It’s Already Happening! Why Not?

A couple years ago I was asked if I was interested in writing for a political campaign. In that case I wasn’t even though I was flattered. I am, however, interested in anything if the money is right and it’s ethical. Money is often the great dividing line.

In the past two days I wrote about Blackburne and Bird. That sold but I have to order some titles on Bird (which already has been done). Yesterday someone contacted me as to whether there were any good books for a 1200 rated player. Off hand I couldn’t think of any, but I do what the name Thinkers’ Press stands for, I spent a little time THINKING. The “someone” (April) who contacted me has already sent an order in via PayPal and the two books ship tomorrow.

The question almost came out of nowhere.

The real problem for me is quantity. My blog isn’t a food blog, or a sex blog (dating blog), or a raising capital blog (maybe it should be) so clearly in one on one scenarios the results are usually good, but, they have to NOTICE the Blog which I suspect is emailed to my readers.


In the past I have not had to resort to using material from my Blog for my newsletters. That’s how much variety is still stored in my head, but I am giving it some thought because it would allow me to expand, correct, and ponder. The best way to get all the updates is to get a FREE subscription to our CHESS GAZETTE. Since the 1990s I have been writing about chess, books, software, answering questions and whatnot (as my friend Colleen often says). Millions of words and occasionally some opinions as I have met an awful lots of people over the years. Lots of years. I’m not uninterested in scholastic chess it’s just hard to find writing that is original and not fawning. I am not too good at fawning, some have probably noticed.

The Chess Gazette wasn’t SOLD in the 1990s and isn’t sold now! But it still takes a lot of time to produce, lots of hours and even days. But here’s the hope: If I can get a lot of people to subscribe (even for free) I can start selling advertising. Advertisers will pay money to advertise if there are LOTS of eyeballs to look at their ads. In chess some of the adverts (a British term) do quite well as ours did when we were publishing SQUARES, one of the most exciting new chess magazines to come along in years (2003-2005).

Cowboys & Indians is a 200+ page publication (for double issues) which I subscribe to at my birthday anniversary. Myself and others have written in that we LIKE the advertising and pay for it by subscribing! When I am not feeling well and am up in the middle of the night my copy of C&I is nearby to keep me company. It may take me a month to read it all, but I love it all, including the content and ADS. Even stories and ads which initially don’t do anything for me, I read and enjoy them too. It’s all intoxicating.

Killer Diller!

Do you remember Leonard Skinner’s & Robert Verhoeven’s fantastic book: Alexander Alekhine’s Chess Games 1902–1946? For several years it was King of the Beasts weighing in at 824 letter sized pages with a hardbound cover. It retailed for $120.00 and was reprinted at least once. You might say to yourself (and you would be wrong) “I’ll just get his games out of ChessBase.” Good luck on that one o lowly researcher. Too many mistakes in ChessBase and I can attest to times of trying to make sense out of impossible moves. They still make updates and corrections but I don’t trust them. This book is good, the way an expensive book is supposed to be (good!). 2,543 games. A very few turned up after this book was published, that always happens.

One reviewer described “it was worth every penny.” These are the types of books which hold and exceed their value. Many games annotated by AAA himself and over 1800 diagrams. (I input over 700 diagrams for a book on the Latvian Gambit once so I have some idea what this means.)

I’ll admit, I don’t own this book myself any more. When I was desperate for cash some years ago, I sold mine, a painful procedure. I think it was $75 back then. McFarland doesn’t send me review copies. Many reviewers of expensive books just want the book for their library whereas I want to sell more books so I have been pretty much unbribable by these publishers.

Here’s the Really GOOD Part!

McFarland has dropped the price to $95.00! But it gets even better than that. I have a copy on order. I will sell it for $85.00 + $8.00 for S&H. If I should run out, I can try to get more but I am afraid my biggest fear will be realized, they have decided not to reprint again. After all how many expensive collectors are out there? Answer: Most of these guys will already own the book. Publishers are certifiable but not insane. You might find a copy one day in a used bookstore but I am amazed at how some take care of their own library books! They won’t drop the price again, I suspect this was from an overrun.

While it is true (?) that probably more Kortchnoi games are in ChessBase’s database, Alekhine’s works are filled with Majesty with a capital “M.”

Once again, read back a week or so, perhaps more gems await you. I hope you subscribe to CHESS GAZETTE and let’s get those advertiser’s on the ball again. They want eyeballs. They don’t care if we sell you their books, they just want you to know they are still around.

As always,

Bob & Jack


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