SIMON, in one of his works said that in his opinion, tactics beats everything else in chess. While at the stratospheric level the BIG GMs might disagree they would immediately agree that tactics are hidden in almost all calculations, especially strategical ones. True. So you have to play to block out tactics, if you don’t then it is like the theme from DRAGNET. The boom gets lowered.

A couple weeks ago Simon sent me some details of what he wanted to cover in his attack and tactics lectures. Here they are for review. Subject to possible changes:

1) Typical sacrifices to crush the Sicilian (shows some games with typical sacs ending in mate). Often these attacks are reminiscent of attacks in some other openings too.

2) The Sicilian fights back! (now it’s Blacks time!) Equal time and equal effects.

3) The lazy way to become an attacking Grandmaster. (Going to show simple patterns of attack. An opening that leads into a middlegame attack). Simple patterns, who can’t use that?

4) Jumping into your opponents mind. (Showing examples of how important it is to think about your opponent’s ideas). Getting into a customer’s mind is important, so it is when it comes to chess.

5) The most shocking attacks of all time! This is a Williams original!

6) How to calculate better. Who, on this planet, could not use this?

Over the years I have met and known those who played good defensive chess, chess where it was hard to beat them. When they came up against a John Lutes or some other amazing tactician, you would spell their quick demise as KRUNCH. No, it wasn’t an obvious blunder (or mistake) it was the Grim Reaper coming for them. This has to make players nervous when they played Tal, or Simon Williams. You will get to see this on August 19th and the 20th.


I was just told that 30 rooms have been reserved at the Ramada Inn in Bettendorf, Iowa. That’s cool and Leigh said they were responsible for around 60 nights! That could really help us afford the exhibition hall which was pegged at $750.00. That’s why not too many people will try something like a SIMON WILLIAMS CHESS EVENT. There are so many things to think of and fortunately God has my back because a lot of things are in the 4 page brochure I am mailing out this week, including a stamped envelope for returning the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement, even if you had already sent one to me). Put the rest of the mailing in YOUR wallet!

Included are phone numbers, reminders, shuttle information from the airport (please let Lynn Hunt know as soon as you know).


This is going to be an extravagant and wonderful event. Info on the SWAP MEET has also been included, i.e., more details. Someone asked how am I going to handle “straight swaps” such as book for book. I don’t know EXACTLY, but I suggest everyone have a sticky note inside (or on) their item of what they believe the value of the item is. Then we both have something of value. One of you pays me the 10% and the other pays me 10%, you exchange items and the deal is done. The two sticky notes have to be close to the same amount or I judge the sale item on the higher value, 10% for each. So let’s be friends, no scamming. Let’s be legitimate.


That’s what we are all after. The current ticket price is $200 and still $20 for the simul rate while seats last!

Any other questions info@chessbutler.com

Your buddy Bob and his 3 year old sidekick Jack.

PS: If you play Simon in the simul and you get beaten, instead of being “waxed” we will say you’ve been “Simonized.” GROAN. Choose a brand new, book prize from QUALITY CHESS. CLASS, all the way.


It looks good. They’ve been ordered. You know they are counting on us to pick up the shirts as I have already received the bill! The shirts will be ready next week.


I discovered something cool this evening. I found, in an old Chess Life newspaper, a plaque commemorating Paul Morphy made for the Log Cabin Chess Club. I’ll have more info in issue #10 of the MORPHY TIMES & GAMES magazine. The next issue will be out after the CHESS FESTIVAL is over.





NOW I KNOW Alexander Alekhine is dead, 1946, but I am playing a game of IF. Say the Alekhine of 1930 or there abouts. Nice picture of him and his cat, he called CHESS.

What would it take to go see him? Alekhine remembered that when he found out that Pillsbury was going to be in Moscow, he was almost delirious. He wanted to meet him. Various people have written about Fischer’s tour of 1964. Or Tal in Chicago some years back.

Exciting times and stuff. What would they say or do? Why was it that there were always a couple people who would win or draw against the champion? Sweeps were known but usually someone would slip through.

What will happen with Simon Williams against the 33 (so far) who will be set up on Aug.20 for a simultaneous? Will his strangeness take the day or will someone “out strange” him? Come and find out.

I’ve seldom played against masters in simuls but when I did so, I acquitted myself beyond my expectations. I do not know why those who could play against Simon won’t!

I know there are those who hate losing, but this is for memories’ sake. Who knows maybe Simon is going around the horseshoe he was making some super kind remark about your play, and mean it!

I’ve spotted players who wouldn’t give up until they were the last person standing. And then, the Grandmaster just ground them down. They remind me of the players at the chess club who would hold on for 60 moves and then quip, “I lasted for 60 moves” and beam like the mayor of some small town who had just won the election against the city’s dogcatcher. All the while the grandmaster knew he was winning and that the chance for the blunder was more with the amateur than it was for himself.

I have ordered the 40 chess sets and boards for the simul. Room for another 7 players. Cost? $20. Cheap enough. $20 to take the set and board home with you and $1.40 sales tax.

I have ordered 30 t-shirts of various sizes. Too late to increase the size of these digitally printed shirts. Hi-quality Gildan cloth. Wear it to bed as a night shirt.

The Simon Williams Shock & Awe Playbook is at the printer and should be here at the end of July. That is out of the way.

Issue #225 of the Chess Gazette (FREE) was sent to everybody on my mailing list. Lots of comments but only 2 sales in the past two issues. Whoa Bill. It’s FREE anyhow did I leave out the enticements? I didn’t. Lots of new and recent books. And on top of that, some really good books and DVDs. Is every one waiting to get these items at the Chess Festival? I doubt it. I feel like it is 9/11 all over again!

We intend to have a good time at the Ramada Inn (Bettendorf, 563-355-7575). I will be informing the local news establishments tomorrow morning. Of course the “previews” won’t be out in advance until the actual event. Who wants to hear about something local AFTER it is over? That’s the way they DO it around here.

Just in case YOU still want to come (I have seen this happen, I don’t get it) it runs from August 18-20. $200 to register. $20 to play in the simul if we have any spaces open, Sunday Night will be a Q&A with GM Williams, for 2 hours.

Ideally, if we had $2000 or more to advertise in the papers and on TV, we could probably get another 20 to show up. The ROI (return on investment) would be staggeringly low. There are many chess players I know who won’t be there. Why? It was announced over a year ago, and the price then was $100–so it’s not like there was NO warning.

Take a look on that dome (forehead) of Alekhine’s. Just imagine all the secrets he had cached away in his head. If I had a time machine that’s who I would like to have seen. In 1926 Lasker was here in Davenport and there were a lot of people attending because they had no TV back then (and thus, no commercials), no cell phones, just the presence of a great playing bowling the “brains over” like ten pins in a bowling alley.

Maybe you will change your mind, now, at the last minute. 40 are coming so far. I thank those with the brass (and green) who are coming. BOLD, BRAVE, and WONDERFUL CHESS PLAYERS.

CONTACT BOB LONG AT: info@chessbutler.com



Maybe AAA will show up just for you (or me). Also will be a SWAP MEET, FREE PASTRIES, A $20 gift certificate and more. Lots of yummy chess merchandise too.


Bob Long

Doubting Thomas Takes a Seat in the Electric Chair!

In the past sometimes I worried too much, especially as a businessman. Some say they don’t worry, I interpreted that as they “didn’t care.”

As I matured and became stronger in my faith worrying happened less and less.

Why worry about things which I had no control over? Why? Did it give me something to do? Like I need more things to do.


Not too long ago I found a newsletter of mine from September of 1976 when I was in the business of selling magic effects, books, equipment and seats to lectures! This magazine, named The Sorcerer’s Eyes, was way before the CHESS GAZETTE.

I wrote:

“Don’t forget the Don Alan lecture. We have sold a grand total of 6 advance tickets! I must admit I am very disappointed in the response of the area magicians or those who profess to be magicians. 30 is a minimum number of tickets for us to sell to break even. Don doesn’t appear to be worried (why should he be?), says that some people often wait until the last minute and then find out that once they get to the door, the room has been sold out. We asked the Sheraton for no more than 50 chairs because the room is not very large and we want everyone to be able to see. I have read John Mendoza’s manuscript that will be published later this year on choice magic only, and near the end of his REVISITED, he confides that “Don Alan is the best magician for close-up entertainment today.” I know John believes it. I readily admit that the admission price of $15 is high, or even the lower $12.50. However, over 100 in Minneapolis and at the Chicago site paid $15 EACH to see Dai Vernon, and Don Alan is probably as well known. So forget your excuses, scrape some cash together and come over and purchase  a ticket from us at THE THINKERS’ EMPORIUM before the Tuesday night. What tickets are left will be sold at the door, but don’t make me sweat any more than I have to. If you are interested in or care about magic, you should regret it for the rest of your magical days if you do not see him. Don should be in the store for talk, autographs, etc. between 6 and 7 PM. The show starts at 8 PM in the Sheraton Motor Inn in Rock Island. Only ticket holders will be allowed in the store at this time. I feel I have an obligation to those that bought the tickets, and moochers that try to get Don’s autograph without paying the price are unwelcome. We have stuck our neck out on the line, will you?”

It must’ve worked because we had nearly a full house!

Even my sister and brother in law were there and they had to buy their tickets! At one point Don was thumping his electric watch and putting it to his ear and he asked the audience, “Does anyone have a watch like this?” My brother-in-law, Bill, raised his arm and said “I do.” Then Don (a master comedy magician) replied, “Do you also have a set of jumper cables?” The audience went up in roaring flames. Bill loved the attention he got for his $30.00. He was really happy he came.

There was more!

Those were some pretty heady days back then. Early that afternoon we had some press over, a news photographer and Don asked the reporter if he had a quarter. Don lit a cigarette, took a couple puffs, blew on the quarter, mumbled some archaic phrase and pushed the cig straight through the middle of the quarter!! The photographer got the shot and the next day it was all over the newspaper! Too late for us to sell tickets to the show that night but newspapers are that way. In a couple days I will be contacting the newspaper and TV stations about Simon Williams, they’ll do their best, I am sure, to also cover us at the last minute. They wonder why they are in decline. Comments? info@chessbutler.com

Back to the Electric Chair!

So far we have 36 who have PAID for their tickets. Another 4 tickets to 4 special people who have done favors for the Chess Butler. Like in the excerpt above, another 10 sold tickets at $150 each would go a long way to cover the cost of the exhibition room for Simon and his hotel room. We only have a few seats left for the Sunday Simul at $20 each because I am limiting the simul to 40 players.

We will have Simon merchandise for sale in the form of books and DVDs. My son Nate will be helping us with logistics and Christine (daughter, she has worked all my festivals) and Brianna (granddaughter) will be helping us in sales. Brianna, through our magnificent Canadian friend Ken MacDonald, will be handling food on mid-Saturday afternoon at the break. Also, FREE!

There are T-shirts which people want too, and we are past the 18 needed to order them from the printer (thanks!). They are $24.95 for sizes up thru XL. For XXL it is $27.95. And for XXXL to 5XL it is $31.95. You can PAYPAL us or use your credit card up through July 15. On July 17th I order them from Summit Graphics and you can pick them up on August 18th at our night before party at Old Chicago, right next to the Ramada. Come hungry. Pizza will be supplied FREE by Steve Lamansky, Mike Vuolo, and the Chess Butler.

Same for “last minute” registration, $150 now. $200 starting July 17-August 18. I have too many things to do at the last minute to be handling questions, and selling registrations. All the mdse. must be marked before we bring the stuff to the Ramada (563-355-7575). This is an incentive to move your fanny right now. info@chessbutler.com


You’ll get both from Simon. On his DVDs which we will be selling, he is primarily serious. In person or on YouTube he is SIMON! Personally I like both for obvious reasons. Sometimes it is necessary to get down to business. In person a little light-heartedness can go a long way to keeping your tonsils busy.

High Def. video will be taken by Avenue Studios and we have to pay them in advance (there is no FREE lunch, get used to that) for all day work. Simon and his team in England will be putting together the lectures from Saturday (Aug. 19th) and sometime later they will be sold (at a discount to those who want the DVD of the lectures and who were registered). info@chessbutler.com

This Probably Explains my Heightened Sense of Nervousness! or WORRY!

However, the minimum for the T-shirt order has been made. There will be no more t-shirts made on this premium Gildan cloth. So this is your chance. SOME have ordered more than one t-shirt, you might want to also. Must be prepaid.

Secondly, I was having problems with making the Simon Williams’ Shock & Awe Playbook! this past week. Finally they have been resolved. Erica, the gal who was overseeing my production wrote this morning:

“Thanks Bob,
I was giggling at your email this morning, “I am a former mathematician, and good at this stuff. Somewhere along my path I went off the rails.” I love math too and totally understand! I’m sorry you had to go through that, but I’m glad that things are working out for you. Continue onward to rethinking and rewiring! 

I am confident our copies will arrive on time. I will let you know in these pages.


Those who PAID for their registration will get a copy of the book on Simon’s Games (48 annotated) for FREE. Originally I planned to sell copies to others for $39.95. However, I have dropped the price to $29.95 because at the last minute I turned into a cream puff! How often has that happened? But, if you aren’t here you won’t get your copy autographed (if that is what you desire)!

One thing I don’t want to forget is the Sunday Evening Q&A. I checked my back records of previous Chess Festivals and in 2002 we had Ray Smullyan. The Professor regaled us with magic and music because he was a professional pianist, and he did imitations of Victor Borge! At lunch on the previous day Mike Fisher did a portrayal of Chess through the Eyes of William Shakespeare, at our lunch, which was a riot. He went on to do some recordings for Chessbase and their Fritz engines. Seating for the Q&A session is $25. We have about 8 seats left. Get YOUR questions answered while Simon relaxes with you for a couple hours. The PERSONAL TOUCH! I believe in the value of Feelings and Personality, they are my CORE thoughts and feelings in conducting business. Do you feel you get that from my competitors??

Simon will be working hard and we are hoping you can break into your piggy bank to make the trip to Bettendorf, Iowa Aug. 18-20. Summer is the busy Season. Our block of rooms disappears on July 15. They have good rates and are just waiting for your phone call. Be sure to mention the Chess Festival. (563-355-7575)

More details will be made available if you have given us your email or physical street address.

Contact Bob Long at: info@chessbutler.com

PS: Doubting Thomas. Remember him from the Gospel? All the things on my mind sometimes makes me forget HE is watching over me, especially when I request it. A couple days ago a big box of Simon Williams DVDs arrived at the Chess Butler’s address. I am working on putting a brochure together to tell you about them and to offer you a special price on these extremely valuable disks. Might even help you to have a few questions for Simon at the Q&A! I hope to get the price list and comments out today or tomorrow.

So… profuse thanks to my Lord for watching over me and helping me in ways only he knows how to stop my worrying and just enjoy the time and what’s coming.

If you are reading this and are not yet an automatic BLOG subscriber, please do so and you will get automatic updates and feedback on this BLOG which I might not always be able to get out to you via private newsletter.


THE 40TH registration for the Simon Williams Chess Festival came in yesterday! Thanks Sam.

I had this feeling, with some thinking this may be our biggest event yet.

Not true.

That happened in 2002. Tickets were about $75-100 instead of the current $150. We also had several celebrities instead of just one (in this case, Simon Williams). In the former we had GM Jonathan Rowson. IM Malcolm Pein. IM John Donaldson. And, Professor Raymond Smullyan who recently passed away at 97! He was 82 or 83 at our Chess Festival 3.

Back then we arranged for air travel for everyone (including 2 from England), a place to stay (including Sunday evening) and their fee for speaking. On top of this it cost a pretty penny for use of the facility. It still does though Jumers’ was $3,000 and the Ramada Inn is $750.00.

Jumer’s has now been reduced to rubble. The owner was unwilling to keep the property up. I had never known any German-American to be that tight! They did very well because there were so many expensive weddings there! Not chess events. It was also famous for its food and chef.

We never had the funds to hire a planner. That’s how I “learned” to do this and am planning on writing a book about running affairs such as this. So if you have ever thought of being publicized in any good way, you might consider registering for this event and maybe we could make it past the 55 we had in 2002. We are now at 40 and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a small increase in numbers by July 15th because on that day the price goes to $200 because for anything less, there is no time. So far I haven’t taken a cent from all of this for the work I have been doing and I still have to order 40 sets and boards for this gala affair. And of course, unlucky me, they want to be paid for these. The simul event has seating for 40 and if you can stay for it I encourage you. It’s only $20 and for another $20 you can keep the set and board that you played on.

Two days ago we set up terms to have the lectures videotaped so that Simon can have them edited (post production) in England (but shot here naturally). On the recent table we published of attendees, whether or not they wanted a t-shirt (please, if you haven’t already) send payment so we can include you and your shirt size when we place our order. We have met the minimum to have printed. Thank you. $24.95 for Large. $27.95 for XL and $31.95 for bigger. The NDA column stands for “Non Disclosure Agreement” which means you won’t blab to other organizers about how we set something like this (there are many details which I do not publish on this Blog). It also means you have agreed that we may use your face on materials we use to write about this event and even publish in a possible book. I will be sending more copies of this event NDA even though they were already included in one of our Chess Gazettes. info@chessbutler.com

I have no idea what the DVDs will cost if you want a set (whatever that consists of).

If you have to have a ride from and to the MLI Airport (Moline International) you have to call Lynn Hunt to arrange that. If you don’t have her number from the several times I have posted it, contact me : info@chessbutler.com

You can reach Lynn at 309-736-6823 with your arrival and departure times as well as your flight number and the airlines. Please, don’t wait until the last minute. I’ll see if I can find another number for her just in case. You can also email her at: lhunt@visitquadcities.com

If you need the phone number for the number of nights you will be staying at the Ramada Inn, it is 563-355-7575. They are holding rooms for us through July 15th. After that they take the “block” off the remaining rooms and you will have to fend for yourself.

That won’t be as much “fun” as you might think and for which I know from personal experience. I went to all this trouble for you. If I make any money from this event of chess and hilarity it will be from the Simon products we sell as well as new stuff. If you are interested in some sort of “sponsorship” of this event, please contact Bob (that’s me in the picture at the head of this article): info@chessbutler.com Of course your generosity will be touted and noted such as Ken MacDonald providing some food for everyone on Saturday afternoon.

P.S. Just the other day I got a big box of Simon DVDs at VERY VERY favorable pricing. I’ll put that in a soon to be coming press release.

Don’t forget, every paid registrant will get a free Simon Williams Playbook from yours truly. 48 annotated games. And you’ll also get a $20 gift certificate to be used at the event. You might want to keep a copy of this info in your wallet or some other safe place.

Theoretically this Blog will be posted to my Thinkers’ Press Facebook account. All of these social media places are brief on how to do anything. They are betting that I am willing to spend unlimited time to publicize this… I am not.


GM SIMON WILLIAMS is a wild one is he not? He’s “on” most of the time and it’s a good thing he is 37 or 38 because he’s busy. I was going to say I used to be insanely busy like that but I stopped for a few seconds and reflected and realized, “I pretty much still am!”

But nowadays I believe in the power of a NAP, that thing where one goes horizontal for an amount determined by you. For me it is anywhere from 20 min. to an hour. When I get up, the ideas come to life and I feel great all over again. It works.

To enliven you I picked out a Simon Williams YouTube video–he has several hundred of them. On this one he is determined to beat whoever he plays but he gets annoyed when he keeps getting a “coaching call” from Magnus Carlsen! Hilarious.

Tune in for some fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPzrIJizes&t=2055s

That’s it for now. If you want to sign up for the event (chess festival) this year drop a line to: info@chessbutler.com because we are hosting the “Maniac from England,” Simon Williams, August 18-20.

Bob & Jack



RECENTLY I watched an online video by one of my favorite marketers, Drayton Bird, from England. He’s about 80.

This guy knew success as well as the misery, panic and nervousness of everything, including his latest, his LAST HURRAH. In Bristol, several hundred pounds (sterling) worth.

Drayton sold his marketing business to David Ogilvy, of Ogilvy & Mather, years ago, for millions. Eventually he went off to do his own thing but not before David Ogilby gave the comment, “Drayton knows more about direct marketing than anyone alive.” Probably true.

But at his Last Hurrah he delves into the secrets and failures and the guy has a lock on the word “charm.”

He asked a question the other day which I think is appropriate: “When putting on an event doesn’t it usually work out that there is a flurry of people who sign up at the beginning, then a low point in the middle of the calendar, and ending with another last minute rush at the end?”

He had asked some of his friends if they had experienced a similar situation? They all said “yes!”

Is that true of CHESS FESTIVALS? Not necessarily. info@chessbutler.com

On Chess Festival V it started out with 7-10 people signing up early, as well as the excuses for not being able to come, also early. We are in the “trough” so to speak now and it has been fairly even for the last couple months. Now we are getting to the last 2 months and it is dribs and drabs.

I think part of this reason is the Simultaneous Exhibition. We have 33 signed up and now we are down to those who want to go home on Sunday instead of playing or who don’t want to pay for another hotel night, or this surprising one: “I know I will lose if I play the Grandmaster and my ego can’t quite take that!”

Amazing. Are they saying they’ve never lost a game, or they did once, and it was unbearable so they would rather not play? It’s only $20. You can buy the set and board afterwards and take it home with you, autographed, right? A memory forever. Maybe the wrong kind of memory for some.

I can remember playing the Rev. Fr. Catich, probably in my 20s. We played 5 games without a clock (I didn’t know about them back then). Catich was one of those true geniuses, in everything: art, mathematics, printing, chess, and being a priest. He had been orphaned and stayed in an orphanage in Montana before being moved to Illinois.

He played in the Chess Review Golden Knights event and I saw a game of his published where he sacked 2 rooks and won. He played in one of those events and scored 49.5 out of 50. The half point came from a miscalculation which he caught in time. It was postal chess and while he was working that morning, he was thinking of the card he had mailed when all of a sudden it occurred to him he had written down on his card a “not so good move.” What did he do? “I went by the mailbox and waited for the mailman who picked up the mail.” He asked him if he could trade him “this” card for the one he stuck into the letter box. As he knew the USPS guy, the carrier let him. It turned a loss into a draw.

He loved correspondence chess and in a near future article in the Chess Gazette I will be promoting it! Here here.

I took an appreciation of Fine Arts class from him. It massaged my head. Wonderful stuff.

One night we played 5 games and I won one of them! Surprise for me. As I was leaving I asked if he would sign the 5 score sheets. With a sheepish look on his face he inquired, “Do I have to sign the loss?” My reply was brief: “Especially that one!”

You see I had spent a year in the math dept. at the University of Iowa and I bought copies of Chess Review from the Mott Drugstore magazine stand. And I read Jack Straley Battell’s Golden Knights section. So I had already known that Catich was one heckuva chess player and he was known at St. Ambrose College, where I went to school as one of the top calligrapher’s in the world.

Now, where is that score sheet? I need to clean up my basement, maybe it’s there.

Getting back to the Chess Festival V of 2017, won’t you please sign up for the Simul as well as the lectures? All forms of payment accepted (except Am. Express). $150 + $20. You will have the time of your life.

How do I know? I just got the word from Simon today that his request for a Work Visa in the US was accepted. We are both breathing a sigh of relief. Now if you sign up for Simon’s work interlude here, you will help me to breath a sigh of relief too.


Bob & Jack