Friday, June 3, 2011


Thinkers' Press inc.'s new openings magazine SCORE came out before noon today. Here are some early returns:

Wow, It looks great!
Nice weekend reading and lifelong chess improvement!
Cheers, Patrik (Sweden)

Very well done first issue of SCORE!

If the rest are of the same high quality I will be happy.

Ron (Des Moines)

I've just started to take a look at the first issue, but had an idea I wanted to run by you. I would like to print off several copies (with your permission of course) of page 2 and hand them out to some people who come to our chess get togethers at Barnes & Noble. Let me know what you think... I have to admit, I'm pretty "pumped" about this new publication! Thanks.

Keep pushing those passed pawns.

Steve (IA)

Attached are my suggestions for openings to cover in SCORE. I have always taken a great interest in opening theory, and I should therefore be satisfied with any openings covered in these issues. But since many openings already have several books devoted to them, I thought it would be refreshing if these issues covered openings without a great deal of already published theory. Of course, this has happened already with this issue covering 1.) g3. Perhaps some other offbeat openings can be covered in later issues.
Thank you,
Gary (IL)

BOB: I replied to Gary that we certainly will consider his list but if there has been no NEW news (SCORE is about 2010-2011 games and theory), then anything written would duplicative to those other books and databases.

The Chess Gangs of New York and London, Alekhine the Executioner issue just landed on my porch. Those who have FREE ones coming will be mailed that issue between now and 2 weeks from now. If an order in the meantime comes in from you, I will just drop it in with everything else. If not, I try to do it all on one day. For those who are BUYING the issue, yours will go out very soon. 59 annotated games are included. Don't ask me why the printer included 4 additional blank pages. One time he will, another time they won't. If I "fill them" they will charge me $1 extra. It's screwy.

Next up, Pillsbury the Fencer. The games have been annotated and soon will be laid out. Then comes Capablanca I think. After that... a big surprise. If I tell you in advance I won't hear from you until summer... No, it isn't Kasparov, Karpov, or Fischer. (Or Tal). I doubt those guys will even be included; their games are already quite accessible.

If you want to buy an issue of Alekhine, it is $12.95 + $3.00 for S&H.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Marketing experts talk about "followup" and then try to suggest how often, when, and what else to add to an original message. There is no "this works every time formula."

Yesterday I sent another email to prospects about the new magazine SCORE (comes out tomorrow or later tonight). A spate of positive replies ensued ranging from: "How can one use PayPal without a website?" to "I am dropping my check in the mail" to "It IS a bargain, where do I send the money?"

The answers to these questions have pretty much always been in the emails I send. Yet when I sent a follow up email, people read that one insteaad! This time, I'm the one who doesn't get it!

1. My bulk email sender requires that when I am making an email to anyone I don't "regularly" do commercial business with, that I include an email address... which I do. And a street address, which I do.

2. I've mentioned in my publications and mailings HOW to pay using PayPal. One person thought that could only be done USING my website. That is NOT the case. I have a "placeholder" website, but it doesn't take orders... it lists an email address. Simply GO to YOUR PayPal account and after putting in your Password, click the SEND money tab. Put in $20 (or whatever amount you want to send), the email address who you are sending it to (mine is: and click "send" or "submit," whatever the button suggests.

So a website IS involved, but it is PayPal's website only. Yes, I am aware some business web sites take PayPal and the payer doesn't have to know anything else, but that is not the only way.

3. My address is: 1524 LeClaire Street, Davenport, IA 52803 USA if you are mailing me a check, money order, or your credit card information. Some ask if I take "American Express." No, not anymore. I have found that almost all AE owners usually have another credit card of the Visa, MasterCard, or Discover variety, which I have taken for a long time.

Some babies are breast fed (simple), and some are bottle fed (more steps). Until I get my web site up I am doing the bottle fed version.

My good Tennessee friend Roy M. said "Web sites are practically free these days." He was kidding, but in fact to set up a web site that is other than a splash page telling about a business is a lot different than setting up 400 items, describing them, scanning book and dvd covers, pricing, and maintaining them. This doesn't include setting up a payment system, tiered pricing, blogs, and any other Special Events.

My sister Jo designed her own web site and it took her a year and included payment systems. Her web site is very inclusive and complicated. Yes, there are "ready mades" but almost NONE of them will work for a business that is anything but extremely simple. When you see CNN, or the USCF web site, underneath all that, there is a LOT of jazz going on and usually more than one programmer involved, and constantly involved.

So myself and my web programmer are working on it and we hope to surprise those who specifically NEED a web site one day. My time estimates have been wrong on this because I have deadlines to meet and orders to fill--otherwise, I can't buy groceries or pay utility bills. It is like that when one is self-employed--money doesn't come in automatically, one must keep priming the pump UNTIL the concern will run in a regular fashion.

In the meantime, you can still call me with credit card information, or email it to me (I need the same thing I have always needed: 16 digit credit card number, the expiration date, and nowadays, the 3-digit set on the back of the card). If you prefer paying by PayPal just do what I suggested above. Some wag wrote once that there is "more than one way to skin a cat." Why would anyone want to skin a cat? But, I am sure it is true. Some do not want to email me their financial information and that is fine--just give me a ring at: 563-271-6657. I usually have that number with me unless: I am in the shower, asleep, or in the head. Unlike some, I do not live with my phone.

I am still getting orders for SCORE this morning. Thanks to all of you.

PS: By the way, Blogs confuse some too. One fellow thought he could order through my Blog. My blog site is run by Google. To my knowledge Google doesn't allow such things. But I often do list a way to contact me, such as: -- as here.

Years ago I told my then webmaster that a lot of folks didn't understand the internet, using payment methods, had fears of their identity being compromised, etc. and she found that hard to believe. She found it hard to believe also when I said "25% of my clients did not own or use a computer!" These "webby" people read these "polls" but I wonder if anyone actually polls those who mail me checks (I have a number of customers who DO know how to use a computer and still mail me their check... why not, they have their own ideas on how they want to use their credit cards, if they have them.)

I do not yet own an iPhone or an iPad even though I wish I had the coin to do so. Thus, even though I understand quite a bit of technology, I don't engage in all of it just to say that I do.

Many companies (most?) today won't accept hand-delivered or mailed resumes. They only want "digitally" submitted resumes according to THEIR standards, which, not amazingly enough, vary from company to company and almost NEVER are totally applicable to the job you are seeking! I know, I tried this. It got so tiring I gave up and anyone who knows me knows that is not easy for me to do. It is ONLY a mechanism to "weed out" applicants and settle on what is left. In the meantime, the "perfect" potential employee for that position may have been dismissed because they didn't have an AA degree and yet smartswise might've been better than anyone else in the company. Andrew Carnegie surrounded himself with smart people and yet he was the richest man in the world. But, he was the one who started his company, not some nincompoop in HR who thinks he/she knows what they are doing because they went to college.

Think about this: if 100 is the average IQ in the US, why do so many feel they are above average, IQ-wise? Why do they assume their children are? Why do they assume their bosses are? Another thought. It is known that 1 in 25 people are sociopaths (no conscience) and that some of them are in positions of responsibility (and yet who often act extremely irresponsibly) such as CEOs and heads of departments such as HR. Sociopaths LOVE (if they can love anything) those who are manipulatable or very malleable. If you don't do it THEIR way, better to not do it at all. With regards to ordering and paying for merchandise from G&L CHESS or Thinkers' Press, inc. I offer many different ways of doing so including making an appointment to stop by and see me (just bring a wheelbarrow!)

Still willing to answer anything I haven't covered. Tomorrow is the Big Day SCORE gets launched. Climb aboard.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Some years ago I wrote to a marketing friend who is big on new "digital technology" even though he still writes books. His ideas on "copyright" are quite loose saying, in effect, that we have to change with the times. On whose terms? His? The public's?

He was very big on Wikipedia. I wasn't even though I have used it. I said, "It leaves too much room for incorrect editing and data by slum writers." It turns out to be quite true. Some authors have been caught making up stuff! You know these types, so lacking in self-esteem that their self-esteem (not to mention education and buying their own resources) allows them to rip off others. With respect to chess I have found things that were simply incorrect.

If an organization gives you free reign to dump THEIR stuff into Wikipedia, fine.

Companies pay a lot of money for their work and research. One such was the Oxford Encyclopedia people when they produced David Hooper's and Ken Whyld's The Oxford Companion to Chess, original AND New edition.

I was looking up something about Jackson Whipps Showalter and Pillsbury (H N) to confirm a thought I had about winning the US championship and then defending the title. Well, Wikipedia had the information because it was copied directly from Hooper & Whyld's book (I was double checking)! Directly. No paraphrasing, no parsing, no mention (except under references [and that doesn't given them a license to "lift"]). This is wrong.

The defense is ALWAYS lame. "We (Wikipedia Users) don't have access to H&W's book, it costs too much since it is out of print." This idiotic comment makes it sound as if they would ACTUALLY buy the book if it was available. How many of us believe that? It is this casual theft which makes many publishers give up on publishing researched reference books. I doubt if it can be stopped--few with deep pockets are willing to attempt it except perhaps Viacom on YouTube. When paper publishers cease will "online publishers" be willing to publish it for free? My guess? No. Who will take the first step?

There is one guy out there who rips off ChessBase DVDs; you can see him and hear his blather at tournaments around the country. DO NOT buy any of this stuff from him! He will give you all kinds of BS arguments about what he is doing as being all right. It isn't. ChessBase knows who he is but is unwilling to send people after him and put him in jail. One reason? He has no verifiable address since he is on the move all the time. Well, not true. Go to some tournaments, especially in the Midwest. You will find him. Some years ago, in Sioux Falls, SD I confronted him directly. After he tried to shove all of his crap down my gullet I told him he was a crook and a liar. Guess what? His response was to call me filthy names and walk away. Doesn't this sound like a person on the up and up? I didn't back down, he did. But everyone else backs down. ChessBase has the money, they just don't want to spend it. I estimate he costs them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. No, that's not what HE makes, he discounts everything--it is what ChessBase would get paid if they got all their "rightful" money (of course I realize people buy stuff from this jerk because it IS offered at a huge discount--or on a mini hard drive with everything on it!). Would you support this guy? I hope not.

Over the years I have kept my share of chess reference books which I originally bought. I have done my own research and writing. For example, in the fantastic Purdy Chess Chronicles which I work on, I USE the books and magazines themselves WITH paid-for permission from the Purdy family! That's what I call BEING SERIOUS.