Friday, April 30, 2010


"The new phone book is out... the new phone book is out!" Thus spake Navin Johnson in The Jerk.

In this case the revised chess catalog from G&L CHESS is here. It also previews the new logo I will be using,

Lazaro Munoz says, "Your price and description of Russian Silhouettes is wrong. Great catalog otherwise." It turns out the price is fine (the number of pages isn't) but the name of the book doesn't match the photograph of the cover. I have since fixed this. Will wait to see if there are any other issues, fix them all, and resend.

Lots of pictures this time as when I did a trial run I was surprised I was able to keep the size of the email to 1.5 Mb. Will add some more pics next time too.

The cover is a Big departure from my usual having a snazzy piece of art or photography. It's hopefully designed to explain what the catalog is about and why other people order from it. It's an attempt to be humorous, let's see how that works. I must've had 5 pages of notes in writing this up and one can never be sure.

Anyway, it's out. I remember the "old days" when I would issue a catalog and eventually the orders would come in. Same way now. I wonder why I can spend 4 days honing all the parts and it takes weeks for people to respond. In the "old" days there were fanatics and I was always trying to placate them (or lose their business). Nowadays the pace is a tad slower.

Another game from Topalov and Anand today.

New in Chess' 25 Years Anniversary issue, the 400+ page book, has been a great read (in bed, the john, on the landing in my house...) Giddins, the editor, did a great job of selecting the material. The distributor in the USA was put out of the loop on this one and so we had to import a few copies. Gary W. was the inspiration for this and he got the first one. The theatrics (Kasparov, the whining (Kasparov), and the play (Kasparov, Anand, ...) really makes it as well as some interviews I had forgotten. Probably the most memorable for me was the interview with Rustam Kasimdzhanov (and another with Bronstein). After he won the FIDE world championship he was ignored. No invites, lots of excuses. In spite of what RK says, I think he was ignored because he was a Muslim... even though he doesn't wear that on his sleeve. He's one helluva player. His DVDs are among the best ChessBase has produced. I would love to have him write for Thinkers' Press and I hope that comes to pass. He's very intellectual, intelligent, and a good predictor of bad human behavior... but, in my opinion, he handled it indifferently and that hurt him. However, I've always thought that many European chess organizers are very "catty" people. These people would have peed all over themselves to get Fischer in spite of his antics, but their secularist "tones" prevent themselves from inviting a truly great chess player to their events. Kasim says he doesn't go for PR, so then that is his fault. Being "true to your school" has its downsides.

1 comment:

  1. 'I remember the "old days" when I would issue a catalog and eventually the orders would come in. Same way now.'

    Actually you would not expect orders to come in before you issued the catalog :) Actually what happens (in my case and I believe in others). We get some offering and it gets put aside until we deal with bills versus paycheck. We wait until all of the monthly bill are in (or at least accounted for) and then we see how much free capital we (hopefully) have beyond that. Even in today's credit card world, I don't and I suppose many others don't make non-essential purchases out of savings so it comes from what use to be called, pocket money, what is left of ones income after expenses and monthly savings commitments have been realized. So instant gratification has wait at bit.

    As for Rustam, if he had not told me he was Muslim I never would have known. I think the bigger issue is that "World Championship" Knock-Out Tournament itself is a joke as it offers no prestige whatsoever. That is why FIDE needs to return to the Zonal, Interzonal, Candidates and World Championship cycles again. It is both a fair system and provides prestige. In today's world it might require some tweats such as a Candidate's tournament instead of individual matches which would be hard to sponsor, but overall it is much better than gathering the world's "best" and running a quicky event using quicky time control.