A pleasant interview with a very fine and fun grandmaster from England, Simon Williams.

For some reason I asked Simon what his height was because when introducing him to you at the Chess Renaissance Festival this August 18-20, I wanted to avoid a potential Mutt & Jeff (short and tall) appearance. No problem, we are the same height.

After we were happy to have SKYPE working between us (and thanks to my son Rob for initial Skype help a week ago), we got down to topics.

We will start on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at around 10 a.m. So, you can stay at the Ramada Inn the night before (Friday) and you can wake up to their continental breakfast (free) the next morning, or if you have a car, drive up Utica Ridge Road to get a breakfast which turns you on. I haven’t picked a “lunch retreat” yet but will do so in the coming weeks.

Speaking of coming weeks, I will be putting a packet together of what is going on that weekend and mailing it out to all paid registrants. Probably 10-6 p.m. on Saturday, 4-5 topics plus lunch. Another GM makes his way to Iowa (we have had Kavalek, Gufeld, Rowson, and Yermolinsky as well as IM Andrew Martin. Unfortunately the Iowa Open is the same weekend, but in the Iowa City/Coralville area. They are running a tournament and we are having a FUN event, no ratings required. A leisurely weekend topped off with a Grand Simultaneous exhibition, which is an extra $20.

We might even get Simon involved in the subject of SPICY openings! (Gambits).

A T T A C K !

The “MAIN” thrust will be the subject of ATTACK! This is an area where many chess players fall down. Mr. Williams is an acknowledged expert on the subject of attack with such books as  Improve Your Attacking Chess and How to Crush Your Chess Opponents. This doesn’t mean he won’t touch on aspects of some openings because he is also an expert on the King’s Gambit, the French (including latest nuances, as he knew about GM Adiban (Indian GM) who beat Karjakin recently in the French (as Black)), the English, the Dutch, or as he put it “most other openings.” Grandmasters have to know more than just the Sicilian Defense.

Simon has done these types of events before and he does his own YouTube videos as well as work for and

We thought it would be a good idea to show you some of the REAL possibilities of the London System too. He has a video coming out about that soon. He told me that the London is “underrated!”

Lots of other topics swam around my laptop screen, and he will be sending more ideas of what we might do as we close in on August.

Of some interest would be our Friday night get together (Aug. 18th) where we can relax and he can get to know those who will come early (everyone will have name tags). The Ramada Inn is in Bettendorf, IA (3020 Utica Ridge Road, 563-355-7575.) and they have favorable room rates ($79.95) if you tell the person answering the phone you want the Special Chess Rates. They have King and Queen beds. Lots of amenities but most of us will be keying in on the chess business as well as the vendor area.

We will be having t-shirts, maybe 2 if we get the new Purdy book done on time. L and XL and maybe XXL. Let us know what you want. Rather than have 30 different sizes and prices, they will probably be $25 each (plus tax 7%) because we have ours made of heavy cotton with digital color added to get all the details.

If you can avoid it, try registering in advance. It makes it easier on everyone. Also, we will have a service to mail books, t-shirts to those who are flying out. We will also have a shuttle service. It’s $100 if you register by March 15. $20 more if you want in the Simul. The signups are always a barrel of fun and if you are amenable to advice, play in it.

If you have questions call Bob at 563-271-6657 or

We are going after corporate retirees also, so please don’t assume that just because you like chess we will have space for you.





CONTACT Bob Long with particulars:

Also interested in bound volumes of CHESS REVIEW. We have bound issues of CHESS, BRITISH CHESS MAGAZINE and loose copies too.


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