Monday, September 27, 2010


Recently I got an amusing email from someone who wanted to be dropped from my chess mailing list. He said it was OK to reprint it and was surprised I wanted to. I explained that it is nice to get courteous replies sometimes too instead of reporting me to my bulk emailer for sending somebody perceived spam.

Here it is:

"I never explained to anyone before why I wanted to be removed from a mailing list, but your emails are so quirky and personal that I thought you deserved a brief explanation. Like what used to happen in the days when people did business face-to-face.
I happened upon a Purdy book a while back (when Strand Bookstore still had a downtown Manhattan branch, so a pretty good while back). It was remaindered, and I took a flyer on it. I was buying a handful of chess books because my son was slightly interested, and I became slightly interested.
I thought Purdy was a very good writer. I emailed you to see what else there was.
But I've put chess on a far back burner. At age 57, I'm having trouble with things like remembering openings. [That's why I was curious about Purdy's Colle-type system.]
I've been devoting my time to learning the Racing Rules of Sailing, which is about as complicated and tactical as chess. And you get a much louder crashing sound when you make a mistake.
So thank you for your quirky emails, but please take me off your list.
Thank you for your courtesy."

Former e-mail guy.

He followed up with:

"You may use my email if you like, although I don't imagine it will sell many chess books for you.
Maybe you should branch out into sailboat racing books. There is a surprising similarity in the tactical issues. A good opening, or a good start, is absolutely vital in both, and volumes have been written on this alone. But in sailing, it's more like 20 players moving the pieces all at the same time, without taking turns. Very interesting.
Anyway, I am flattered by your regard for my email, and I wish you well. If I get back to chess, you'll be among the first to hear about it."

A very nice man... but I have no intention of getting into sailing books as I know nothing about sailing, but always thought it might be fun. I have finished half the proofing for the "secrets" book. Should go to the printer in a few days. Hope you will consider coming to the Chess Clinic if only to save a pile of money on this first edition. $39.95 versus $99.95 at the end of the year! I think it is very good. It has taken me weeks and weeks to write and rewrite it. I make my living this way--is this a living? About 200 pages now.

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