There’s no such thing as starting too early!

The current Chess Festival V was announced in 2016, probably October, can’t quite remember. Decisions would have to be made because these days people plan more than they ever have. A little jostling is required to remind.

Then a long look at a calendar is necessary. Who is coming. Who can’t make it? (For a good reason.)


Nothing should be assumed. You won’t want to miss this. As you saw recently (the previous post e.g.) there are those who purport to know my expenses, and who determine what my profit should be. How could that person KNOW what I don’t know? Extrapolation is a risky business because life isn’t linear. The initial choice, however, isn’t binary (yes or no) but tertiary includes (maybe).


Things to consider but number 1 could easily be, “What is on the venue and WHY should I care?” A reasonable question.

You may be thinking of money, the date of the event, a planned wedding, etc. all the way to infinity (that’s how our minds work!) Maybe there is some kind of rerun you don’t want to miss!

But realistically, if you are a BIG chess fan (and so far we have 28 of them who have PAID) where is the dividing line? Is it a complete unknown who knows how to move the chess pieces or someone who would get your blood pumping (chessically)?


The first order of business from my end, was to contact someone who impressed even me! If you have met and talked with Bobby Fischer already, you have your work cut out for you. I wanted a crowd pleaser, an entertainer, but one who really knew chess inside and out. Someone who could handle questions and come up with a few of his own.

I didn’t have to think long. It was GM Simon Williams. I had sold his DVDs several years ago and they were causing me a lot of “wasted” time each day as I watched them. He was engaging. He was chessically centered, and, he was nuts.

Understand what being “nuts” meant wasn’t hard to do. My Mom called me a weisenheimer, and still did up to the time she passed. I told her I came by it honestly, she married my Dad!

So I checked around with a few people, did they know who Simon Williams was? If so, did they like him? (Lots of universal yeses and head noddings, all around.) That didn’t take long.

I dropped him a line and he suggested we hook up through SKYPE. Called my son Rob in Maryland and he set me wise as to how to do that business.

After that I asked a very good friend IF we could afford what I was proposing. Namely, some of the big expenses. He thought so.  What a great guy, not like the knucklehead who was convinced I would be making too much money (it’s pretty clear this guy had never been in business for himself). Everyday there seemed to be new expenses I hadn’t originally thought about.

When Simon and I got in touch we became, I think, instant friends even though we had some trouble with SKYPE (and why not, it was now a Microsoft product?)

If you have ever watched a YouTube video of Simon on chess, you know he is funny. Redheads can be like that. Checking elsewhere I noticed he had beaten up on a lot of very good grandmasters. He was a pain in their side because he was also exceptionally well suited to play red hot Blitz.

And, he always had these off to the side comments which were hilarious IF you liked his sort of humor about such things as the h-pawn, Harry! And a little thing that makes many of us GASP was his unpredictable “Go for it!” Sacrifices. He LIKES talking to himself, and talking to his chess pieces, first started by Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson, who we had at our 2002 Chess Festival, also held in Bettendorf, Iowa.

A couple people thought I was crazy having a chess event in Iowa. Without RISK there is seldom opportunity. Those who are very conservative are not easy to deal with and one can’t count on them showing up because, secretly, they have found some way to take IT with them, a way no one else has yet discovered! Sort of like the Lost Dutchman’s Mine (“We KNOW it is out West, what we don’t know is exactly where!”)

Thus, it came to be that Simon will show up here in Bettendorf, IA on Aug. 18 and stay through August. 20.


The Grandmaster had a really good idea. It’s been done in books, but not on stage, as far as I knew. Without this, most chess players were clueless as to HOW to get good results, and OFTEN. And here is a neat point. It would be NEW stuff. Sure, we would have his books and DVDs for SALE (20% OFF) but I asked him for MORE. That’s my job. I am not a thumb-twiddler. For $150 you want more too. That price is good through July 15th.


This might be a scary part. Some people are afraid of losing but few are afraid of losing to a Grandmaster (most will expect it). We don’t yet know how many want to match wits with Simon over the board, but we will expect to have the news media there reporting on something besides politics. UNFORTUNATELY for you, since the event is on a weekend (Aug. 18-20) there won’t be any advance notice of the details. Hence, you will have to get the details of what, when, where, etc. from the Chess Butler (


It’s all here, in a PDF about GM Simon Williams, the subjects of his Saturday Lectures, the night before Pizzas, the Sunday Simul, and the Sunday evening Q&A with Simon and a very limited number of people in the Board Room (16 only). A map, info on the shuttle bus, the international airport, free parking at our host site, the Ramada Inn in Bettendorf. Honestly, I recommend you get your rooms early (call Ramada and ask for the Special Summertime Chess Festival rates– at: (563) 355-7575 FREE Continental breakfasts.


you’ve been waiting for. Simon is not boring (should boring bother you). He told me he had never been to the USA. Let’s welcome the Zany Man from England. He broadcast a video to his core group of enthusiasts on YouTube recently (over 13,000 so far!!) He is seen all over the world and yesterday one who saw it and admired Simon for years signed up; formerly from Texas and now Des Moines. And many others will be sent this brochure today. Why not be one of them? It doesn’t cost you to receive this 12 pager full of bits and tidbits plus the design of the Simon Williams T-shirt we had made for this thrilling chess event. (T-shirts must be PAID for in advance and picked up at the event.)

If for some reason I missed covering something in the brochure, you can call me Bob Long, at: 563-271-6657 or write to:

At this event you will meet the best kind of people such as my friend Bob Woodworth (who has already registered from Omaha) and another friend Bart Lancaster (who has already registered from San Diego). Bart told me he found Mr. Woodworth to be a great example of the friendships he made in 2010 at our Last Chess Clinic.

You can pay by PayPal (to:, by check, money order, credit card (Visa, MC, Discover).


If you are a chess book collector, DVD watcher, or souvenir hunter, the 2017 CHESS FESTIVAL in Bettendorf, IA is the place to be. Don’t forget to call the Ramada Inn for your room (563-355-7575) reservation. The Quad Cities is a summertime tourist mecca and the rooms fill up fast no matter who you are! I know, from personal experience, what it feels like to be from out of town and not be able to get a room, at any price, before any kind of event. I don’t recommend it, especially if you are bringing your significant other with you.

If you’ve been waiting for the details they are now complete but additional pieces of info will go out to those who are already registered over the next couple months. Several are bringing significant others to go shopping, or maybe to watch their SO be hammered into oblivion at the chessboard by Simon. Really, we recommend you to be at least 18.


My name is Bob Long, president of Thinkers’ Press, inc. a prestigious chess publisher since 1985 with books sold all over the world and new ones coming out.

We’ve done a dozen of these events since 1998. Universally almost everyone has told me they have had the time of their life. Come join us, don’t put it off, GET OFF THE FENCE GUS. This is the NEW PLAN ROY.
We have featured Grandmasters, International Masters, well known chess writers and those you have only heard of. In fact I am considering publishing a book of those I have known in the Chess Butler sphere (and Chessco) since 1985). Maybe even little stories about each one, a thousand! I have about 950 collected so far, of course Simon will bring that to 951. But who knows who will be visiting us!!! Maybe, you will be included!

As always,


Bob & Jack

Ever vigilant!


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