PLANNING FOR THE OPEN HOUSE!

Tom Cruise does “maniac-like” things for his movies, doesn’t he? He does have at least one big edge, despite breaking his ankle in his latest film during the shooting process, the edge is a great support team besides himself. PLUS a lot of funding and a will to make it all happen. Thanks Tom. People like you inspire me. In fact, even people like me inspire me!

After the Simon Williams debacle with customs last year and my unexpected back surgery in January of this year I am opening the door of my offices in Davenport, Iowa to a type of CHESS HOLIDAY twice! Once on August 11 and again on August 18.

The work, for me, involved in all this, is massive.

This time I checked with the clearinghouse people in Iowa, put an ad together in one evening to go to the En Passant editor that workhorse Mark Capron and then threaded the needle to do 100 other things. Friend Mark Steddom made copies of the important parts of the latest Chess Gazette to distribute to the players (free for giving me your email address) at the Illowa Chess Club. Thanks Mark (part of my “support team.”)

Have been clearing out the downstairs, what was once a living room. Will replace it with books from my main office (#1), all prices, in baskets/tubs and bookshelves. You will also see a once in a lifetime fireplace with mirror, surrounded by wood and andirons. I am too afraid of lighting it and dying of premature asphyxiation as one of my mathematical friends almost did, years ago, when I was working for Uncle Sam. Stuff does go wrong and besides, I just like looking at it the way it is!

Why the Picture of the Armored Gardens?

My insurance man said he and some colleagues ate there. He said the food was good but pricey (I went there to see for myself! It’s NOT pricey! Bring a twenty and you will be well-covered. Of course if you are a drinker, then…) Typical Quad-Cities comment. Good food, expensive. Funny thing, it’s just like that in Chicago! Quad-Citians would rather go to Chicago and know in advance the food will cost. Then when they are done, they can go somewhere else where it is also expensive! The downsides are parking and the time and gas (+ tolls) it takes to get there but travelers seldom factor that in! Throw in the cost of a hotel and it is more than a vacation.

Their outdoors patio is very nice with furniture in WHITE, plus umbrellas, TVs if that’s your thing, and MY reason for going there–one of those lawn-sized Staunton Style chess sets with a board. Quite nice and an attraction as the day wears on. The manager’s name is Mark and he is looking forward to chess guys coming to the place at 315 Pershing, formerly an AAMCO transmission shop–redone real nice like.

My own kitchen will be available with snacks and stuff to drink (no alcohol). DVDs running on my big screen TV donated by Rita. Books up the wazoo, magazines, bundles, collectibles, and the one thing which parallels collectibles… excitables!

Lots of other doo-dads which will be mentioned in the upcoming newsletter people will get if I have their email address.

Already several people have already told me they are coming as it was advertised in Chess Gazette #236. I hope one of them are YOU! And your chess friends. Great chess stuff, pictures of the Armored Gardens (don’t ask me about the name, I don’t know). Things you can take with you at all kinds of price levels. Discounts because everything is ON SALE and FOR SALE (except for brand new stuff).

By the Way!

Besides the new book STRIKE LIKE JUDIT by Charles Hertan ($19.96 from us plus $3.95 for S&H), which is here, on hand, several other new books are scheduled to show up soon (I already have the invoice!). They are:

Great Games by Chess Legends Vol. 2 by Pritchett & McDonald. $23.96.

Playing 1e4: French Defence and Sicilian Sidelines by Shaw, also $23.96.

and

Playing 1e4 Sicilian Main Lines by Shaw, also $23.96.

Add $3.95 for shipping one volume, add $1.75 for each additional volume.

Soon we (meaning me and my twin brother Rich) will be getting the Carlsen book by Karolyi on the Endgame.

As I have already been invoiced, the books generally ship in 5 days. Let me know if you want one set aside for you,

Tomorrow

More pictures of Armored Garden, some info about what’s on their menu (lots of goodies) and prices. Plus, more details on what we will have at my place. Since I don’t know what to expect in the way of a crowd NATE (my youngest) will be helping me. Be sure to greet him, he may remember some of you!

Tell us if you are thinking (or planning) on coming: info@chessbutler.com

PS: Think of it as a one day summer chess vacation! You don’t have to worry about losing rating points. There will be non-door prizes. Who would want a door anyway! Bring your wife or girlfriend in case they ask.

 

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THE FUN OF AUTOGRAPH COLLECTING!!

About 2 weeks ago I put the word out that I had an authentic autograph of a famous person, Muhammad Ali it so happens.

I showed a picture of it here, in the book held by Peggy in front of my house. It had a story of how she obtained it and all the rigamarole that entailed. Peggy had the signature verified by an expert though I could tell right away it was the real thing (I had been selling autographs for years, probably since about 1978 if you can imagine that! (Tal vs Botvinnik 1960! I had several of them and could see the autographs in a dream done with a fountain pen!) Which it was.

We Are Talking Real Pieces of History Here!

Back in the 1970s I was doing something I no longer do–I sold chess stamps and special chess cancels. I was “lucky” (I don’t believe in luck!) to obtain autographs of famous (Is Steinitz famous enough for you?) and not so famous chess players at tournaments or matches.

During that ten year tenure I got to know the important people in the chess collecting of of rare chess stuff. Naturally this attracts a few barflies. These people are the scum of the collecting world. But, I had some fanciful moments too such as in selling an autograph of Wilhelm Steinitz and I obtained some “secret” information about Steinitz’ signature which has a tale-tell sign about whether it is real or a forgery.

Feather in my Cap!

It became natural that I would gravitate towards autograph collecting and selling. I had a source for some of these bits of business from behind the Iron Curtain before collecting such things became such a big deal. But soon I was hearing from others who came to know the Chesstamps Informant guy (me). During that time I even published a small magazine of such information and along with it photographs of the special stamps and special cachets and cancellations. Seriously I don’t know how or why Mercedes put up with my messing with that stuff. But she did. Years later I discovered there was a special philatelic unit of the ATA (American Topical Association) who put out a magazine and all kinds of “feel good” information. As I bought the stuff for resale, I still have lots of special quantities of “goodies” from those days. I knew Arno Bederke and Egbert Meissenburg and many other such as B B Jensen… names which probably mean very little to today’s collectors or accumulators.

At one point a few years ago I blabbed that I wanted to sell all my inventory to anyone who was a member of the ATA. There were no takers. Everyone, it seems, wants Easy-Street. Give them a list or a catalog of what I have or tell them what is filled in binders. If I did all that few could afford the final price. However, you can VISIT me or I can visit you. I mean I learned a lot from this procedure years ago after 8 grueling hours in a hotel room with a very annoying collector. We never took a break for food or anything. The guy was a grade A ass—-.

He wasn’t the only one. I got a call from two guys who lived in Chicago. One was a dentist and the other a bail bondsman. I told them what I wanted for all this inventory (a lot of inventory). They came to visit me. Said they would go home and discuss it. (That’s the kiss of death which told me I was going to get a serious low-ball answer.) What’s worse is these two genius Junior G-men told me they knew nothing about the value of chess stamps, cancels, covers, etc. Really? Then how could they bid on it or make an offer? I think they offered $6K which meant to me they were looking for someone who had something valuable to sell, desperately, and might take the $6K. Dreamers.

BOBBY FISCHER?

Years ago I got a call from Las Vegas from Lawrence Totaro who wanted to do a book on Fischer Forgeries. He asked if I had seen the offer on the ChessBase website of a Fischer autograph for $750 or something like that. I said I had. He asked me what I thought and my reply came quickly, “FAKE.” Since he deemed it the same we struck up a deal to publish his book Fisching for Forgeries. My Thinkers’ Press published 100 copies in full color! We sold them all in no time and they were never reprinted. Now it’s a big time collector’s item. Lawrence purposely kept the number low so they would be rare and he got his wish.

Over the years I have sold a lot of Fischer’s autographs including one I had for myself in My 60 Memorable Games when I got him to sign it in 1971 when he beat Larsen 6-0. I regret to say that later I sold it.

At Any Rate

I’ve sold Larsen, Tal, Reuben Fine, Al Horowitz and many more over the years including Korchnoi, Filip, Petrosian, Geller and others from 1962 Curacao.

NOW, WHAT’S THE LATEST?

I still deal with collectors and stuff that will make your eyeballs spin. For example not long ago I got two postcards signed by GM Edmar Mednis, American Grandmaster, signifying he would soon be appearing at several international tournaments. Price is an inexpensive $25 each. I get 20%, the guy who sent them to me will get $15 each. As some of you might know, Edmar has been gone for quite awhile, since 2002 or 16 years ago. He was born in Latvia, same as Mikhail Tal and became a GM in 1980. He was a popular writer (author) too.

This would be a cheap way to start an autograph collection of famous chess people. Some can be extremely nice as they don’t take their famousness for granted. I knew Korchnoi personally but never thougtht of asking him for an autograph! Ed Edmondson helped procure several Fischer autographs. Bob Woodworth writes about this (collecting) in an upcoming issue of The BOX.

Several years ago I offered some autographed postal cards to a collector in Holland, I think it was. The offer wasn’t out one day and he snapped it up and paid immediately. These dudes know what they want. He too got a deal.

Similarly, the autograph of Muhammad Ali was snapped up for $500 very recently from me. It was owned by my friend Peggy and it had been sitting around in her library for years (or maybe it was in a box). I wrote the story about it, how we got it authenticated AND that she wanted to get “rid” of it because it was owned by her late husband, Bill.

The fellow who bought it was an Ali fan and he identified the book that the autograph was written inside of. So our friend the collector knew what he was doing. However I wanted to add a more personal touch and showed that Ali had inscribed it to Bill and beneath his name had put an Ali “smiley face” in the book. I had checked 1300 Ali autographs on eBay and I only found one with the smiley face and the buyer said he saw two (I think). My eyes had gone numb from looking at all those autographs of trunks, gloves, robes and photos. So Peggy wanted to list the price at $500 and that was the magic number and it was SOLD the very next day. We’ve since traded the autograph for the $$$ and everyone was happy! The Art of the Deal. Would regular chess players go for something like this? I have my doubts but anything is possible, esp. since it was dated 1983! 33 years old as Ali had passed in 2016.

ONE reason the buyer bought it besides his affection for Ali is that he KNEW me (Bob Long) and trusted that he was getting the real deal. And, he did!

TRUST?

I think it is getting harder and harder to know who to trust in autograph collecting these days. Especially Sports figures (football, basketball, baseball, and even hockey). Lots of frauds out there I am told. For years, thank God, these conmen ignored chess. Now they haven’t. But just recently I ran across something I had from 1970 the Mallorca Interzonal (not the 1967 Interzonal in Tunisia which Fischer partially played in!). In this event there was a boatload of autographs on this special chess card. Not facsimiles, the real McCoy with such stalwarts of the chessboard as:
Geller, Larsen (both deceased now), Uhlmann, Uitumen (Mongolian!), Gligorich (deceased), Smyslov (deceased former world champion), Portisch, Ivkov, Hort, and the biggie Reshevsky (deceased). This is a raft of hi-level GMs playing for the right to be the candidate to play Spassky. I was able to get this signed card from a friend who was in Spain. We were always trading things. Benko has his name signed on the card though he gave up his position in the Interzonal to Fischer who went on to win the Interzonal, but Fischer’s name is NOT signed on the card, which would have made it hugely invaluable. My guess about Benko is that his name was added later as an homage for letting Fischer play. This puppy is scarce. I only have this one and I want $500 for it, or the same amount as the Muhammad Ali signature, plus S&H. This is an extraordinary collectible. If Fischer’s name was on this, it would probably go for $2,000 or more. For your edification, Jensen put the names of some of the players in parentheses (!) I reserve the right to withdraw this souvenir autographed card at any time and realist it later at a more (higher) realistic price).

FINALLY

On August 11th and 18th I will be having an Open House at my place with Special Sales, souvenirs, possibly more autographs, chess sets (including the Great Grand Turk), Discounts, and more, PLUS, I will have the $800 board (inlaid) on display with the Grand Turk ($995 in bud rosewood, possibly on sale). Mark steddom saw it in person today and was completely BOWLED over and I think I only have two on hand. I’ll know more next week. Also, some more new books expected in next week. Plus lots of chess magazines too.

Subscriptions to The BOX will be available on July 25th when issue #2 is expected to be released with some great articles recently contributed. $75 for a limited time, 36 pages.

This is going to be fun.

Write to: info@chessbutler.com

Drop me a line. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. If you want me to see if I can get  you reasonable room rates let me know (563-271-6657). I hope to have some locals show up for this one. 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA. 52803.

DID LINDBERGH PLAY CHESS?

There are many people who I have wondered from time to time “If they played chess.”

In Charles Lindbergh’s case I don’t know. Maybe Norman Whitaker knew as Norman was a rascally guy who did play chess and would spend time in and out of prison because he was in on the ransom plot to get money for the return of the Lindbergh baby who was kidnapped, many years ago. (The baby was never found.)

Stormin’ Norman did all kinds of things to make a buck, and many of them were illegal.

Accomplished chess author John S. Hilbert wrote about him in a book titled, Shady Side: The Life and Crimes of Norman Tweed Whitaker, Chess Master.

This book has long been out of print and the price for a copy is around $150. I remember selling copies to a few enlightened collectors. Good chess biographies don’t last long and contain tons of hours of good reading.

Whitaker was a despicable guy. He played in chess tournaments everywhere and later in life, still alive, he was awarded his International Master title (IM) for previous performances. Joseph Stalin played chess and from what I’ve read, was a whole lot better than Napoleon, another killer. I am surprised he wasn’t awarded something.

One thing which has always intrigued me (Bob Long, the writer of this blog) is biographical games collections and every now and then some new ones show up, and most are about “good guys.”

For example, one which is coming out this fall is about Kurt Richter.

What today’s article is about is getting on a LIST I keep of such forthcoming books. If you would like me to contact you about such books, just drop me a line at info@chessbutler.com

These books are generally in collectible hardcovers, a disappearing but somewhat expensive breed of interesting chess book. Just let me know.

I did read the book about Norman “Tweed” Whitaker. He wasn’t a likable loser, just a loser, but the tale of his “life” was well written by Mr. Hilbert.

Keep in touch!

BOB

PS: Still working on issue #2 of The BOX. ‘Sposed to be out about July 25th. Hopefully you will find some new stuff you didn’t know, which could actually enlighten you about many things, such as Alekhine and Capablanca for one, and how to “index” your growing chess book collection for another. Still just $75.00 but that will change September 16th.

Again, contact bob at: info@chessbutler.com

THE BOOK

Dan O’Hanlon liked what I wrote yesterday about Book #2. It was “The critical Secrets for Planning.” If I made a mistake in titling this it was in the use of the word Planning!

What was the matter with me? Planning is only used when someone tells you what to count on and to PURSUE that!

Planning is different from REACTING! We have leaders who react and at the other end of the spectrum we have leaders who have to think about everything for days on end.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, BLINK!, he writes about the “Quick Sliver” as I would call it. Based on mounds of experience you can make decisions quickly. (Within a second or two!) Chess Grandmasters do that too and I will want to talk about Alekhine and we may have some great “REVEALS” on that score alone. Be sure to sign up for “The BOX” to find out more about Alexander Alekhine’s Quick Genius. Probably should include Bobby Fischer too. It’s one reason Fischer always had lots of time left over while his opponents had used most of theirs.

Just $75 and you can get your first copy within 24 hours. PayPal is a fine way to pay but I’ll take other forms too such as credit cards and checks.

Chess Butler, 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803.

info@chessbutler.com

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO AOL?

NEED your help.

Last Saturday I made an emailing to my list of people who had requested stuff from me in the past (chess).

I got a lot of returns!!! They weren’t accepted and EVERY one of them were AOL users!

Has AOL been sold (again?) Are they history? What happened?

We’ve always been on my email address and one that hasn’t changed in ages is Chessbutler.com

In the past we have had thinkers press.com and chessco.com

We could always be found.

Anyone out there know?

ALEKHINE

Right now I am doing some research for THE BOX. With the help of Malcolm Gladwell’s book BLINK! Alekhine not only had a phenomenal memory he knew how to use it.

There is a preview coming up of a new chess book, this one by Lenny Cavallaro. It’s on the “mysterious” deaths of Paul Morphy, Alexander Alekhine, and Bobby Fischer. There is also a mysterious coincidence of 62 years in that the deaths between Morphy and Alekhine were 62 years. OK, that can happen but it’s also odd that between Alekhine’s death and Fischer’s, all world champions, that was also 62 years! Check out this story and where to get it in the 3rd issue of The BOX. Right now you can get your subscription for $75 instead of the normal $100, up to Sept. 16th. SAVE $25!

What’s more, recall that Alekhine had never beaten Capablanca until the first game of their 1927 match and it was in a French Defense! After that no more 1.e4s were played.

All this and more in Issue #3. New things keep getting found.

Contact Bob at info@chessbutler.com

PS: I pen and inked that picture of Alekhine a long time ago in one of my magazines, maybe Chesstamps Informant in the early 70s. Years later I bought a pen and ink of Alekhine that was eerily like mine, but by an artist I didn’t know, It’s on my wall at my enclave (the only thing I have on any of my walls except for a 2018 calendar!) It is framed and I will sell it for 1000 simoleans (plus packing and shipping) if you are interested. Sorry. No bargaining unless you want to pay more! Will take CC, PayPal, checks. I need the cash but don’t want to sell it. He suited my style of play: aggressive and researching all the time. Do you have any chess art to sell? Contact me at the above email address. You can see my initials on Alekhine’s shirt collar. Perfect for a den or living room. If it doesn’t sell, I will have to raise the price. Some people don’t think an objet d’art is worth anything unless it is costly!

Almost every last Friday of the month there are lots of art at Bucktown where I live. I never see anything chessy. That Friday is coming up. I seldom see anyone walking out with something good (lots of stuff must be sold, or, not sold, at odd hours). We have a huge Jackson Pollak triptych at our Figge Art Museum, on loan from the University of Iowa. I don’t get that it’s worth a ton and if for some reason it was up for sale at Sotheby’s or Christies’ you can bet your behind it would go for millions, but on what wall would you put it? It’s huge.

Just thinking, outside the BOX. Why not subscribe? Just $75 at the moment to The BOX.

MUHAMMAD ALI –Hold the iPHONE!

NOW SOMETHING COOL

Ever do something fun and cool for your significant other? Kind of fun and hopefully, in my case, netting something for Peggy? She has a book with a Sharpie pen autograph in it that is rather extraordinary. I was looking at Fox and James’ book “The Even More Complete Chess Addict.” On the cover was a black guy who has been subsequently identified as Frank Bruno (thanks James Pratt and Allan Savage!) An English black heavyweight boxer on the cover of a chess book because he likes chess. He has hand wraps and a NIKE shirt on and has gone up against Mike Tyson for 5 rounds before kissing the canvas! He was in the chess sportsmen section.

This was originally owned by Peggy’s late husband Bill. He was a home builder and had gone to a home builder show in 1983 (in St. Louis) and in the room next door was Muhammad Ali! Bill just had to have his autograph and he got one inside a book Ali was selling, reading, or whatever. It was Islamic (poetry?) as was Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time. It was made out to Bill and Ali not only signed it, but he put a little “smiley” face below his signature which is almost unique. I looked through 1300 M. Ali autographs on eBay and only 1 of them had this iconic symbol because the one in “our” book is a book and not a sports photo, or a pair of trunks, or boxing gloves (lots of those). Peggy was not only a winess to this display of nervousness but she was sharp enough to have an autograph specialist confirm it was Ali’s and give an idea of the what it would bring on the market.

Peggy is asking $500 or your best offer for it! When something is offered in an email newsletter like this I can’t put a color picture in or it will choke the sending, so I will put a picture of her holding open the book so you can see the autograph on my BLOG.

Included is the certification letter and their business card.

I am always annoyed when someone talks about Ali’s 78 IQ, especially when someone else wrote, in a debate about what Ali does, boxing, philanthropy and presentations–he would cut most people to ribbons verbally. Watch him on You Tube and see how fast he is mentally. He’s had Parkinson’s as well as Dyslexia (bet you didn’t know that). He got his 75-78 IQ score when he took tests upon Army testing for drafting. Some said he wasn’t draft dodging, but who knows? Trump wants to pardon him!

The point is, we have an authentic autograph by one of the GREATEST. $500 or your best offer, Write to: info@chessbutler.com Not that it really needs to be said but Peggy only has one of these.

HOLD THE PHONE!

THE BOOK WAS SOLD THIS MORNING!

For the full price of $500. Arrangements for shipment have already been made.

Peggy will be thrilled. What do you think helped sell it? (See answer below)

A. Her picture and her holding the book?

B. My way of writing?

C. An Ali fan stumbled across it?

D. Knowing me and my penchant to do right for a buyer?

E. Other? (such as proof it’s not a forgery?)

Tell me what you think because it could end up being valuable to you and myself?

I have some other ideas but they are even more expensive and one of them may involve someone who is not a USCF member?

ANSWER

The buyer told me was socially A-E. It’s nice to know who is selling to you isn’t it and why you are buying. This is my 50th year of being in business and I have had some great fans and cool customers. Very few complaints but it is impossible to sell and not find someone who is bent out of shape. I remember that happening a long time ago and I reported the guy to my dealer friends to :watch out” for this guy. He was a whining fraud and I have seen nothing from him since then and it was about chess sets where too many feel like they are experts. Some of the “experts” are the worst! I am hoping to have some chess sets for sale this summer. I have a room crowded with them. More then.

Someone told me today that the black boxer I was asking about was Frank Bruno!! When one doesn’t keep up with Blog Updates this is what happens. Thanks to James Pratt and Allan Savage I already knew that and published that. Trying to vote in a National Election on the following Wednesday is not going to make you sought after!

STORY

When I lived near Savannah, GA in 2008 I visited many of the Antique Shops but NOT on a weekend when they were open. It’s my form of contrariness. I did find a couple people during the week and asked them about this. They told me that people “buy on the weekend!” That’s hogwash. Maybe that’s when THEIR customers buy but I have found if you have something good and they have the money, anytime is the right time, but you have to make yourself known!! I’ve looked at a fair number of antique shops over the years and in MY opinion many of them do NOT have something GOOD, just collections of stuff and not well displayed either. I’m just saying. I was thinking about what a difference a good presentation makes but I also know that if someone wants a particular thing, bad enough, what would they do, that was legal, to obtain it? I know someone now who has a particular chess set called the Craftsman. I want one to resell. Do you think he will sell to me? Would you be interested? I have sold 3 of them so they must be common, right? Ha. Ha. Do you have one, in excellent shape? (a potential sticking point) I even talked about this with THE Al Horowitz in 1972 when we were in Iceland, so I have a back story, that helps to sell and somewhere around my place I have a lot of pictures of this very fine set taken by Rob when he was taking pictures for me–Interested? Most of these Antique Dealers know nothing about this set. QED.

Contact Bob Long: info@chessbutler.com

RESPONSES!

YESTERDAY I featured a picture of a boxer who was on the cover of Fox and James’ The Even More Complete Chess Addict.

Three responses. First from Rusty Miller who must sit at his computer all day. He didn’t know who the guy was.

Second was James Pratt who must do a similar thing except he thought it might be Frank Bruno (England). The video and pictures I saw of Frank show him to be a heavyweight like Mike Tyson, but he seems too big for that posted picture.

The third was from an old time ally Allan Savage who thought it might be Frank. Apparently Frank knows something about chess. Allan indicated that Frank’s mention was in the Sportsmen’s section of “Chess Addict” and yet somehow I missed it. I did find him mentioned on page 3, and the authors asked if Bruno could beat Albert Einstein  “Very possibly. Einstein loathed the game.” I don’t recall Einstein saying that, ever. He did play a game against somebody important, maybe Oppenheimer, and as I recall, he won. So most likely he played more than once because one does have to go through a learning process. I suspect that Albert had more important things on his mind than chess.

Bruno was mentioned, upon a reread, on pages 67-68 of the Fox and James’ book. I recall reading  the sportsman section but starting 2 paragraphs down.

Allan mentioned in a note that he has been known to give the book away as presents. Good choice.

Thanks to those who responded. Was it too tough for the rest of you? I have found, over the years, that chess people are not particularly fond of answering quizzes unless the answer drops from the sky of a Google (I use Bing) search. I would still like to find the original photo that we posted, a more narrow face and Google’s “image search” didn’t bring up anything and yet I have tons of my book covers, and art show up which I never asked them to misappropriate.

If anyone finds out, please let me know.

A NOTE ABOUT CHESS VERSUS WORK AT HOME MOMS

There is a woman (kudos to her) who writes about opportunities for stay at home moms. She has 330,000 readers per month and she makes serious money at it. Chess, not so much. GM Simon Williams has over 20,000 viewers on YouTube, a couple other guys have maybe 75,000 followers, but that is not per month. And lately, Simon has been doing more work for ChessBase than himself. What he does takes time and effort.

There are people who write about tomatoes! Mercedes used to eat them raw. Grow them in the back yard, pick one when they were ripe, brush off the dirt, and eat the juicy things raw! I didn’t even know about this until Rita told me! I also found my kids would get into the neighbors’ back yard garden and pick and eat HIS rhubarb! None ever got sick! (That I know of.) We weren’t too happy to hear what they had done. I think Mercedes marched them over to apologize to him, but this may have really just been an “idealized moment!” I don’t know for sure that that happened.

THE BOX

I enjoy writing about chess and have done so for many, many years. I invite you to subscribe to this 4 times per year publication for what turns out to be $18.75 per issue if you get your subscription to me before Sept. 16th of this year. You will get three follow up issues. (see note below about what else you could get)

Last night I worked on two articles for the next issue of The Box: Fabiano Caruana and his spectacular results with the Petroff Defense and what it would be like to have two Fridays back to back! Plus, some other thoughts you probably have seldom or NEVER thought of because it was the result of incessant reading. Upcoming is a piece on Alekhine and the instant judgment by many who thought he was a Nazi sympathizer. That MAY NOT be so! Yes, I even know about the articles he wrote and which were found by his wife after his death! There may have been much more to it than that, but you will read it right here and the result, most likely, will be that it will be ripped off and spread around the chess blogosphere because chess people, in too many instances, are willing to take things for FREE. I am hoping that subscribers won’t let others do this. Over the years I have been surprised at how often I see the name Thinkers’ Press mentioned on the web.

Now we have that chess “publishing” outfit named Thinkers’ Publishing… today I chastised them for doing this over and over. This MUST show people how unoriginal they really are and HOW can you trust them on anything except to swipe what others took their time to create (I came up with the name Thinkers’ Emporium about 1974 before I was selling games). The Thinkers’ Press name came out later, about 1992 or so, maybe 1991. You might be surprised at how much work something like this takes but I can provide an example. When Mercedes and I were driving down Kirkword Boulevard, in fact, right past where I now live, I suggested “The Thinking Man’s Emporium” and she counter suggested, “What about just The Thinkers’ Emporium?” I went with her suggestion. I suppose I could have waited 40 years and come up with Thinkers Publishing (notice they didn’t include the apostrophe, Europeans for you).

Heard from Greg Delaney about Frank Bruno!

Greg looked up Bruno after my earlier post today about the three respondents and he said he found a picture of Bruno with Michael Jackson and it looked like he could be the guy so thanks to James and Allan too, and maybe a little piece of cake for me too.

The gift for getting a subscription to The BOX

Several years ago my son Rob and I made a Paul Morphy coin similar to one made in 1859 or thereabouts. We had it constructed of brass and gold plating. A limited run. I sold some of the brass ones for $50 and the golden ones for $125. I still have some left (see picture of the brass one). If you want one, it’s only $25 extra while supplies last or Sept. 16, whichever comes first. So if you order in time, it would cost you only $100. It comes in a plastic sleeve. If you want the gold one (a few did) it would be $175. I know it may be hard for some to believe that others have $175, it’s just that I am not one of them!

So, I will be looking forward to hearing from you: with The BOX or with The BOX and the special minted brass or GOLD coin (which looks really, really sharp!)

Contact me (BOB) through:  info@chessbutler.com

Payment via the usual methods (PayPal, CC, check, blah blah blah, to 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803.