August 18-20, 2017 Simon Williams!

Simon wrote this morning and said this date was good for him. It works for me, will it work for you? Some have been responding and we are hoping for lots of “some.” Simon said he’s been very busy and even though this notice is going out about 10 months in advance, now is a good time to start planning…isn’t it. This will be the date I will be working from and we hope that soon everything will be set in stone as Simon said to me.

WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN?

Never attended kindergarten, but when I got to first grade at St. Mary’s Elementary School it started off with a rush. I was chosen (I do not know why, I wasn’t known as a volunteer back then) to play a character in a school play named “Simon.” No kidding, and he was simple too as in “Simple Simon” who met a pieman as he was going to a Fair! It was one of those things for parents and their children. My Mom sewed me a costume (I think she could do anything!) I had blue pants and a red shirt! Pretty Simple.

Later in the school year I was picked as Joseph for a Christmas play. Fast forward to my Junior year in High School where I had the “privilege of playing the Duke in Death takes a Holiday. I doubt if I really understood the part because I have seen a Broadway version of this play on YouTube and it was a mystery to me. My biggest fear? Forgetting my lines! In my Senior year I was a Father in a household and I did forget a line and had to “wing it” for a minute! A little embarrassing but the director told me (later) that no one noticed it! Hmmm. Needless to say, I loved this director.

WHAT NOW?

START planning your chess vacation. Maybe the Sinquefield Cup will coincide with the CHESS JAMBOREE… as Carol used to say to me, “Ya never know!”

I have kept the price very reasonable so we can cover my costs and still get you to come. (Why is it that chess people often only think of having a chess tournament?) We have a sponsor who is helping to cover many expenses. Would you like to make this your best chess hurrah and contribute toward the other miscellaneous expenses? I have been confined to my home since July 4, 2015 so opportunities to run around to hotels and do all the other things (printers) that need to be done have been limited. If you are looking for a suggestion here’s what I have come up with, an amount that is big enough to make a difference and to cut down on “many hands make light work.” Say $250 (this, by the way, is not an obligation, just a suggestion).

The rate as I have set it is $100 for Saturday-Sunday and maybe a small get together on Friday night! This will be for the “early birds.” $150 for the last minute Leos. Planning is so crucial that one of the things I have learned recently is the importance of a HEAD COUNT!

Over the years I have made (and kept) quite a number of friends through these clinics, festivals, and now a Jamboree! And the friendships have continued for years. I have wanted to have one more guest and that will take some do-re-me, but besides offering you some chess variety, it gives the Grandmaster a break from “endless talking” and being funny! Even Johnny Carson would take at least a drink of water once in a while.

Do you want to make some new chess friends?

This would be the perfect place, Davenport, Iowa, part of the Quad-Cities. Of course we have the Mississippi River at one of its wider parts, but we’ve also been a chess town since Lasker was here in 1925. Then there were the big Transmississippi Tournaments. Thinkers’ Press, inc. has had chess events here since 1998 with headliners such as GM Lubomir Kavalek (Bobby Fischer’s second in the latter half of 1972). In 2000 it was Eduard Gufeld. In 2002 it was Jonathan Rowson. In 2004 it was Alex Yermolinsky. From that point on we gave uproariously famous chess clinics with Andrew Martin, our best was 2010.

We start out 2017 with Simon Williams, a gangbuster chess presenter who will keep you laughing as he rediscovers chess, some openings, good times, and on Sunday, a simul. Most want to play a grandmaster at least once in their life. And if their opponent is ONLY an international master they will tell everyone else they played a grandmaster. Even the famed Los Angeles Times columnist Herman Steiner (an IM) reported that the 1955 US Open was directed by International Grandmaster Imre Konig (he was an IM!)

STILL TO COME

More details such as where it will be. For those flying in your arrival destination is Moline International Airport (MLI in case you are asked). I will be getting with Lynn Hunt for more details but before I go now I strongly suspect this will be one happy, madcap event. Simon is a redhead, hence the name of his chess company, GINGER GM.

Perhaps you didn’t think of chess as being entertaining or funny (which IS entertainment) but we will show you if you give us a chance!

Contact: Bob Long, info@chessbutler.com

P.S. I have heard from people already and I hope to publish a list soon so you can make sure you are on it! Muy importante!

PPS: Recently I told readers of this blog that we were getting 5 more copies of Mannheim 1914, the incredible written documentary of a chess tournament which was going on during WWI. New FACT. 4 are already spoken for ($59.95 + $5.00 and S&H). They will be shipped to us by air on Friday. Do YOU want to put in an order now, I might be able to add more? Also, don’t forget the sumptuous hardcover (Mannheim is also in hardcover) by Ken MacDonald on Canadian Correspondence Chess History. Our copies will arrive about the beginning of December. Let me know, please. It’s a very limited edition (that’s what is worth collecting and investing in these days!)

PPPS: Yesterday I got a shipment of more “Grand Turks” and I must admit, they reminded me, all over again, of how beautiful this set is. More details will be coming soon. And if you haven’r already signed up for the twice a month edition of The New Chess Gazette, I will remind everyone, it is FREE except you must have an email account and a first and last name so yes, Cher cannot subscribe!

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