Actually my son Rob knew and talked with Adam West so this is not completely out of thin air. As some know, he passed away recently.

I’ve been on the phone today looking for a videographer for our Simon Williams event on August 19 this summer. Especially the lecture day. Simon and I want to do the individual lectures and sell them at a later time! That way, those who can’t make it would get to see what went on. Those who want a record of the event would have that also (and they would be able to take advantage of a reduced price).

If you know me you would know that I had already arranged to have a videographer to do this. Remember that soliloquy by Robert Burn about the “oft-laid plans of mice and men…?” It happened. My guy has the time, he doesn’t have the equipment to video the whole day like some of these wedding guys do. So I’ve been making phone calls, at probably the worst time, Lunch Hour. I don’t take a lunch break until my regular work is done, so… maybe later. info@chessbutler.com

Then another thought occurred to me:

  1. Nothing liked seeing an event of this magnitude IN PERSON. True.
  2. Nothing like being able to watch it again whenever you want. [His six lectures promise to be ever engaging and awesome. Read the June 14 blog for more details!]
  3. I got an email from someone really looking forward to the Friday nite event next door to the Ramada at Old Chicago Pizza. And 33 are signed up for the Simul on Sunday so far.

Here’s my POINT. Several actually. On Sunday nite, for a mere 25 bucks, we are going to have a Glorious Q&A session for two hours with Simon. I will already come prepared with some questions, hope you do too. Simon will want to relax after the simul and perhaps you don’t know that Simon has been invited to the British Chess Championship this year. Some know that when GM Jonathan Rowson was here in 2002 he won, after leaving here, in succession, both the British and Scottish championships. Before that he tied for first at the World Open. Let’s assume he was inspired by the Chess Festival he had just attended! What a lollapalooza deal that was!

It’s quite possible this will be a one time event unless there is someone out there (and I don’t know who that would be) who would be willing to put up the lots of money my sponsor and myself have paid to put this on, I don’t see Simon coming back any time soon. He gets his schedule messed with and I always have an impenetrable schedule… just not likely. info@chessbutler.com

And I know he will be on his game… that’s what one does when they are around friendly people like YOU (I am not B.S.ing here, I know many of you and you are typical of the ones Simon wants to kid around.)

Has There Been a Change in Your Situation?

Maybe, just recently, something has freed you up so that NOW you can make it after all! It’s been known to happen.

Need More Ramada Overnights

Naturally, we want to increase stays at the Ramada. Their price of $79.95 is very good. Their regular price at this time of the year is like $107 per night so, it’s affordable. Just a couple years ago I was in Chicago at $140 a night, just me, for a special conference. Nobody as classy as Simon, but, he was good (and then he quit the company and went out on his own and is doing well I have heard.) I slept well, and just forgot about the cost. I wasn’t ignorant of it, I just decided to enjoy myself, which, I did. I paid cash so it wouldn’t appear on my CC statement. All this craziness is doable if you plan a little bit (see my Critical Secrets book on Planning.)

I am preparing to get shocked for the Hall billing of $700 or $750 that weekend because people are staying somewhere, I just don’t know where. Us old-timers aren’t in the mood to wear ourselves out going from a great place to a lesser place to save $30 and then show up at the last minute to the event, which just annoys everyone else. However, you can go to your own favorite spots for lunch and supper as I decided it wasn’t worth fooling with that at this time. Years ago we had some of our guests crowd the tables where the celebrities were eating and I was a little shocked at what a big deal that was (people who wouldn’t come to our events at any other time would show up at the same table or booth as the celebrities!) So this time I cut it down to one celebrity to also keep the ticket prices down. So, if you switch hotels, or change your mind and come and stay at the Ramada, thank you!

Won’t you come?

If you need more information you can call celebrity #2, me, at 563-271-6657. I do get lots of questions at the event so most likely you will see me doing 100 behind-the-scenes-things instead of listening closely to the lectures. You can take still pictures if you wish, preferably with no flash or shutter action (if your phones can handle that).

Simon is getting a shirt and we have 15 spoken for. Send your payment in now (Chess Butler, 1524 LeClaire St, Davenport, IA 52803) to reserve yours. Med-Lg-XL are $24.95. XXL is $27.95. And 3XL to 5XL are $31.95. You’ll be able to pick them up at the Ramada on Friday nite before the pizza deal at Old Chicago, sponsored by Mike Vuolo, Steve Lamansky, and myself so that no one will feel left out. I believe Ken MacDonald (Canada) is setting us up for some food on Sat. afternoon and he isn’t even going to be able to make it this time! These are the kinds of people I know folks from over the years. Fine people looking to have a great time. Would you like to have a great time? Then, buy a $150 ticket and another $20 for the simul which I have decided to cut off at 40. That means 7 available seats left. I have  to get the boards and pieces ordered soon, I don’t want anything left over. You can buy the set and board you used for $25 and take it with you! Simon will most likely sign your rollup board if you ask nicely. Autograph hunters are everywhere these days. In all the years I have been doing these things I don’t think I have requested even one autograph–too busy to even think of it.


And one last thing: significant others. Bring yours, no entry fee, they just can’t participate in games, Q&A. I think the Ramada is OK with the one price for 2 idea too (always smart to ask). That chops a lot of costs down doesn’t it? Just food and air fare if you decided to come via that method. Has anyone looked into Alliance Air travel? I don’t know anything unless you tell me.

I’ll keep you up to date on the video stuff. I am doing my best at this time to avoid an ulcer. How’s yours?

My best cordialness to you,

Bob Long


P.s. Don’t forget every paid registrant receives a $20 discount coupon, good for only this event, to be used against books, sets, DVDs and even the GRAND TURK. Plus there will be a 20% discount of the retail price of items (except shirts and the to be used sets and pieces) at the site.


Was hoping to get the Chess Gazette SE out by June 24th. Can’t do it. So it will be closer to the end of the month. As you no doubt guess, a kabillion things to do (thanks for Peggy’s use of that word). It will be a very interesting issue. If you want a copy and are not already on the Chess Gazette list, send me your name and email address and I will send you one. Lots of new books this time too.



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