ANSWER: MAGNUS CARLSEN at a rating of 2853.

Anand is next at 2816 tied with a name from the past VESELIN TOPALOV.

Next comes our own HIKARU NAKAMURA at 2814.

The USA has three! Besides NAKA we have CARUANA and SO.

My favorite, who seems to be going nowhere is GRISCHUK. He’s #9 though I don’t know how at 2771.

But when it comes to likability, smarts, and winning looks when I was in St. Louis you couldn’t help but notice Aronian.

Where are the writers, the storytellers of today. The behind the scenes Damon Runyons? I can’t find them. Do you have some favorites?

There doesn’t seem to be anyone out there beating the bushes. There are intelligent grandmasters and interesting events but no one, even on Chessbase, is exciting. This is why everyone still remembers Fischer. One ingredient which is missing is research and history. Another is money.

Chess is one of a number of great hobbies. It is so easy to get absorbed in it. And yet a retired lawyer came by the other day to get some books which ONLY used descriptive notation! He spent a long time talking to me about law, keeping up with verdicts (one reason for retiring he said) online dating and chess. I sold him 2 books for the princely sum of $12.00 while still being in a lame posture.

Some months ago I posed an idea called a CHESS IQ test. On the floor of office #2 I have my outline. The essence will be information on how we can do some OUTSTANDING business together. How to pull it off. Not an easy task because there will be subdivisions! I will have an easy to use website and buyers will work with the Butler through this mechanism.

One will be Research. Let’s say someone approaches me to find out about a game that was played between him and some chess bigshot. The guy’s friends in some quaint little state don’t believe it ever happened and he wants me to prove that it did. What’s that research and find WORTH? I have a problem just like this in front of me now. Friends like that can be persistent!

At one point in my variegated life I had a memory for such trivia and there were and are others who could outdo me. I was a sort of “goto” guy. As editors and assistants would disappear, it seemed I was still around. So, what am I worth? ANSWER: as usual, it all depends.

If I should require assistance I might have to pay for help.

When I was in the typesetting business in the 1980s we provided all kinds of services and the application of those services from typesetting to darkroom, proofing, and delivery to the doorstep were on a set of pages in my administrative assistant’s desk drawer. Thus our times, fees, and such were always consistent. It was my job to put all the rates on her pricelist and she would price it out. We were known for speed and Quality. It worked well. Since none of our competitors could match the expertness of our operators nor our delivery times you would think there would be no problems.

We had one really big client under contract and and they went behind our back to get a better price than they “knew” we would charge . On the initial bid we told them it would take us 4 weeks. At the end of the 7th week with one competitor of ours, they were way behind. The playground equipment catalog was weeks behind and our “original” client came to us asking for help! We got the project back on track, charged them an aggressive “saving their bacon” fee. In the end the job was saved but they lost their ass in a lawsuit, extra fees they wouldn’t have had to pay if they had gone with us in the first place, etc. Then they elected to buy their own typesetting equipment, pay and train new operators, etc. Got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and had to close down a business which employed 70 people. All because of greed. This was the third typesetting business they had started!

CHESS IQ is still in the works. At this moment I am trying to sell a complete set of BRITISH CHESS MAGAZINE from 1881-2007, all bound. Interested? I wish I owned it myself because it is an extravagant research library. Worth its weight in books! About 127 of them.

bob long, info@chessbutler.com


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