Pluses and Minuses!

Two whiney complaints about the Chess Festival this August! Invariably that means someone wants me to do a favor for them when they, so far, have done nothing for moi! I am a businessman. I do things to get paid, it’s how I TRY to make my living. Other than the inefficient USCF there are few of us chess people around these days. We started in 1971! That’s 46 years of groping in the dark!

You know what? I have to ignore that/them/it.

Now for three examples of what long term relationships can create.

I will just give initials for my thanks, no names. As for the whineytards, no initials, no nothing. When I give full names for a number of people I run the risk of leaving someone out. I would hate to do that.

There is GD. He can’t make it this August because of what I would term a “bad contract.” So, in his place he is going to zero out a credit he has with me. The equivalent of two tickets! I tried to talk him out of it, but, no luck. We’ll miss you “G.” (from NCIS Los Angeles).

Then there is “GG.” Now This “G” is coming but he’s kicking in some dough also for the Friday Nite before Pizza Party, a $100 worth so if you like pizza, with GG and Mike Vuolo and me if necessary, we’re going to have more than enough. In 2004 we had a bunch of pizzas and sorry to say, they were all eaten up by early evening pigs! “GG” also wants to get some books and he will serenade me with stories of his Classical Guitar Circuit. A really cool guy and his wife will be with him! Wow! He also sells rare books and one went for $12,000! I told him I sold one chess set for $12,000 but that was a long time ago. Customers like that don’t keep popping up from the woodwork.

Then a long time friend, KM, he will be providing Coffee and Pastries on Saturday afternoon (once I talk to the manager of the Ramada) while we all take a break (and give Simon one). He wanted to buy a ticket for some poor soul (KM couldn’t make it, this time) who couldn’t afford a ticket. Since KM understood my intentions (my sponsor understood this too) to “make” money for a change with this Festival and to afford all the extra and unforeseen expenses, we both knew that if one can’t afford to register, it’s quite likely they couldn’t afford other things such as books, the simul, T-shirts, DVDs, etc. So why should they be special over all my customers who have helped in the past to keep my business afloat? The special ones ARE the special ones. Besides, it’s been my experience, over many years that when it comes to money, there are those who will “fib” (a softer word for lying!) without breaking a sweat. As P.J. Rohleder said in a book I was reading today, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

Thanks to you guys/gals and those who bought tickets, including Jason Barrett–whose paid registration arrived while I was writing this Blog, via PayPal. He also signed up for the Q&A session on Sunday  night. 2 hours of zaniness with Simon. The spots are filling up–better hurry. Chess players often seem to be in TIME TROUBLE when it comes to doing things at the last minute. $25 seemed fair, but then again they didn’t have a bigger room. The two rooms, the exhibition hall and the Board Room will come to $800 and I suspect that if we don’t get more registrants or more rooms taken at night, the Q&A session will be used to pay for half the hall space if we completely fill it. Events like this, as good as Simon is, when the rubber meets the road, have to be paid for. The knuckleheads pro-rate and figure we will sell all 65 tickets (or more). Hasn’t happened yet, so let’s just wait and see. Maybe it will happen. Susan thinks I am an optimist!


But, over the years I have managed 14 chess events. I’ve had a lot of practice. The 20 people events have done the best (in the past), for one day. By “best” it meant there was no “rooms” costs of significance (in my own building), less costly “celeb,” and maybe a $25 ticket for food and movie. Sold quite a few books. But, I had to sell the building for less than I originally paid for it!

Simon and I will be meeting via SKYPE next week. Something good always comes out of those meetings. Several have told me they look forward to getting their butts beaten by Simon!


One FREEBIE for this Festival is the Simon Williams “Playbook.” I will have examined about 40 of his games up through 2017 and paid registrants will get a FREE copy. I might even have time to contact him to look it over before it is printed. This is one of those unplanned expenses but the idea is that FREE stuff usually entices people to come. If you don’t come and instead opt to buy it from Amazon it will cost you $40, so there is VALUE in the free book.

More news as it happens. As I wrote earlier, Don’t Be a Later Larry, you might miss out (I am not kidding, I think we have a chance of pulling this off).

Bob & Jack

P.S. IF you’ve liked working with my son Nate, in the past, he just volunteered to be my assistant this August! Kevin Schafer will be doing some video work, and I will be manning the laptop and sales. Great service, selection, and Entertainment. Plus one other thing I forgot to mention in all the Chess Gazettes and Planning brochures, it’s about sales. In 2010 at the LAST CHESS CLINIC my friend Terry Ratcliff was manning the credit card machine while her husband was registered in the event and he is registered this year too. But what I did was B.S. with the customers who were waiting in line, no complaints, listening to the repartee. Give and take and from I could tell the people waiting in line loved it. This was also done when I was in Denver and things went smoothly and affably even including when I had to change the paper in the credit card printer. Now I just send you an email receipt.



  1. We will have the finances for the Pizza Party covered to a depth of “hip deep.” Mr friend Susan was reading the Blog and she said she was cracking up. Also, she liked “whineytards” as she had never heard that before! I told her that “cheapskates” inspire me.

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