 page Christmas flyer today. If perchance you didn't get one, I'll send one to you (George E. I hope you got yours this time.)
In this fistful of words and special, which took almost two days and one night to put together, I have attempted to free up some space at the office to put all the new goodies coming in. I even had to postpone Purdy's My Search for Chess Perfection as I ran out of them! And people from overseas are becoming a good backbone to my business here in the states. I have asked my web master for an update to my upcoming web site.
Resellers are looking forward to some TPi reprints for 2011.
As for the US Post Office I keep wondering how they can be running red ink when I am always having to stand in line at the PO because the postmaster refuses to put more people at the front counter. And sometimes the line runs out the doorway. The massive mailers, the rates for air travel overseas, invoices, and all that means lots of mail is being shipped. Unfortunately, being a former government worker, I know that until TODAY, there have been pay increases year after year for federal workers, ones who make no more contributions to their job than they did before (last year), supposedly because of inflation. If I don't work harder now than I did last year, the results are the same or worse. I can't even ship from my house like some others can, because I have a menageries of mail deliverers all on different schedules.
But I look forward to this season of holiday cheer and festivities. It always makes for a great mood.
One former customer called today because I listed a phone number on that 4-page Special, which I do from time to time. He doesn't know how to use computers or email and doesn't really want to learn. I quit posting my phone number when all that would happen is cause me to get phone calls from people who are too lazy to read and would ask me questions which were already answered in my Newsletters.
DON'T FORGET. The Special prices on "Quality Chess" books ends tonight at Midnight. Several titles are already out of stock. I will get some more to fill your orders. The book on the Benko Gambit by Pinski is temp. out of print. Tiger's Modern is also temp. out of print but I have one left for whoever asks first.
That's enough for now.
Friday, November 26, 2010
What does my logo for Quality Chess remind you of? A famous movie, book?
Quality Chess has some great books but their logo (not depicted here for obvious reasons) is pretty lame... so this one was put together by me and son and it certainly is, unofficial. The guy holding the chess King hostage is a bad boy, but then, some of you knew that.
Drop me a line and tell me where you think this idea came from and if you are correct, you will get $3 off of your order AFTER a current order from you to promote Quality Chess books... that is, a coupon will be put into your order to be used on your next order. This offer expires at the end of this year.
Now, speaking of weirdness, I got a piece of email advertising Black Friday specials for chess where "prices were slashed on our most popular items." Think about that! That is anti-marketing. Anyone in business for more than 10 seconds knows you don't slash prices on the stuff that rockets out the doors with no effort. And if it is truly popular, they already own it.
I guess it is for those who wish they had THESE "gems" but have just not gotten around to forking over the dough. That means Rybka is discounted (I am OUT of them!), and stuff I had that was once hot is gone or stocks are limited. For example, I still have a few copies of Seirawan's CHESS DUELS.
As some of you have no doubt noticed, I've been issuing catalogs piecemeal because if I sent everything in a PDF (one PDF) your email box would choke like a dog eating horseradish. So I break it down and in order to get some traction, I often offer a time limited discount which the vast majority do not take advantage of. (Guess what? I get offered deals like this too, and I take advantage of about 1/3rd of them--non-chess).
TODAY WILL BE INSANITY. Black Friday? I suspect so. I know 1-2 people who get up when it is still dark (4 a.m.) to get ready to go to the stores, whip their credit card out, and buy crap their kids wouldn't need in a month of Sundays (or, Fridays). I expect the parking lots of the bookstores to be filled today also. I look at the restaurants and movie theaters out where my Borders is and they are filled most weekends and many week nights. Yet I keep hearing about this recession thing. To wit... a couple years ago I was in Chicago taking some training courses. I walked from my hotel to Michigan Ave. where the Apple store was... unbelievable... lines zig zagging out this huge store out to the sidewalk. White packages, white boxes, iPods and everything else. Clerks roaming through the store nowadays taking orders... (next paragraph).
Update... some of you know that Microsoft has put together 7 stores within a few doors of Apple Stores. According to a MacNN report today of one particular store, the Apple store was killing them! Why? It's what I try to do here from Iowa: diversity and products no one else stocks because they are exclusives. In the last 2 days I have gotten requests for Buckley's Practical Chess Analysis (which is OP at the moment, but it will come out again in 2011). I was asked if My Search for Chess Perfection is available on the Kindle. (No, not yet, not anytime soon.) I am also out of "My Search..." in the book printed edition. I offered this to resellers in round about ways in the past month and they sat on their hands... so apparently they are satisfied with selling Everyman Chess titles no one wants.
It's a crazy business... but I invite you to continue coming to this Blog Site... in anticipation of my new web site... which is still being worked on. I hope there you will find a different type of chess business and an informational one which I don't think will be duplicated anywhere else until... I get copied like MS copies Apple. One way I avoided that in the 90s is that I made my catalogs SO BIG that my competitors just couldn't take the time to make theirs that big... besides, one has to know something about the products they sell to be able to write all those descriptions. If you take a look at the Quality Chess Catalog sampling I just put out, you will see what I mean. For customers a "description" of "Wow, it's great" is not enough.
If you haven't seen the Quality Chess catalog because you were too busy with turkey/ham, mashed potatoes, etc. and it slipped through your hands I will send another upon request. Special prices good through this coming Monday night, Nov. 29th (I mistakenly put Nov. 28th on the cover--I have been off a whole day this month.)