A couple days ago I promised to reduce the size of your library. I know it can be done because it was done in a major way in Rincon, a sort of suburb in Savannah, GA in 2008, by yours truly.

I was packing up to return to Davenport, IA where I live now.

I came up with 20 book boxes of stuff which would fill my return trip Ryder truck to beyond its capacity. 20 Boxes of books!

That included encyclopedias, lots of science books (which this library really wanted), books on great lawyers such as Gerry Spence, computer and software books up the yin yang.

They were glad to have them and I wanted the space saved.

If you think you have chess books you haven’t read you should have seen all the books on computers, Photoshop and who know what else that I hadn’t read and the chances of it happening were seriously remote.

Few of them were used books.

Hardbounds on how to make silicon infested computer boards, software on everything, and languages. At least $2-$4000 and probably much more, maybe twice that. Part of me felt guilty, but I had lived 24 years pretty much by myself. I’d feel even more guilty for keeping stuff I knew wouldn’t get read although I did use my Funk & Wagnalls books for research, pre internet and I have to say, the encyclopedias in those days were more valuable.

Today I was in line at the post office and this woman in front of me said she had moved at least 7 times. I said, “I bet each time you move it gives you a chance to throw a lot of stuff away!” I was wrong, she said she was a hoarder! Her 10 year old daughter said she was just like her Mom!

I stopped her with, “If you had a fire which destroyed everything you had saved, what would you do then?” She was stunned with the question and had no answer. Gave her Mom a hug!!!

In other words, temporarily save the chess stuff but throw out a lot of other things which will have no value, even on eBay or Amazon. The postage can be more costly than the items’ value.

Ask yourself THIS question, “Would I ever buy this again?” If the answer is ‘NO’ then pitch it!” Of those 20 boxes of books I unloaded at the Rincon library, there may have been 1 or 2 that I had regretted giving away!

If you are a hoarder, you are screwed because nothing I write will get you to change your mind!


After 11 rounds of the Candidates Event our own Fabiano Caruana still leads Mamedyarov by a half point. Fabi was born in the US. Aronian has completely collapsed. Kramnik has lost 4 games but is still fighting. Karjakin has come from last place to within shooting distance. Grischuk is a half point behind him.

Some months ago Chess Life had a featured article on Caruana which I didn’t get finished reading this morning. Impressive. I remember using a photo of him in one of my SQUARES magazines many years ago! So, I am hoping he wins because he will give Magnus a run for his money since someone reported that Caruana has extremely strong nerves.

Let me hear from you. I am told Iowa will be getting SNOW tonight so I need something different to read. Knowledge is a big deal, I hope you agree and get some knowledge.



Again I have been reading the late Mark McCormick’s book, “What They Don’t Teach You in Harvard Business School.”

I bought it a long time ago, and just am getting into it now. Bathroom reading. Important stuff.

I had been thinking about the Candidates tournament and how hard some of the contestants were working while keeping an eye on the 100 minute time-control. Life is really compressed. At the end of the day it really matters to some. Look at Aronian’s face and body language. Winning the world cup for 2017 meant next to nothing did it? Those guys, with a few exceptions (Ding Liren for instance) wanted to challenge Magnus for the title of world champion. They studied hard. In 2017 they performed well. Magnus is still at the top.

This is a double round robin. That means if you falter in the first half, you still have some kind of chance. Caruana tried hard to beat Liren, a defense maniac, but not an aggressor. This tournament would have been better with Nakamura in it.

Grischuk is now showing the teeth I always knew he had. Kramnik started out like a tiger and that loss to Caruana threw him for a loop.

Caruana seems to exhibit TRUE GRIT. He plays hard almost all the time. This is the guy Magnus has to be concerned about. I remember when Caruana won 7 games in a row, in St. Louis. He seemed unstoppable, and he was. Slight build, but a kind and active brain! He moved close to the St. Louis Chess Club so that he could be within walking distance. He’s a little guy, but his play isn’t little. Tukmakov was good for him as a trainer back then. Does he have anyone like that now?

He’s sober. In watching Simon Williams the other day he gave a big nod to Caruana. But, we mustn’t forget Mamedyarov either although Magnus seems to treat the Shak as a punching bag.

Like others, I wanted Aronian to win. He seemed to have the stuff. He got married, his mojo is gone. Now I want Caruana to win because, what else, he’s an American!

Do you watch with any kind of enthusiasm what is going on in the Candidates? You don’t? I have a feeling you would be hard to sell anything to.

Yesterday list 233 of the Chess Gazette was put out. Big, big, big discounts on the list at the back. Something you may have wanted to take a chance on might be in that list except now you can get it at a bargain! First order from that list for $100 or more is entitled to a 10% discount before shipping. Must be placed by today.

Time to MAKE decisions. Time to take control. Are you getting any younger? What are you going to do with all those books you have now? If I remember rightly, I will tell you tomorrow. Hint: Dump non-chess books first. Today I started throng out more programming languages books. Do I have time for PHP? Do I care? Answer: NO.



Do you remember times when you wanted to be the first to have something, BEFORE anyone else?

When I was in college there was no one like Roy Orbison (for the most part there still isn’t except for Gene Pitney). My sisters tried to get his latest vinyl records before I did. It was a contest and leadership in bragging rights! One sad thing was finding out that Roy was at the Col Ballroom (1963) while I was down in Keokuk, visiting family during CHRISTMAS vacation. What a bummer! Years later I did go to the Col and saw and heard Bobby Vee and Tommy Roe! What a blast.

Well if you are anything like I was, you can hook up with Ken MacDonald and get a copy of his luxurious coffee table chess book, NOW. PUBLISHED 12 YEARS AGO!!! The title?

The History of Correspondence Chess in Canada

Mike Vuolo (another Simon Williams fan) recently got one, loved it and my thinking was that it was a good way to promote it again. Only about 250 copies were made, and the price then was $55.00 and it still is!

The headline on the back cover said, “How did a handful of chess organizers overcome Canada’s vast open spaces to hold together a band of correspondence chess enthusiasts?”

The comments ended with, “Over 200 diagrams and dozens of never before published games, this book is certain to entertain and help future historians understand correspondence chess in Canada.”

The authors were Leonard Zehr and J. Ken MacDonald. Ken is a friend of mine since about 1970, when I was supplying books for the Canadian Correspondence Chess Association (CCCA). That would be tough to do today with the rates of international postage being what they are.

Ken paid Thinkers’ Press a big compliment when he wrote in the Preface:

“And finally, our editor Bob Long, who dragged us, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century with his editing. He did a wonderful job.”

Ken was a dream to work with because he wanted everything to be just so and he helped us out. We chose high-quality paper, binding, and three typefaces which put the icing on the cake. 253 pages. The gold stamping on the spine, including our logo, was first class if I don’t mind saying so myself.

Ken vacations in the winter in Florida, and as he keeps a couple copies of this book on hand while there, if you notify me you want one I can set you two up. A perfect and unique gift, almost one of a kind as it were, and cheaper postage!

Includes a heavy dust jacket to protect the wonderful cloth and burgundy binding. It’s a KEEPER.
Just drop me a line at: and you will have a beautiful addition to your library and one other thing, most collectors won’t have it. On top of that, each book is NUMBERED! Really!!!

Thanks to Lazaro Munoz for telling me I had originally forgotten to list the title of this book!


Just released, ISSUE #11 of Morphy’s Times & Games. 16 pages, some in color.

Stamps for Paul Morphy death anniversary, 1984. Never happen.

All the games Morphy and Loewenthal played in 1858, 14 of them, with Morphy scoring 9 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws. Morphy moved fast, a few games were long, a couple of those won by Loewenthal.

Did you know that after Howard “the Coward” Staunton turned Morphy down for a match. Then he went to Birmingham to play in a tournament where he lost to Loewenthal. Then Morphy played a match with Loewenthal and drilled him into the Twilight Zone although it wasn’t always as one-sided as you might have thought.

We reported that Isaac Kashdan, perennial meatball, once told an assemblage that Morphy could be beaten by a third-rate amateur, whoever that was!

Then there is chapter 6 of the amazing chess clubs of London.

Ready today for $12.95. Pay Pal works. Checks too. In PDF, 8.5 x 11, packed to the gills. Back issues are available or you can get them all for $99 with the last one, #12 being issued some time in 2018.



It was made apparent to me today, by someone I know, that often, or mostly, “success” eludes people because they can’t get out of their comfort zone, or, they are willing to let someone else do the work (if that is possible). Good books usually don’t try that approach.


I’ve seen this all the time when it comes to chess. In my life I have reinvented the wheel enough and, it’s work! Egaad, work!

At the chess club I used to belong to, after the results were in for the current week, if we had a good director we would usually get the new pairings by the weekend so that if we had some time we could start preparing for our next opponent, no matter who they were, using the weekend (there were those who would try to thwart this idea, by becoming directors, and who would “fudge” the pairings in their favor!

This had some advantages to both parties. 1) It would usually educate our opponent to SHOW UP, they could even prepare for us! 2) If they so chose they could even play something out of the usual, catch me off guard (as it were), maybe even gain some minutes on the clock. Some wanted to win so easily they would take, or hope, for the least resistance.

SIDE NOTE: The chess club was on the other side of the river from where I lived, and so the “Arsenal bridge” might be open for barge traffic unless I took a different route. If trapped because I didn’t leave early enough I could lose at least 20 minutes on my clock, they already had a Big Start. This happened once against my friend Stevie B. and when I finally did show up, he had a very pleasant smile on his face until I sacked a Knight 17 moves later and he went down the tubes.

3) Once I had to excuse myself to make a trip to the men’s room. My son Nate was in the playing room when I left and I asked him when I came back, “Did he move right after I left?” Nate said one word, “Yes.” I wanted my opponent to move quickly, and hopefully make a bad, but plausible decision because if he chose such a “tactic,” he would save himself a lot of thinking time, and myself too.

He took the bait instead of really examining the position. The better player wouldn’t normally do that unless he was “showing off.” Thus, my opponent died. I did nothing illegal, just took advantage of a human weakness, that was the notion of, EASY.

GM Reuben Fine wrote a book called CHESS THE EASY WAY. He had some great tactics in that couple dollars book. The book, published many years ago, sold many copies because David McKay didn’t publish many books a year back then, and the price was cheap enough, so the player who liked doing EASY found this no stretch and he could stay in his “comfort zone.” I wish I could get the rights to that book!


Years ago I disliked “Transpositions” from the orthodox so much I avoided them. But when I began to play the Richter-Veresov, against the advice of many books, I realized there were so many transpositions into other openings I started piling on the wins, the traps, and the points so quickly that it became one of the fastest ways of raising my rating. This can work at the tournament level, not so much as the correspondence level!

You have to wisely choose your weapons AND your battles.

For the past several weeks I have been trying to put the finishing touches on a new chess magazine (see recent Blog Posts). If you are interested in being advised about this publication when it finally hits the “news stands,” drop me, Bob Long, a line:

We will entertain contributions by others too. Easy can be harder than working smarter! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MR. LAZY.


For a couple years we’ve promised a web site and it hasn’t happened. Lots of reasons for that. And GOOD reasons such as back surgery, the collapse of the Chess Festival for Simon Williams and of course, the biggie, TIME.

But we are starting to see a little daylight. Already paid for are the creation tools so it’s more than a gleam in our eye. We own a digital video camera from 2 years ago so we can do that when we get a minute.

We have a ton of inventory, probably no exaggeration.

Just like you need starter dough to make certain kinds of bread, we too need some extra cash to tide us over while we are working on this!

I have written to Robert Jamieson about the “missing pages” and diagrams in the book we were working on, “Secrets of the Chessboard.” Also, while cleaning up a hard drive the other day yours truly found some Purdy projects I was going to create and will now be added into that book, on IMPROVEMENT and ALL of it written by Purdy, not anyone else. My buddy Bob Woodworth has been doing some research for me in the past week and he found the article in Chess Life where IM Jeremy Silman admits he too discovered that when it came to teaching chess improvement, Purdy had preceded him by eons.

The reason this is good is that now we can offer people more confidence that this Purdy guy really KNEW what he was doing! We want to go thru with the project!! Tonite I just commissioned Rob to do the front cover artwork! That’s real commitment.

More than that, there is one piece of good news someone out there in BLOG-land may find more than a little interesting and that is, after thinking I was all sold out, it has come to my attention that we have one more set of the Purdy INSIDE books for $99.00. It turned out that I sent two sets to David Graham! Silly me, he only asked for one!

So, if you missed out on Vols. 1-2-3, you can send me $99 + $7 for S&H and insurance and I will sell you the last complete set I have. Here’s one more offer:

There was no “luck” in selling the complete SOS series (Secrets of Openings Surprises) for $250. Those who know me know I don’t believe in luck. We just need more regular customers who can appreciate value. Seriously. We have these books on consignment NOW and can offer them at $200 plus $20 for S&H and Insurance. Monster discount and a chance to change your playing improvement history! Usually what has been known to happen to me is that someone will purchase something like this, and then 2-3 weeks later someone will have a new or better reason to get these 14 books and they will be gone. It has happened many times including “in person” sales.

DISCOVERY TIME: I can send you issues of American Chess Magazine, priority MAIL, all three at once for the same price as ONE. You would pay $29.95 for each of the three and that’s all. I know I can do that as I did it today!!!


ON THE sly we have been working on a new chess magazine. Some of you know this but not much more. I thought I might give you a few chapter headings hints and not all of these will be in the first issue. It’s to give you “some” idea:

The Checkered Grid


a GM testimonial




unkind notes



bizarre chess psychology


planning: the unplanned

chess fear

carlsen is mr. clutch


scarlet pimpernel

the candidates


opposites attract

THESE AND many more will be explored from a Chessic Sense in the near future. I have a page of possible headers for the publication. Anyone want to try their hand. These topics will be spread out and dealt with over time. I’d like to give everyone a chance but I know that is unlikely. There is some interest in this in what will undoubtedly be one of the more different chess publications EVER. Willing to take a chance? 3-4 times per year. Don’t yet know the number of pages but it will be more than a bloated Chess Gazette. May feature color. 14 point type at least so it can be read by everyone. I own a zillion fonts so you don’t need to worry about this being a vapid publication.

If you are worried about the cost, per issue, don’t bother to request a sample UNLESS you have turned over a new leaf. Anyone want to write about there being TOO MANY GRANDMASTERS or is it time for a NEW TITLE? Super GM anyone? RED GM?

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE drop me a line at and tell me more. If you can’t do that, then I won’t tell you what’s what. This publication will be time consuming and hopefully more interesting than anything written by Howard the Coward Staunton.

You have all weekend to think about it. Do you know, without looking him up, who William Lane Craig is? Serious food for thought and I can show you how Craig, unknowingly can make you a hugely better player.



I was hoping to have it ready for this evening but I only have 36 titles listed so far. Maybe some would be satisfied with just a listing and prices! You? It’s been my experience that those who go through the trouble of reading through the list other than on a smart phone occasionally find things they do want.

When Dale Brandreth used to send me lists, I looked through every one because I didn’t want to take the chance of missing anything. Sometimes a book that is offered will never be seen again. My kids worry that if something should happen to me they might be responsible for throwing everything in a dumpster (I mean taking it to a disposal place!!)

Weirdly, I am now buying older properties for resale such as clocks, older sets, magazines (no Chess Life’s) and stuff like that to raise myself above the poverty line. I am not buying big collections just stuff which can be turned around quickly. That way we both can profit from sales. Hey, if I run into Miss Right for Me, she would want a ring right? Not something from a CrackerJacks box! So far CrackJacks is what it is.

If I could take out an ad in Chess Life for $300 or more every month I could probably sell some of this stuff in short order but I tell you what would happen–it would signal all the people who are hoarding this stuff in their attic that this kind of thing was saleable. As it stands, putting it on eBay or Amazon is a pain-in-the-ass as I’ve done it and friends have done it, and in general it isn’t profitable. They end up selling to Half-Price Books and get killed. Half-Price makes money, you don’t, after all they aren’t going to give you what they are selling it for. I am constantly amazed, really amazed, at what people don’t know about running a business, of any kind. Truly amazed. I knew a guy who worked at the post office and he was going to sell Archery equipment, arrows and stuff. He never did, still working at the post office and putting on a pretty big beer belly! He sees what I ship out all the time and I think he has concluded, “I don’t want to have to work that hard!”

So if you want a copy of this list, send me your name and your email address. I may have a smaller version out tomorrow.

If you are interested in selling some chess properties go ahead and contact me but have some way of telling me what you have short of my coming and visiting you (I did that in the olden days!)

My new chess publication, Inspirational Chess Gold or something like that will have lots of stories in it plus down to earth ways I have had to deal with this kind of thing including buying a collection from an overseas Nobel Prize winner for chemistry.

Just need your name and email address.

Mine is:

Bob Long

By the Way

Was hoping to have issue #11 of Morphy’s Times & Games done this week and though I have made great progress (as subscribers will see when they get theirs), I’ll probably need another week or two! Typing is not my forte, designing is.