What is your biggest FEAR chess wise?

Years ago one of my biggest challenges was getting new books in stock before anyone else did (other resellers). Ken Smith from Chess Digest would have some copies flown over from Europe. He never said whether that was profitable. I suspect it wasn’t or barely so.

There are so few resellers of chess in the USA these days that having chess books ahead of the other guy should be important (less competition) but I suspect it isn’t. No one brags about it.

The US Chess Federations supply side doesn’t count because Sean Sullivan, the one who runs that division, is not someone you can count on. There are pockets of sellers out there who will call me and ask for my latest catalog (wholesale) but then never order anything. There are a few resellers who have no idea of what they do sell, they hope their customers know.

The Chess Butler usually gets anything worthwhile within a week of it arriving in the USA. Just last night I got a big list from a supplier about stuff slated for Fall (mostly September). But it wasn’t stated that THEY would have the new titles by then or whether it was published in the “home” country by that date.

My Old Friend the Late Don Aldrich

I used to sell quite a bit of new books to my friend Don Aldrich. He liked to be on the cusp, the cutting edge. Then he became obsessed with having it as soon as possible and I began to lose sales to him. But when he couldn’t obtain what he wanted he would contact me! It wasn’t fair but Don was a lawyer and with that breed “fairness” doesn’t enter the room. When he would come to our Festivals he would walk away with an armload of new chess books!? I would have thought he would already have them. Don wasn’t telling me the whole story.

IM Bill Martz would stop by my chess shop, gather up a bunch of books he wanted and then ask for a “special” discount! I would tell him I was running a business and needed to make a profit. He then gave me the well worn “I’ll get it from the USCF then.” I would call his bluff and he would finally pay my discounted prices. He wanted something to read at night in his motel room as TV always was back then, stale, and it still is.

There were some others who wanted special favors, I assume, but would they buy from me if we were in the same state (Iowa)? No. The “prophet in his own town (Iowa) is not honored” the Bible says and it’s true. If it is too convenient or one has to pay sales tax, why not go elsewhere? When I would go to an event in which there was competition Ye Olde Chess Butler would beat their brains in because I knew what was in those books and how to display them. It’s getting a bit harder now as the books are coming out lickety split.

In fact here’s a list of new stuff scheduled to be here (?) this fall:

Attacking with the Isolated Queen’s Pawn (John Emms) $24.95

The Agile London System (Romero & De Prado) $28.95

Black is Back! (Adorjan) $24.95

My System & Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) $29.95 –who wants to buy books they already own?

Playing 1 e4 (Shaw) $32.50; Caro-Kann, 1…e5, & Minor Lines

Playing 1.e4 (Shaw) Sicilian & French

Revision & Exams (Yusupov) Fundamentals 1  $29.95

The Sicilian Dragon move by move (Hansen) $29.95

All this inspiration of publishers who do not know how to appropriately use an ampersand (&). Ampersands were NOT a substitute for “and.” The ampersands original use was to link to proper names together such as “Smith & Wesson.” The ignorant further ignorance.

Some Titles We Just Received

Just got these yesterday. The retail price is listed for convenience. Drop The Chess Butler a line and we will quote you our discounted price free shipping, and so on. Titles are in stock!

Attacking The English/Reti by Delchev & Semkov. 236 pages. I like this book as it has comments on what your opponents will think! (kind of fun) $28.00. Our price $23.80.

Bf4 in the Queen’s Gambit and the Exchange Slav (Dreev) $30.00. Our price $25.50.

Winning at Blitz, A Fun Guide to Blitz Chess (Chepukaitis) $16.00. Our price $13.60.

(“I make dozens of pointless moves until…” Great Book.)

Complete Guide to the Queen’s Pawn Opening Vols. 1 and 2. by A. Karpov and N. Kalinichenko. Hardcover. Everything is here in these 700 pages and of course, in English. The systems will be covered in “Chess Secrets” edition #208. You want to avoid what everyone else (almost) is doing, this set will prove invaluable from Veresov’s, Trompowsky’s, Colle’s, and everything else. $64.00. Our price is $54.40, save almost $10.00.

Anti-Sicilians move by move by Lakdawala. $29.95 retail. $25.50 our price for 448 pages!! Lakdawala infuses quite a bit of humor and experience in these lines: The Closed, c3 Sicilian (Alapin), KIA, Rossolimo/Moscow, Smith-Morra and all the rest. A very nice book.


If you live in the USA you can get free shipping if you buy two or more books from this list starting with the Attacking the English/Reti book. Add up the retail prices, take 20% off, and if you order 3 or more books, add $4 for insurance and send the total to the Chess Butler, 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport, IA 52803. Money orders, checks, credit card info and we will take care of you. The Blitz book is in short supply (2!) I didn’t know it would be as good as it is. Both Khalifman and Bronstein were big fans of Chepukaitis (aka Chip).

Enjoy your August with some good books, and then comes September!

Bob & Jack


PS: Tell me what your biggest fear in chess purchases is, and take an additional 5% off your total order (excluding insurance) from this Blog only. Deadline, August 6th.


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