Some of my readers know I am not big when it comes to counting on “luck” or “favorable coincidences” to explain something OTW (off the wall). Still, I don’t mind writing about them. As someone once wrote, the better prepared you are, the more “lucky” you will be.
As I have been finishing up the series 1 BOND St. about Purdy and mostly the Australian Chess Review (A.C.R.) in the years 1929-1944, I came across something a little unusual last night.
You see I have been reviewing, through Purdy, the Jubilee of his start, or the 25 years from 1929 to 1954. I found this information in the July issue of his “Chess World.”
Lots of nuggets showed which of course weren’t available when the book was published (1939).
Also, one has to do whatever one can to promote a new book since I don’t have a publicist.
The NEW book is by “Chielamangus” and it is called AMONG THESE MATES.
There were TWO coincidences!
ONE: The artwork (done by my son Rob) for the cover of AMONG THESE MATES featured a chess battle between Hitler and Napoleon, in hell, which was a take off of the art by Joan Redshaw in the first amusement chapter in the book. Joan’s was in black and white, Rob’s version was in color. Okay, no biggie in particular there. But as I was leaving Barnes & Noble on Sunday after some hot chocolate and some manuscript studying, out of the corner of my peripatetic eye I spied a book cover for which I wanted a closer view. Maybe it was the art, the topic, the colors, but what I discovered was Napoleon’s Privates. The subtitle was 2,500 Years of History Unzipped by Tony Perrottet and who, amongst others, was on the cover? Hitler and Napoleon and some “potential” other losers! While Rob’s artwork was completely different, this was worth noting in the meantime.
TWO: I didn’t know that Purdy, in 1954, would also do a rundown for AMONG THESE MATES which would (in the end), give me more information about the book which I could possibly use to promote the new edition of the book done by Thinkers’ Press. In fact, I am going to quote Purdy’s comments:
“Among These Mates”
“Towards the end of 1939, we published “Among These Mates,” by “Chielamangus.” The identity of this creature was no secret, which would have been unfortunate for him had Germany won the war, as the book opened with a chess play ridiculing Hitler—it was quite fashionable in those days to be respectful about Hitler, though he was inherently a rotten character with a warped and not much above mediocre mentailty. The Nazis had a list of journalists and artists who had ridiculed the Fuehrer, to be dealt with after the war. Our statement in 1941 that it was worth a Queen to the allies (in chess terminology) to have Hitler controlling the German forces—which we still believe—would have got us on the list anyway, apart from “Among These Mates.”
“The B.C.M. must at this time have been employing a literary critic of extra penetration, “Chielamangus” thought, as he remarked in reviewing the book, “Chielamangus is a genius.” Only one thing ever infuriated this author, and that was to hear his name mispronounced. Since it was obviously taken from “A chiel’s amang ye takkin’ notes,” why on earth will some people pronounce the “ng” as in “Angus” instead of “Among us”?
“Only 3000 copies were printed, and the book has long been out of print. As many of the things in it are very “dated,” it will certainly never be reprint wholly, though parts could be. There is nothing serious in the whole book; the author states in the preface that a ship’s steward had told him he couldn’t blame cockroaches for going after food, since they were only “human,” and Chielamangus set out to demonstrate that chess players were no worse.”
Did You Get That?
Purdy sold out of a printing of 3,000 and I elected to print 100 copies! Why the discrepancy? Is there a flood of the original copies? Hardly. The copy I worked from through the generosity of one of my customers cost him a pretty penny or more! Chess literature has changed. What is worth knowing has changed. Nowadays you could say the electronic age has taken over but that’s not it either. Just the other day I saw an eBook on marketing being sold for $28! eBooks have been seen more as “disposable” products and a way to read some content and then “delete it.” No more shelf problems.
I laugh at that last remark because in the October Issue of BNL (Bob’s News Letter) I cover the intricacies and problems of publishing eBooks and was appreciative that Mark Gross could come along from his “Guest Column” status at Book Business to open our eyes about costs, complexities and the fact that eBooks can be quite costly for publishers unless a “book” is being published with no pictures, diagrams, tables and other “ephemera” within.
In Order to Spread the Content Around
I thought it was about time to sell more books in bulk. It’s been a while since I have put out a truly wholesale list of our chess products. Thus, I am starting with Purdy’s AMONG THESE MATES.
If you have a club or organization who wants something “completely different” in the way of chess, gifts, or some other “thing” to show gratitude to your fans, club mates, business associates, and such… try giving (or “selling?”) them AMONG THESE MATES which has a $34.95 retail price and get the following discounts for 10 copies: 40% OFF + you pay the postage ($5.00) in the USA. That would be $214.70. THIS IS A BRAND NEW BOOK so they aren’t leftovers from some dumping ground.
If you get 16 or more copies (i.e., multiples of 16) I will give you a 50% discount PLUS only charge you $9.95 for shipping in the US of A. That would be $284.60 (for 16 inc. postage) So far I have not made any wholesale “offers” to anyone else. Only by selling everything would I even consider a reprint. Purdy did not reprint and he sold a veritable TON of them. He had a price though which virtually gave the books away… I gave up doing that.
You should know where to get these by now: Chess Butler, 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803. For details on what medium of exchange to pay with, call me (Bob) at 563-271-6657.
PS: Here’s a recommendation I gave to myself and you. It’s only 110 pages. Read it twice at different times. You’ll get a lot more out of it. You might even laugh! Actually, you might also begin to understand why Australia was such a powerful chess nation back in 1954 when Purdy reported that in a large correspondence chess match, Australia was kicking the US’ butt: 99-1/2 to 25-1/2 with 57 games unfinished.
If, perchance, you would like to get all issues of 1 BOND St. in PDF form (they are not in any other form) the full retail is $149.70 (to the above address) for a minimum of 340 pages (about 6×9 inches style). However, IF you act right away, and order this tremendous value of chess from “down under”, I will sell them for the crazy price of $100 if you ACT right away. That is, if you order them by October 10th. That’s within the next 10 days. You’ve been notified!!
One other thing, a subscription to BOB’S NEWS LETTER is $20 and you will get all back issues for 2014.