A contract is coming and TPi (Thinkers’ Press, inc.) has already agreed on the terms which I will explain below.

Terms for what Bob?

For the Fall, Oct. 23-24 MORPHY’S CHESS FESTIVAL in Davenport, Iowa. Thinkers’ Press, inc. will sponsor, and La Quinta Hotel and Convention Center will host. We expect 50-75 and we have plenty of room for that, lectures, and sales tables too, complete with credit card machine. We hope to have Terry Ratcliff to handle Sales again like she did in 2010 at our last chess clinic. But this is a Festival. What that means is we won’t be running a chess tournament. There are 200 or more of those EVERY month listed in Chess Life’s tournament Life section. This will be even more FUN because EVERYONE will be having fun, hence nothing we do will be RATED. Yet, there will be prizes, a simul (Simon’s Simul) and tons more.

Autographing books will be welcomed and we will try to have everything available that are still available with the celebrities who will be there (Simon Williams, GM; Andrew Martin, IM; and Macon Shibut, FM and Morphy expert). Even my own (Bob Long) books.

A Couple of Important Terms!!!

Ideally we would like to have 100 people show up but that would mean more chess sets, boards, etc. The place has the room but without knowing how many will come, in advance, it’s hard to figure how much extra help would be needed and by not trying to attract it at the last minute.

You can figure out I want this to be a big success simply because it is limited to what I think a couple people can handle! If I knew we would have an overflow crowd, in advance, I would hire more help! Hence, I would sincerely appreciate your letting me know as soon as you can when you will be able to register. It will make a difference.

At that time I will also give you a code to register so the people at the front desk won’t mix you up with others. Initially they (the Inn) was excited that we would be having a chess tournament there but I told them, “NOPE, this will be MORE fun than just a chess tournament. Everybody stands to be some kind of winner with prizes varying in scope and intensity. Everyone will have chances, you don’t have to be rated 2500!”

A Few Details

First off:

• AFFORDABILITY: The rooms have all been refurbished! New carpet in the hallways and lobby too. But here’s the KILLER: I was able to get a price of $69.95 which in this area is unheard of! Other bids were starting around $100 and heading North! I inspected a King-size bedroom (typical) and I was ready to flop onto the bed at that very moment. You can also get 2 Queen-sized beds in a room.

• They have wi-fi and all that stuff for night-owls.

• They had a good looking morning breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage and gravy (what do you expect this is the Midwest?)… and other stuff, too much for me to count. Vending machines with everything therein. Plenty of seating in the breakfast “lounge.”

• One of the reasons I looked hard for a place like this is that the STARTING times would be Friday morning to Friday evening and Saturday morning to Saturday evening. Hence if you want to experience everything you might have to be here through Saturday evening so you can head home on Sunday. In order to avoid getting here late Friday morning I recommend you stay Thursday evening. That’s it, at $70 per nite, 3 days is $210 which is what many places would charge you for TWO nights! Or worse.


• INVARIABLY “we” go out for awhile after the main “action” (chess action) is over. We’ll break up the tables and seat celebrities at the various tables where you can talk to them, or even switch tables so that everybody gets a chance to get their money’s worth. While everyone, at our events, is important, those who buy their tickets earliest will get preferences because, “it’s only FAIR.” The tickets will be NUMBERED, thus, no hogging… this isn’t high school. I will be making the tickets, the design, and do the numbering (I knew that machine would come in handy one day).

• There are THREE riverboat casinos in this area, the first in the nation. Personally I was never in favor of casinos originally because they would drain away cash from sales merchandise so I just thought, “bring more cash!” As this will be a Morphy Chess Festival, number FIVE, there will also be a modestly priced Paul Morphy book. Attendees will get it at half price!

• There will be Morphy t-shirts designed by ace-designer Bill Hannan who designed all the t-shirts for the original Festivals. I will be seeing him Tuesday morning (tomorrow, March 3) at lunch. I am hoping and pretty sure I will be getting something special from Bill. The shirts will be ready long before the event for various reasons (you may want to wear one for example). Maybe you will want some of your “things” mailed to you instead of dragging them aboard the plane only to be charged more for some extra weight!


In 2002 we had 53-55 registered attendees. We are hoping for 75 (or more?) this time. As you are probably aware, it is hard to get people to come to an event that costs $200 (IF you register early) and not have a rated tournament or some outlandish prizes but this one will have GM Simon Williams, who has never been to the USA and we want to show him a really good time. Williams became a GM in 2008. He’s funny, can be outlandish, and in my view, a plum or a peach depending on how you view him.

Andrew Martin is an IM who has been to Davenport many times and stayed with me and the local YMCA (for swimming!) We have our favorite haunts and you might run into us there. We might even leak the info: The Filling Station, Greatest Grains, West Locust Hy-Vee (breakast) and maybe we will be there with the other celebs too!

We will probably have lunch catered so once again while we can offer menus in advance, we would really like to know who is coming and for what days?

Bob, What If I am one of those people who can’t Make up Their Mind in Time?

I feel sorry for you, but, that is all I feel. Let me give an example. For several Festivals there was one guy who always showed up at the very last minute and then made the Grand Entrance! I’m sure you know the type. But then when we had the Big Meal guess which table he wanted to sit at? That’s right, Celebrity #1! In the Midwest we call that “horning in.” I always gave everyone a chance to say something and this fellow’s speech went on the longest and was always the same thing! If I can get enough of you to show up, he won’t be invited back! Every little bit helps.

While I’ve been doing events for a long time, one area I’ve always had trouble with and that was, REFERRALS. I’ll make it easier for you this time. If you bring someone else with you, you will each get a $25 discount. $175 instead of $200 each. If you are a Member of the Morphy Inner Circle Klub, you will get an additional $50 discount! Aha, now it is getting interesting. The Morphy Membership is $270, but if you come to the Morphy Chess Festival, you will get $50 extra off the registration fee! That ain’t hay. Another person just joined TODAY. His Morphy antique bronze coin was mailed to him today too, so were the first two issues of the Morphy News & Games magazine (with 10 more to come) PLUS other benefits.

The first two issues were crackerjack issues and the third one isn’t far behind. Plus members of the Morphy Klub are also entitled to Bob’s News Letter. And, there is more, I just can’t think of all of it right now.

If you want to register for the Morphy Chess Festival in advance send $200 (the price will go up later). If you are entitled to any discounts please tell me what they are (i.e., don’t play dumb). If you want to join the Morphy Klub for $270 let me know that too and I will make the appropriate adjustments. When you start adding it all together, you can make out like the proverbial bandito!

If it all seems too much at ONCE, I can break your payments into 2-3 pieces, at NO extra costs. The payments must be made before the Festival or you lose all current and further benefits.


Payables to: Thinkers’ Press, inc. • 1524 LeClaire if mailing, at Davenport, IA 52803.

If by PayPal send the money via my email account (

If you have other questions call Bob Long at: 563-271-6657.

My daughter Christine, who has been at the first 4 Chess Festivals, said she would be proud to be at this one too if she’s feeling all right (somewhere between this one and #IV she was waylaid with fibromyalgia). She’s still my babe though and if she is here I can guaranteed she will treat you right. At one time she knew EVERYONE by their name!

To the first five who contact me between NOW and this Saturday, I will send them FREE a stamped and cacheted envelope from the Lone Pine tournament in California! If you already have that, I’ll send you something equally rare from Yugoslavia!


If you start saving now you CAN afford this. My expenses will be high BUT I would like a huge turnout to solve that problem. If you live not too far away, you can drive home that night instead of staying at the Hotel, and then drive back here the next day. Starting times in the mornings will be 10 a.m. so almost everybody living within shouting distance can make it. But remember this, those who stay with La Quinta and their hospitable staff make our expenses less (I am putting up the celebs too). When everyone is in a good mood, we all have fun, right?

Be awake tomorrow, I will be putting out another sales letter via email with maybe some more details or a place you can write to GET the additional details.

I will be going through my lists of customers soon and I can tell who, most likely, should be able to come. Note that we will be starting Friday morning at 10 a.m. Probably with Simon Williams, the 36 year old GM from the UK who everyone is afraid of because they never know when he will bring the hammer down!

PS: We are also planning to have some short videos from WIlliams and Andrew Martin.


I don’t mean to make it appear that I forgot Macon Shibut because, as you can see, I haven’t. Macon is a three-time state champion of Virginia. And, he is a very knowledgeable chess FIDE master in his own right who knows quite a bit about Paul Morphy as Paul Charles is not here to talk about himself. Macon also edits the Virginia State news and games publication. So he will be here to enlighten us about Morphy’s lightning whip. He also wrote a book proper on Paul Morphy which was published by Caissa Editions and later by Dover.

The Promoter

When I was married to Sarah she told me something that I had overlooked: I (Bob Long) was known throughout the world as a chess promotor and publisher. This will be my 5th Festival. I’ve done 6 clinics and 3 other chess events, sold at maybe a hundred events in the US from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh. I’ve met Fischer, Spassky, Larsen and many others and signed many on to be Thinkers’ Press authors (such as Korchnoi), so naturally I’ve got a lot of stories myself to tell. I’ve written a number of books and became known world wide also as the promoter of C.J.S. Purdy as one of chess’ greatest instructors ever (as in EVER). I will be there at Chess Festival V and hope you will be too. There will be at least one, maybe two, new Purdy books this year. Your best discounts will be AT this Chess Festival.

The Address of the Event

First: having a cell phone at an event like this and having it go off is beyond RUDE. However it’s OK with me if you take pictures as long as you don’t disturb the presenter(s). I have been extremely thankful and fortunate that those who come to my events do not break this unwritten “rule.” Thank you for being kind.

Second: Here’s where it will be. A map will also be sent to those who want to show up at the right place at the right time. If you can stay at La Quinta because of their LOW LOW rates, I will be grateful. Try doing this sometime for one of your own events and you will get an idea of how grateful I will be.

I ALMOST FORGOT (and then THE Address)

The wi-fi is free.

So is the hot breakfast.

The Parking is free too! (I paid $20/day for Parking in Chicago last May!)

They have a nice indoor pool (heated when necessary, such as, NOW!), completely remodeled.

Fitness Center (I joked with her, “No one uses this!”


3330 East Kimberly Road

Davenport, IA 52807

Phone: 563-359-3921


One last thing, tons of eating places nearby if that is necessary including RED LOBSTER probably that chain’s most profitable store! Except for Red Lobster, you will need access to a car to get to the others which are close by but which have highways to cross.


IF you send me payment between NOW and this Saturday night (for the Chess Festival), you will get FREE three issues of recent vintage from CHESS or British Chess Magazine at MY expense. If you signed up really early you will get 4 FREE issues of either or both of those magazines but, you will have to ask for them (don’t be bashful).

Best regards,

Bob Long



P.S.: You just “might” be getting the impression I do want you at this Chess Festival, and you would be correct! Still, getting 50-75 people to come requires a lot of “ooomph.” If you have that and you don’t look at $200 + some very reasonable travel expenses as a fortune, then come. This is the first FESTIVAL in 11 years!


One thought on “TODAY I TOOK THE TOUR! (read on)

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