How this stuff escaped my usually on the money “vision” is beyond me but I have a good idea of HOW it happened. In 1972 I was in Iceland for the big Fischer-Spassky hullabaloo. In 1971 I was at the Larsen-Fischer shindig and talked with Fischer about “chess on stamps” and other related souvenirs. He asked me, “Can you make money with that?” My answer was that “I was trying!” We shook hands and off he walked at his usual brisk pace. Over the next 12 years I became involved in Chess Philately and a good friend in Germany was Arno Bederke. Also Egbert Meissenberg. In fact, as I slogged through boxes of chess philately, numismatics, cachets, autographs, photos, and other souvenirs I must’ve made fast friends with quite a number of people because I found lots of souvenirs and envelopes addressed to me at the various addresses I lived at! I dealt with some great people, a few unscrupulous people (oddly, always interesting!), and people who really knew what was going on in this world from the “inside”. Seriously, I should write a book about it. Until I uncovered this CACHE of goods, it had been over 40 years! That means I did find some really scarce, and rare items. What I came up with was some seriously valuable stuff including autographs of many besides Yugoslavian chess musclemen (IMs, Grandmasters, and masters!)
It all started when…
I was looking for something else (doesn’t it usually happen this way?) I had announced that I had some First Day Covers (FDCs) of the famous Icelandic chess stamp for the Fischer-Spassky match of 1972. I was actually IN Iceland when I had these put together, cancelled (after the stamp was affixed), and I got a bunch of requests for them this week because I only asked for $10.00 each plus a little postage for shipping.
But I noticed in this clear plastic bag that all those FDCs I had were dated later, and not on July 2, 1972! Luckily, I caught this before I shipped any out (if you find out I did send something other than 7/2/72, let me know and I will replace it if and when I can find more… I am pretty sure they are on one of my 3 desks!
However, the correct supply quantities is less than I thought so I will honor the $10 price through Memorial day. After that the price doubles to $20.00. I have since found the missing FDCs!
I have a cover with Fred Cramer’s autograph on it too; he was one of Fischer’s Icelandic “gofers” and a former USCF president.
While I am at it
There were other First Day covers, even rare ones like the Capablanca series of 1951 from Cuba! There were specially cancelled chess covers from big and little events too, many in the land of chess, Jugoslavia. At this time I am not planning a special catalog, no extra time. But I will have 1-2 pages in each issue of “Bob’s News Letter.” A BONUS!
My subscription rate for BNL for 2015 is $29.95, but you will get a whole lot of other “bennies.” Such as: Book reviews, comments on the current chess scene, the Truth Serum report on exceptional chess literature, photographs, news on the upcoming Chess Festival Oct. 23-24 and more. On average, at least 14-16 pages for each monthly issue (12 in all).
Seriously BNL will be an even bigger bargain. And there will be “new stuff” each issue. You can get 2015-2016 (24 issues) at a bargain savings of only $49.95 instead of $59.90 for 2 years. AND if you already subscribe, there is no extra charge.
Few modern chess books are expensive, rare, scarce (that is, valuable and hard to find). This is Amazon’s fault. Because now even a “village idiot” can find out what is new. That doesn’t mean Amazon knows anything, they just list everything with equal enthusiasm, that is, none. I’m grateful for that.
But when it comes to souvenirs, photos, and such, The Chess Butler (Bob Long) was doing this long before the subject caught on! Long before the forgers and “bad boys” got in on the act. Either myself or my across the world “seconds” were available to produce for me original stuff which is worth $$$ today. You would easily be better off in investing in these older collectibles than in almost anything else on the chess scene. And by producing 1-2 pages in each issue of BNL you will be building your own catalog.
For those on a budget but who want to share in the “limelight” of something very interesting in chess, I have items which will only cost a few bucks each. I regret that a long time ago I ran out of autographed covers for the two Big Boys with their chess toys in the 1960 World Championship match, Botvinnik and Tal, done with an “old-fashioned” fountain pen (and genuine autographs to boot).
If you want a free sample copy of the May issue (which doesn’t yet have chess stamp samples) but started with a page on smaller, travel chess sets, just send me your name and email address. No first name or lies either. You have my name, I need yours too. “Privacy pussies” need not apply. There is no privacy any more.
I never did go out of business. My wife became very sick and I stopped doing this… but before that, I had accumulated large numbers of chess on stamps and chess cachets/covers like you wouldn’t believe. If you have $$$ and would like to see what I have, for possible purchase of it all, send me a $500 deposit and I will let you look through the goldmine. If you change your mind, I will refund your $500 but first we have to talk on the phone. (my number is available if you write me at email@example.com)
My house needs a NEW roof, so I will be pricing many things to MOVE! One guy I met in a hotel room in Chicago (not going to do that again). He spent $1500 but, he was a non-winner. Not once did he suggest going out to get something to eat. We were there for 8 friggin hours.
Drop me, Bob Long, a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
The top one has a crease through stamp, and is not mine. Will sell this one at $10 too. The bottom one is mine with a raised thermal image of world championship chess medal designed by my friend in San Diego. Postage for either in the USA is $3.
By the way, I have blank covers too. That is, no address and no Icelandic stamps, just the chess cachet. Will sell those for $5 each including postage in the USA.