Thursday, April 28, 2011


Just sent out issue #127 of THE CHESS REPORTS... the penultimate one. A number of articles were included such as the Alekhine Chatard Attack games of Viktor Korchnoi and a few of my own. It seems, to me anyway, that Korchnoi was not particularly adept at handling the White or the Black side of this scary system and I suspect his "bluff" kept many at bay for years.

The cover features a piece of art done years before, for me, by Jay Christenson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It shows a riverboat gambler chess player with his squeeze, looking perilously over his shoulder and the distracted opponent wondering if he was losing, was it his turn to move, or just plain "Gulp!" The whole picture was featured in my book The Chess Assassin's Business Manual, but it was only in black and white. There are only a few copies of that book left and the price has been raised to $32.50.

Actually, this was an artist's depiction of a real-life situation which happened to a friend of mine, former Texas state chess champ Bill Wheeler. He told me about it in 1972 when we were both in Iceland for the Spassky-Fischer match. The "victim" was Wheeler himself but I believe he did win the game. I thought it particularly "cute" that Jason stuck a "spare Knight" in the gambler's hatband, just in case. And I loved the Snidely Whiplash touch.

Now and again I see good art like this in chess, but not too often. T-shirts are particularly "rank," and I am not referring to the rows on the chessboard. In all these years us chessplayers have gotten what we could afford to pay. When a money making opportunity comes around it is rife with amateurs, rip off artists, and that SMALL percentage of people who are really talented and can produce the goods. But when I have seen t-shirts at chess events I NEVER have seen a rush to buy out the vendor. Not too pound my chest too loudly, but I usually sell out the few times I have done it. I have no more Fischer t-shirts, nor any of the other ones.

In 2010 at the Last Chess Clinic I meant to set aside a t-shirt for myself, and set one aside, but someone grabbed it and without knowing it was mine, I sold it to them! I will have to do better if I do that in the future, put the stuff UNDER the table. It was a madhouse at the sales table.

I am hoping to have some more fun at Red Wing in Minnesota this July. Found out after my event the US Open starts the next day! Isn't that unbelievable? It's so hard to pick a date. I purposely stayed away from the first week in August and they moved it to the end of July. Thanks Orlando. Don't you guys have Mickey Mouse? I've been to Orlando in July and it is a BAD time to be there!! If you don't know what HOT means, I pity you.

I will be producing a set of CDs for The Chess Reports in PDF form. While the regular retail is about $550 this set will be 60+% OFF! So stay tuned. If you have a GOLD CARD you can save even more.

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