Once upon a time I would genuinely ask various people questions for which I might value their feedback. Finally, I was getting the standard answer, “Why don’t you Google it?”

That answer was easy. I used Bing. Why? Probably contrarianism. As a marketer I have learned that usually what “everyone” is doing, is usually wrong/incorrect. Often I had wandered through Google’s so-called answers only to be dissatisfied with the amount of time needed to sort them out. E.g., when trying to find some information on Ray Smullyan to invite him to my 2002 Chess Festival, I waded through 300 “screens of answers” to get to a place where I thought there might be a useful answer.

The answer, it turns out, was in the back of some of Smullyan’s books (of which I had several). No street number, just, some place near Woodstock, NY. But, I didn’t know that! I saw an entry to a woman whose Dad had Smullyan as a teacher. I either called her or emailed her. She responded. 300 “screens” of detective work! After the event was over, Ray and his wife invited me and my wife to their home and we said “Yes.” What a treasure trove of books!

Since then I’ve stuck with Bing. A couple years later I discovered that “taste tests” showed that when people used Bing, they preferred the search list of Bing’s answers to Google’s!

What I am going to do now is ask for some reader-help because Bing turned up Jack-Zip, nada.

Chess Wise, What Should I do in England in the Middle of August?

I do intend to look up Malcolm Pein’s “Chess & Bridge Shop with IM Andrew Martin. I hope to find something surprising.

The GMs I would like to meet live too far away (by car). I’ll leave the “passenger” seat driving to Andrew! He suggested we might go to Wales. I asked him if the Road Signs were intelligible? Would love to go to Scotland but probably too far away… to see Quality Chess, and some of their GMs and try to understand them (a joke I made with Jonathan Rowson).

Would really like to meet GM Paul Motwani but have noticed he moved to Belgium (!) . At first his “outlandishness” was crazy to me. Now I understand that! Always a generous bloke.

I think Andrew was a little surprised that Buckingham Palace and all that stuff doesn’t mean anything to me (I’m not a Brit!) Would rather meet Sherlock Holmes (and he was fictional, but quite interesting).

If you have some interesting suggestions, write me at and send a suggestion or two about what we might do, chess wise, in England, most likely London and Wales. I’m not anti-cultural, per se, just looking for meaningful “tax deductions.”



    • It’s been awhile for you Ralph. Gambit rarely publishes anything new, now has almost next to no staff and has been concentrating putting all their works (now, older stuff) into eBooks. Most of the UK business has transcended to Quality Chess and Everyman Chess. If you know something I don’t know, tell me and we can check it out.

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