Kudos to Jenifer Gittrich! Today her husband Eric told me that he and his wife are coming to the Chess Festival for Feb. 16-18, 2018 in Bettendorf, Iowa! He wrote and said, I “thought somebody registering for the Chess festival might be a cool way to kick off your new year.”

Absolutely. It certainly pumped me up after one disappointment after another!

In the past week or two I have received 5 emails from people who have changed their minds about coming for all kinds of reasons (boss, company, their kids, wife, etc.). In some cases I was wondering “What the hell kind of companies are they working for?”

Years ago a fellow had signed up for Chess Festival 2 and he did come. 2 years later he asked for time off again (although I think he had vacation time coming) as we were having a major “hellzapoppin” event (GM Rowson, Prof. Smullyan, IMs Pein & Donaldson, Fisher (Michael), and Prof. Tykodi (the Purdy guru)) and his boss at Western Union said to him, “If you go, you will lose your job!” So he didn’t go and after the event was over, he lost his job anyway!! So it’s not just sexual harassment it is just power bullying. That is, don’t let another person have fun or they will “pay” for it. I’ve been thinking of writing a book titled, “HOW TO QUIT YOUR JOB!” I know a lot about that.

The point of this dissertation is to let you know that Simon IS coming, Andrew Martin is not (we couldn’t get enough people to sign up for him, and he didn’t want me to take a “bath.”) Andrew is considerate, a lot of people aren’t because in their own mind the JOB is up to me to figure a way out. AND BESIDES, a lot of people think (?) I have a lot of money anyway. (I have clearly no idea where they got that notion! Recently I heard a guy gasp on the phone when I told him how much I got from Social Security. He couldn’t believe it. That meant to me he had not yet reached 62 or 65!)

Talk Is Cheap!

THE IDEA about the Chess Festival came to me about 1997 as I wanted to do something for our fans and employees for their years of support in our chess business. I expected more than the 12-13 we got in 1998 when John Purdy and Frank Hutchings showed up along with GM Lubosh Kavalek, Allan Savage, and Jon Edwards. The ones who missed out on coming told me they would be at the next one, but, they didn’t come…hence the expression “Talk is cheap.”

So, the Chess Butler, is looking for Older and Newer fans to make this one because it will be the last one. When I said in 2010 that that year would be our last Chess Clinic, and, it was, we had 35 show up. The Chess Clinic and a Chess Festival are two different things. The Festival will have a GM and a clinic will have at least one IM. I’ve stuck with that premise but it is now unaffordable to do even that.

You wouldn’t believe all the paperwork that’s necessary to get Simon Williams to come here so for you who might be mad at him for him not making it, I would blame US Customs. For those who are mad at me, it wasn’t me. Read on.


We have some ladies coming! We’ve had a few in the past but this time, if their husband (SO) has a ticket, they get in FREE! So far Rawl Rutter’s Danielle will be coming. My Peggy is coming (with her Boutique of clothes, jewelry and chocolate chip cookies), Jenifer Gittrich will be here with Eric, and hopefully many others. It might cost you a car or plane ride, or a train (no AMTRAK!) Show her something she can do to accompany you if she is not all keyed up about chess. There IS something for her! And there is pizza on Friday night! There are pastries on Saturday. Kevin Schafer will be taking still photos on Sunday (you can bring a camera). These pictures may end up in a future issue of American Chess Magazine!!

Something for the gals

My first wife did more to encourage me and my business than any other. Now Peggy and my daughter are doing the same thing! Ya gotta love the right ladies. Bring yours, I mean it. Chances are I won’t be taking their $$$, Peggy will do that AND she gets to keep it! You can bring your own wallet (by the way, make sure YOUR credit card details are up-to-date as it makes everything go faster and more smoothly, and of course, cash is always accepted). Whenever Mercedes came with me we always had more fun than when it was just me. I remember one wife telling me she had more fun at CF #3 than anything else she had done! Powerful testimony.

We’ll have books, DVDs, specials and our SWAP MEET too.


Yes, we have a cold spell at the moment, a couple of inches of snow but this was nothing to what I had about 1990 when we were in Orlando, Florida. We parked at O’Hare in Chicago, and flew to Florida. I was there for a typographic conference and my SO spent her days at the pool and shopping. I had a lot of fun and she said she definitely had a lot of fun! It’s what you make it. We flew out of green Florida back to Chicago where snow covered our car! At first we couldn’t find that car. Yes, I will be there with Nate (my son) helping me out. Next week I will have lower back surgery, so if you guys come and buy me out, both Nate and myself will be grateful! Yahoo. And you will have terrific reading material.

I think we will have fun in Bettendorf, IA because that is not Davenport, but next door to Davenport. At my past Festivals we got few people from Davenport so I think that is a plus. Call the Ramada Inn at 563-355-7575 and ask for the Special Chess Rate of $62.50 per nite. Some have told me they plan to spend at least 3 nites in Bettendorf. Great, it will help pay for the Simul & Lecture Hall.


That’s my number. Almost always I have my cell phone with me so you can talk with me or leave a message and your phone number (don’t speak too fast please, I have a slow ear!) One thing I have discovered at these chess events is that a lot of folks want to speak with me too! Always glad to help. New things are always going on.

Over and out!

Watch for a new list of books which we will be having soon. Thanks friends.




For some the gift giving time at Christmas time is seriously stressful. Shouldn’t be.

I have one more thing to do and I will do it tomorrow.

For those who like chess things or to give chess things let me tell you what happens here.

I get people of all stripes who order stuff right up to Christmas and they know I will ship, but the gifted won’t get the item in time to open on Christmas (eve or the day).

Why worry about that? As long as you get what you want. I filled and sent out 3 orders today and 4-5 letters and could have done more but I had other things to wrap up.

I was working on a new price list several days ago and haven’t had time to finish it. Probably will send out Friday if I have time and this will be a TIMED or SUSPENSE sale. That is, you will have to order by a certain date to get the extra BONUS discounts OR you won’t get them.

It will be worth your while as I reduce these shelves to get the new stuff for 2018. If I get the merchandise in 2018 then it is inventory (and dollars) for 2018 and not 2017.


If I don’t have time, it will go out on Christmas Day! JUST TRYING TO GET DEPLETED inventory out to lighten my load as I am having back surgery on Jan. 10th unless a miracle should take place (it could happen) and if it does, I’ll tell you.


In the meantime, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Also I JUST FINISHED a new Ad for a chess publication and I will send copies to you about the Chess Festival in February and I will send a copy to you if you give me your name and email address. This should be fun. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we are looking forward to a mild winter this February and the FA has a track record of being right 80% of the time, while this year, 2017, our meteorologists have been wrong on snow, sleet, ice, etc. 100% of the time!!! Thank God.



Old time friend and customer Rick Kennedy wrote recently and while he was at it, ordered a copy of the great green hardbound, Mannheim 1914. On the enclosed card were the words PEACE, ironic because Mannheim in 1914 was anything but peaceful, as he noted.

I see it has been November since I last wrote on this Blog, but I’ve kept on writing, just in emails.

We have been “warned” that we may get a little snow this Friday or this weekend. So far I see nothing, which is OK with me although I love the Christmas Cards with snow on them.

I don’t want or need snow-shoveling!

2-3 weeks ago I discovered pain in my right hip and right leg. What a drag. At first I thought it might be the hip replacement thing, but, thank God it wasn’t. Something they call osteo-arthritis. Had never heard of it. But after an MRI it turns out to be the compression of a nerve on my right side (in my back). Tylenol alternated with Ibuprofen helps as well as occasional pain patches, BUT, Man oh man. I also have stairs to climb so I want to wish sympathy and prayers to anyone who may have something like this! And, Merry Christmas (of course I am sitting down right now). I believe surgery is being scheduled… so, I need to sell stuff.

For a couple week boxes of books were pouring onto my porch, right and left. We are almost caught up with everything the publishers have been cranking out, so, your orders are welcomed.


The Chess Festival February 16-18 is only a couple months away! I contacted Leigh at the Ramada Inn (563-355-7575) and she said only 1 had reregistered so far! I couldn’t believe it! This doesn’t count the rooms I have to cover for Simon and Andrew. Sure, February is a winter month but why take chances? I don’t know what to say. Help me on this!

I will be putting out a SPECIAL sales list today to all those on my mailing list. I am flooded with books, and I will be offering them at good prices. What is amazing to me, as I go through them, is how good they are! If you have any time at all to read this Season, you could stock up on some of the best delights I have ever offered. It’s even fun to REVIEW them!

However, after last weekend, a lot of things are missing (sold out) but some have been rectified! For example, I am getting more books from The Chess Player, and already some of them are in low quantities, and one is even sold out because of me! I think it might be the IM Imre Koenig book. So if you get a chance, check your email box today, where I will have more to say (too much to keep track of).

In case I don’t get back to the BLOG this month, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Bob Long


I am still preparing for the Feb. Festival and also working on my Morphy Newsletter (#11) as well as a big discount catalog!

That would be for the upcoming Christmas Season. Not far away.

If somehow you missed out on some of the new stuff you “might” be in luck as the season of “love” is coming upon us. Well maybe two seasons: Christmas and Valentine’s Day!

And being near the end of the year, it is necessary to fork out some more moolah to get my main supplier to ship me some new stuff.


You remember that “snake” Howard “the Coward” Staunton and how he staved off meeting our own Paul Morphy?

Well, yours truly, the unruly, editor, Bob (me) has discovered something in a P. Sergeant book about Mr. Staunton and it doesn’t look to good for him. What a weasel.

It will be revealed in issue #11 of Morphy’s Times & Games and will be sent to all subscribers as part of their subscription. No single copies will be sold except to those who have already purchased #1-10!

So, be on the look out for it.

I also discovered in my 2015 Mega database for ChessBase that they had Staunton and Morphy playing each other! I haven’t checked yet to see if it was their famous consultation game or whether it was another CB screwup.

I will be ordering CB Morphy’s Master Class #9. Anyone besides me wanting one? I think it is $32.95. Let me know right away will you? Add $3 for S&H.

I’ll be in St. Louis for a few days to see about buying some chess items. I am trying to gather sales material to pay for new merchandise plus for the extra Festival Expenses.
See you later.



More data coming in for February 16-18, 2018. More merchandise, two rooms to present from and Peggy N. coming to help out with extra chess mdse. and getting the proper amount of sleep. Also guys bring your Significant Other, they get in FREE if the both of you stay at the Ramada!

It will be an action-packed weekend and my 2018 copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac says the Chess Festival weather will be MILD! Yahoo (for this part of the country)

We also got in The Center from Hungary and expect some more chess books tomorrow.

It’s bananas here and I am loving it PLUS the Ramada Inn ROOM RATES WILL BE $62.50, a 22% SAVINGS over the August RATE plus some new data on Simon Williams and Andrew Martin.

If you aren’t on the CHESS GAZETTE mailing list send your name and email address, Copy should be ready this weekend.

Bob Long


A COUPLE THINGS since I haven’t written much lately.

  1. I watched a replay of the Ben Finegold and Simon Williams “brawl” last night from October 5th, and while it was much too long, I had a great time as I did little else but watch and listen. Go find it on YouTube. Ben started the “attacks” first but Simon didn’t really follow suit. Danny Rensch was the moderator. Before it was over, Finegold had won the match by a 13-9 (or something like that) score. Williams was quite complimentary of Finegold’s play whereas Ben was dismissive of his own play. Williams accused him of being too negative about his own play. Simon commented that he (Simon) made too many blunders, and, it was true. On the other hand you couldn’t always tell, for sure, who was sarcastic but neither seemed mean. I think they ended up liking each other and “discovering” the “other guy” was stronger than each had thought!! I suspect they will do a version of this chess show again as in their own quirky ways they had fun and Simon did not seem to be a bad sport in losing to Ben. There were some nifty ideas and Simon was quite adept about pointing out some of Ben’s “touches” such as “moving back and forth.” When Simon wasn’t blundering a piece of a batch of pawns Ben was quite complimentary about Simon’s playing abilities. Though an “expert” of the French, Ben played the Exchange against Simon and kept on WINNING! While Simon managed to win 3 or so faster games in a row against Ben  (3 minute). Ben was drinking tea and Simon had a couple bottles of beer. IM Danny Rensch told both of them he could take them down! I thought it was a lot of fun but it seemed, according to Rensch, that some of the 5,000 watchers wanted more blood, more insults, and more craziness. All I know is that I thought it came off well with Ben donating his $2500 in winnings to some kind of charity. It’s not always about analysis, who is the greatest, etc. sometimes it is about fun. I had a fun time before turning in.
  2. The 10th issue of MORPHY’S TIMES & GAMES is done except for the advertising page on the back. 16 packed pages. And a reprise of Morphy Club memberships whereby you can get bigger than usual discounts on books. 30%, maybe more! A plain old subscription of all 12 issues is $99 in PDF form in color. A Morphy Club membership is $275 and includes other things such as the Morphy coin. Anyway, you should be getting it by this evening.
  3. I’ll be doing something else for collector’s and fans of the Chess Butler. I will be doing SHOWCASES several times a week where the spotlight will be on books, DVDs, specials and lots. To make sure you get this you would do best to request it and I will make up a special list that it goes to using my CONTACTS app. All you have to say is KEEP SENDING ME THE SHOWCASES. When it comes to my personal show cases I am saving the money from that for a very special cause for Peggy & Myself. The rest I am keeping a secret because I haven’t even told her yet!

Gotta go. Contact me at:

Bob Long

By the way, Jack is now 3 and just had his tonsils out. His mom has to put an anchor on him as he is the most energetic kid I have ever seen!

Will be nice to hear from everyone again and soon will have more data on the Chess Festival.


I just can’t get done everything I want to do.

But recently I advertised a free book from a list of 12 to anyone who ANSWERED an email I sent out. I would also pay the first class postage! Crazy, I know.

I am not the most humble guy in the world and I don’t know too many who are except saints.

But when I talk about descriptions for chess books that I sell, I try to tone it down so that people can make an honest assessment, which probably confuses some of them.

The FREE books are just starting to go out and I thought I would include a 3 page listing of books and DVDs, and recent new titles coming in next week. These listings take time to write, a lot of time, usually. I am not looking for put lies into them, but facts and factoids which hopefully will get you to buy.

The main reason for that IS: In february (16-18) I will be having a :make up” chess festival for the Simon Williams one we had to postpone due to matters beyond my control. To exhilarate the chances of getting YOU to come in the middle of Winter, I added IM Andrew Martin to the weekend for your enjoyment. It’s all explained in issue #227 of THE CHESS GAZETTE.

So I am selling things to pay for his airfare and fee, same for Simon Williams. Part of what I am selling is on this 3-page listing (and more coming). There will be 2 bonuses too:

a) If you are able to bring another person with you to the Chess Festival (and get them to stay at the Ramada Inn in Bettendorf, IA), I will give YOU (if you are already registered) a $25 bonus check. If you can get two to come, and everyone stays at the Ramada, I will give you a check for $50.

b) Am selling THE CHESS REPORTS for $19.95 EACH, in PDF, of the BEST OF THE CHESS REPORTS 1 AND BEST OF CHESS REPORTS #2, WITH SOME ADDITIONAL EMANDATIONS, by yours truly, IN PDF FORM…and these will be marvelous including the fabulous story about HOW Botvinnik won a game (this is a masterpiece) by straightening his tie AT the chessboard plus a bunch of other goodies. Hours of reading fun, facts, and CHESS.

That’s it for now. Don’t forget to ask for your FREE catalog listing (with more to follow, stories and games from out of the Woodwork!

write to: