Remember when the 18th of August was about a year away?
Some were asking why I was announcing a Chess Festival almost a year in advance. I warned that time would fly by. It has. We’re all a year older. Totally inescapable from that.
Everything was a long ways off. Some were going to a wedding a year away. Who would have thought that anyone would be doing anything on a usually hot summer day, in August.
As I write this my house is cool from A/C. There’s baseball on the radio. Some guy named Simon Williams will be here in 3-1/2 weeks. All of a sudden we are in the home stretch. Of what?
A tribute to something many of us have enjoyed over the years, chess. We’ve played it, we’ve won with it, we’ve celebrated it, and soon we get a chance to sit on our asses in Bettendorf, Iowa and get to listen as well as watch the secrets of this game escape before our senses. What will we do with that information? I can’t say what you will do with it, but for me it has been a ton, or two, of work.
Today, for example, I received 3 heavy boxes of chess pieces, made in China and wow were they heavy. Two of them I could hardly lift because my left arm, the one that had been broken July 4, 2015, in two places, still has not perfectly healed. How does that happen from a stroke on a street I was driving on? Apparently my steering arms and face impaled themselves on the steering wheel of my HHR (2008). I blacked out and when I came to an EMT guy was asking me, “Who’s the president of the United States?” I do remember replying, “Do I have to answer that?” This, and some other questions they asked, showed there was some life in me.
About the very first thing I thought about was, “Will I be able to have the Chess Festival (2015) or will I have to cancel it? I had no idea how bad everything was. My life had always been like that! I didn’t want to let a whole bunch of people down. There were 22 registered for the first chess festival I had set up since 2004, 11 years ago and now, THIS?
In 2016 I started to think about the Chess Festival again. I went looking for a sponsor and found one who didn’t want to be on the marquee. Now we have at least 40 registered. The black and white heavy plastic pieces have been picked and checked and put into nice and comfortable boxes for the simul. Should you want to take your set and board as a souvenir, home with you the price is MY COST! $20.00.
The shirts are also here and tonight I will be bagging them up and putting name tags on them–one thing after another!
After the weekend I will spend a few days at the Sinquefield Cup. The Sinquefield people do not do a very good job of telling us, in advance, who is going to be there, just that 10 of the best in the world will be there. After some more rooting around (not on the Sinquefield site tho) I have come up with the list:
GM Magnus Carlsen 2832 Norway
GM Hikaru Nakamura 2785 U.S.
GM Wesley So 2812 U.S.
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2796 France
GM Fabiano Caruana 2808 U.S.
GM Levon Aronian 2793 Armenia
GM Sergey Karjakin 2781 Russia
GM Viswanathan Anand 2786 India
GM Ian Nepomniachtchi 2732 Russia
GM Peter Svidler 2756 Russia
New to me will be: Karjakin, Anand, Nepomniatchi, and Svidler. I don’t see a favorite of Rex’s, Topalov. I can tell he also likes Aronian.
This should be something but I can’t stay long as I have my own event to tend to! Gary K is coming later for the Rapid & Blitz event and I will miss that. There are so many top events each year that the calendar has become insanely crowded.
A COUPLE THINGS TO MENTION!
TODAY I received 10 copies of American Chess Bulletin #3. Some have already told me they want one, so I have 7 left to send out. The price will be $29.95 + Priority mail shipping which will be $6.65 except for California (at this time) which will be $11.50. Let me know if you want one and I will try to get them out to everyone who wants one before I leave for St. Louis.
The other thing is that my good buddy Ken MacDonald offered to buy pastries for Saturday afternoon and I have found just the place to supply us. The cost is free to those who registered and their significant others. Thank you Ken.
Also, there are 4 places left for the Sunday night Q&A. If you want to get into that it is $25, has Simon’s blessing and he will be there (of course)! The room called the Board Room only has room for 16 chairs and is filling up. This is one of those things you won’t want to leave on your “regrets” list.
I am aware that a number of people who have registered for this Simon Williams extravaganza also want to see me, the the organizer. I am honored. One reason I do these things is to find and keep new customers. Those who registered have automatically become friends of mine and the Chess Butler. So I will be in and around everything and we can talk and do some business during the Swap Meet and other things. Avenue Studio will be doing Video work on Saturday. You are invited to bring your camera too but to avoid being rude to the presenter it would be nice if you would get your filming out of the way, early on.
Lots of Simon videos and books will also be available as well as other things. We haven’t done a Chess Festival in 13 years so, there is a lot of catching up to do. If everything is working well, we will be able to take credit cards at the Festival too!
C U Soon!