NOV. 5TH — A TRILOGY OF COOL

Sometimes my web browser on the machine I am using at the moment will close and therefore I have to write the article all over again. Usually when that happens, it isn’t the same article. Waste of time. If the BobLog I use was on my newer machine, I wouldn’t even mess with this.

If you had seen, however, what I had finished writing, the books would be all gone by now! (No joking.)

Thus I am going to do a quicker version so that I don’t bore even myself.

By the way, at 3 p.m. Moscow time, Carlsen should be meeting Anand on Nov. 8th for their new WCC bout. I am surprised, always, when I run into chess players who don’t know what’s going on and when, and often they don’t even know who the contestants are!

Some years ago I was having a Chess Clinic and I brought Andrew Martin to the chess club on the previous Tuesday! I introduced him and it hardly elicited even a yawn! I think virtually none of them knew who he was despite all the materials I emailed out to even members of that club. I brought John Blackstone over one night, same thing. No chess culture. It was embarrassing and for you who know me, you know that I am not easily surprised like that. I remember later asking one guy why he NEVER comes to any of my events. I queried, “Is it too expensive for you?” (He was a well paid teacher!) “Oh no,” he exclaimed,” and he tried to fob off some seriously lame reason. He’s just cheap. I’e been in Davenport for 40+ years and in all that time I don’t believe he has ever bought even one thing from Chessco, Thinkers’ Press, or the Chess Butler. Maybe all the names confuse him!

Anyway, here are the three items:

1. Win with the Stonewall Dutch by Johnsen and Bern with a contribution by Magnus Calsen’s former trainer, GM Simen Agdestein. Retail is $29.95 so you get this very interesting and detailed book for just $14.98 plus $5 for S&H. By the way, I only have one copy left. First come. For years at the local chess club several people played the Stonewall setups hoping to outlast their opponents by confusing how long they “lasted” with whether they won or not! One other thought: WHAT is the Stonewall? It is a hell bent for election type of QP opening where White tries to establish his King’s Knight to e5, flanked by two protecting pawns, f4 and d4. If Black tries to do it, it is symmetrical. Black Knight on e4 and flanked by pawns on f5 and d5. In particular it is famous for befuddling chess engines.

2. Simon Williams is a British GM. He is smart, strong, funny and he plays “dangerous chess.” By that I mean, you can count on an unusual and effective approach toward improvement. His book, Improve Your Attacking Chess has 250 puzzles in it. His hints are great but then, so are the solutions. I shouldn’t waste time on this $19.95 book but I wanted to introduce, again, Simon WIlliams a fellow I would like to have for a 5th Chess Festival (with probably another Chess Personality). If I had it now it would have been 10 years since I last did that. Would you want to come? If you could get me at least one other to come with you, you could get your ticket price reduced. If you joined the Morphy Club you could get it reduced even further. Maybe 2015 if we can get enough participation, that’s what it takes. Here in the Q-C area. I have no idea of the price, but I would suggest to start saving now.

3. There were a series of 6 books offered by New in Chess some years back, on tactics in certain openings arranged in groups. I have one set of the first 3 left, one of each. It was Tactics In the Chess Opening: 1-2-3. The first book was on the Sicilian Defence, and its many variations. In most cases the games were under 30 moves but well annotated. Played by players the names of which you might recognize! And you may have seen a game before, but not often. Each one of these openings represent more than 234 pages. Many moves of importance are evaluated as “!?” which is good enough for most of us.

Vol. 2 is on the Open Games which, as most of us know, are pretty exciting. 1.e4 e5. The Two Knights, Lopezes, Viennas, the Scotch, King’s Gambit, Petroffs and all the “miscellaneous” hair-trigger openings. Also more than enough pages that all three books add up to more than 700 pages!

Lastly, another favorite, Vol. 3, The French Defence and other half-open games. Caro-Kann, Pirc, Center Counter, Alekhine’s Defence, and the King’s Fianchetto. I wouldn’t classify these “cool” games as “traps” or “tricks” but more along the lines of “advantageous” and for which the loser gets an “idea!” Bad for him, good for you. All three of these volumes retail for $65.85 but you can get them for half-price (have you even noted that at “half-price books” the store is mostly full of books which don’t meet your needs? This half-price amounts to $32.92. Truly, a steal of great information at 50% off. Brand new too.

As to S&H costs, 1-2 books are $5.50. After that each additional book (should you get them all) is another $1.50.

A preview for tomorrow? Hmmm. A slew of DVD chess engines for a price so low that you should make your order from the hospital, just in case!

One more thing, a GUESS. What do you think was my biggest and fastest seller of chess titles for 2014. I won’t keep you in suspense, it was Bent Larsen’s book. I have one left.

Also working on the Morphy Club prospectus today. As a marketer I guess I have to constantly answer to myself and you the time honored question of “So what?” In other words, it’s not so much about the “cost” as, “What will it do for me?” My answer will hopefully resonate with you. As I dig deeper and deeper into what it will offer, it will be FUN, thought-provoking (an area I don’t seem to have trouble finding), the Morphy Coin, and exploration of a couple of the really GREAT chess sets of his era, what he meant to the growth of chess. I didn’t give a lot of thought to Paul Charles in the past but if you go to movies with stars like Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, and such you will know that I mean; those guys are “killers” and Morphy was too. Maybe he wore a nice suit and maybe he had a walking stick, but his mind would be brilliant and smart as a whip. Too bad he couldn’t have turned that to good use as a terrific lawyer, but like even today, there are “insider’s clubs” who make it hard for anyone to break in. He should have formed his own group of lawyers and smashed the cabal of grey beards with nothing to do except drink and smoke cigars. Couldn’t defend you against a parking ticket.

Pick out what you want to day and be back with us tomorrow. This offer is ONE DAY ONLY.

Thank you,

Bob Long

the chess guy 24/7

info@chessbutler.com

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3 thoughts on “NOV. 5TH — A TRILOGY OF COOL

  1. Paul Morphy is the greatest. Sure, he belonged to a vanishing culture, a few decades short of what was to become our “modern” World. Sure, his mastery of chess did not leave much room for Staunton-like chess, which Ray Keene later showed to anticipate marvelous Petrosian-like mysteriousness. Paul I, before Paul II (Keres), was however a gentleman who played for glory alone and who managed that brilliantly. In other words, Paul Morphy is thus the archetypical champion that every chess player has ever dreamed to be when s/he fell under the spell of Caissa.

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