Pretty sure there are more than one. In chess I have to acknowledge Andrew Soltis who writes about chess and who used to work for the New York Post. A few other regional chess writers are excellent such as Pete Tamburro and Macon Shibut.
On the phone I have talked to various chess writers and regular people and recently one master told me, “When I get my Chess Life I read Soltis’ commentary and then toss the magazine in the corner.”
That’s not my method, I just put the magazine on the kitchen table and pick it up to read it when I am in the kitchen fixing something (I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately). What do I read? Soltis. Why? He always has an interesting hook to get me going, until the next issue. I said “interesting.” Are most editors capable of ferreting out interesting subjects? Dan Lucas is the current editor but does he ever contact me about what we’ve been doing? No. I have to drop him a line. I am sure he finds it hard to believe, but I am busy as he is!
Now we have, online, all these reporters and editors trying to figure out what went wrong and how did Trump get elected president? When I was being brought home in a cab last weekend from a sleep study at a local hospital the driver asked me, “Have you voted yet?” I hadn’t. But he, like cabbies do, told me why he voted for Trump. They were the same reasons many of us voted for him, we were supremely dissatisfied with the status quo. Lefties who thought they had the right answers for everyone else and that spending money would help everyone and increase our debt.
Andy Soltis is a chess guy for all of us. His copy is so diversified too. As a publisher I’ve asked players who I thought had something to say “Why don’t you write a book?” The answer invariably was not, ” I don’t know how” but instead “There’s no money in it.” Andy has built his infrastructure which means writing forewords for books as well as writing books and then there is his Chess Life column. Hence, he has $$$ coming in ALL the time! Here a hundred, there a hundred, it all adds up and he has done so many pieces for everyone on a variety of things it adds up quickly. Soon he is the “go to” guy.
Here’s what Rick Rector recently wrote:
“Thirdly, if I hadn’t already mentioned it, I enjoyed the latest edition of Chess Gazette. I liked the tone you set: Mixing more bites of information with the books/etc. you are selling. This makes it more palatable to those who feel like they are just getting another list of books to buy from Bob.”
Myself I like to create for others what I like to read myself. I read a lot and only some of it is chess.
A couple days ago I got in a bunch of hardbound chess books which I had ordered last year but for which I had sold out. Tonight I will be wrapping and packaging them up to send to 2-3 people who belatedly wanted one. It is Tony Gillam’s MANNHEIM 1914 and the Interned Russians. It’s one of those “hard to put down tomes (525 pages).”
For example, did you know that Alekhine was shot in the leg at Mannheim? The other books on Alekhine don’t mention this and yet I am sure it hurt like hell! You might even have grumpy days. It might even make you want to massacre future opponents!
As a for instance I remember playing in a Quad-Cities Championship, selling merchandise, and directing the tournament. Sunday morning I lost a critical 4th round game instead of drawing it, against an old adversary. I was tired and hallucinated and made a terrible move with my King and lost. At the start of the 5th round I said to my opponent, “I feel sorry for you.” He arched his eyebrows and said, “Why?”
“I lost my last round game due to not enough sleep.” He played a Rubinstein French and he was wiped off the map in no time (remember, he also had 3 points so he shouldn’t have been a pushover). I finished 4-1 and no chance to become Q-C champion a third time. Not his fault, but my spleen needed venting. My pride was hurt, Alekhine’s leg was hurt as he was escaping from somewhere. I do realize they aren’t exactly the same, but Tony Gillam’s book on Mannheim is full of nifty stories and famous chess personalities. So there!
This beautiful green hardcover is $59 plus $6.95 for S&H and insurance. I have two left. All the way from Merry Old England. 525 pages, remarkable. Oh yes, the book includes photos and lots of games gathered from a large number of sources.
By the Way
Johnny Owens has also signed up for the 2017 Chess Jamboree! Thanks Johnny. As people are added it helps me to determine what size room we will get rather than the other way around: getting a room and trying to shoehorn everyone into it in case it isn’t big enough. I’ve changed some of my modus operandi since my accident. More telling the potential customers how it is going to be and them relying on themselves to make sure there is a place for them. I wished I had learned this 20 years ago! Try to be a “nice” guy and where does it get you? Headaches.
Thanks for signing up Johnny. $100 for the event, $20 for the simul. Come one, come all.
Bob & Jack