NOW I KNOW Alexander Alekhine is dead, 1946, but I am playing a game of IF. Say the Alekhine of 1930 or there abouts. Nice picture of him and his cat, he called CHESS.

What would it take to go see him? Alekhine remembered that when he found out that Pillsbury was going to be in Moscow, he was almost delirious. He wanted to meet him. Various people have written about Fischer’s tour of 1964. Or Tal in Chicago some years back.

Exciting times and stuff. What would they say or do? Why was it that there were always a couple people who would win or draw against the champion? Sweeps were known but usually someone would slip through.

What will happen with Simon Williams against the 33 (so far) who will be set up on Aug.20 for a simultaneous? Will his strangeness take the day or will someone “out strange” him? Come and find out.

I’ve seldom played against masters in simuls but when I did so, I acquitted myself beyond my expectations. I do not know why those who could play against Simon won’t!

I know there are those who hate losing, but this is for memories’ sake. Who knows maybe Simon is going around the horseshoe he was making some super kind remark about your play, and mean it!

I’ve spotted players who wouldn’t give up until they were the last person standing. And then, the Grandmaster just ground them down. They remind me of the players at the chess club who would hold on for 60 moves and then quip, “I lasted for 60 moves” and beam like the mayor of some small town who had just won the election against the city’s dogcatcher. All the while the grandmaster knew he was winning and that the chance for the blunder was more with the amateur than it was for himself.

I have ordered the 40 chess sets and boards for the simul. Room for another 7 players. Cost? $20. Cheap enough. $20 to take the set and board home with you and $1.40 sales tax.

I have ordered 30 t-shirts of various sizes. Too late to increase the size of these digitally printed shirts. Hi-quality Gildan cloth. Wear it to bed as a night shirt.

The Simon Williams Shock & Awe Playbook is at the printer and should be here at the end of July. That is out of the way.

Issue #225 of the Chess Gazette (FREE) was sent to everybody on my mailing list. Lots of comments but only 2 sales in the past two issues. Whoa Bill. It’s FREE anyhow did I leave out the enticements? I didn’t. Lots of new and recent books. And on top of that, some really good books and DVDs. Is every one waiting to get these items at the Chess Festival? I doubt it. I feel like it is 9/11 all over again!

We intend to have a good time at the Ramada Inn (Bettendorf, 563-355-7575). I will be informing the local news establishments tomorrow morning. Of course the “previews” won’t be out in advance until the actual event. Who wants to hear about something local AFTER it is over? That’s the way they DO it around here.

Just in case YOU still want to come (I have seen this happen, I don’t get it) it runs from August 18-20. $200 to register. $20 to play in the simul if we have any spaces open, Sunday Night will be a Q&A with GM Williams, for 2 hours.

Ideally, if we had $2000 or more to advertise in the papers and on TV, we could probably get another 20 to show up. The ROI (return on investment) would be staggeringly low. There are many chess players I know who won’t be there. Why? It was announced over a year ago, and the price then was $100–so it’s not like there was NO warning.

Take a look on that dome (forehead) of Alekhine’s. Just imagine all the secrets he had cached away in his head. If I had a time machine that’s who I would like to have seen. In 1926 Lasker was here in Davenport and there were a lot of people attending because they had no TV back then (and thus, no commercials), no cell phones, just the presence of a great playing bowling the “brains over” like ten pins in a bowling alley.

Maybe you will change your mind, now, at the last minute. 40 are coming so far. I thank those with the brass (and green) who are coming. BOLD, BRAVE, and WONDERFUL CHESS PLAYERS.

CONTACT BOB LONG AT: info@chessbutler.com



Maybe AAA will show up just for you (or me). Also will be a SWAP MEET, FREE PASTRIES, A $20 gift certificate and more. Lots of yummy chess merchandise too.


Bob Long


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