All the Simon Williams Chess Festival t-shirts have been mailed! Good news and I am getting reports already of people receiving them.
I meet with Simon Williams this Sunday evening on Skype where we will be discussing what we can do to change the catastrophic recent experience to a positive memorable one, in time.
I got some great letters of support from such great guys as Earl Zismer about the postponement of the event. Earl empathized. Only a couple people were ostensibly upset with me and that dropped to about zero when I fully explained what had happened. I’m just a small fish in a big pond. No army of lawyers to take on the establishment.
To recoup SOME of my financial losses I had a lot of merchandise laying around that I was going to sell at the event. Instead I discounted everything 35% and some stepped up and bought things they didn’t get when first announced in the Chess Gazette. This should keep vendor suppliers off my neck for a few more weeks.
Should we be able to reschedule a further delayed Simon Williams chess festival, I will need NEW stuff to get people to reach into their wallets. The problem is that in the early part of 2018 there isn’t much in the way of new stuff because publishers aren’t cranking much in the way of new study materials at that time. I may hear from a few asking me why I am doing this in winter (they act as if I am not aware it would be winter!)
I remember our first Chess Clinic with Andrew Martin, the FIRST one. It was in February. We had about 12-19 people there. There was snow outside. Just as we were done on that Saturday, the power in my building went out. Sucks. Vince Berry was there (master from Chicago). He surprised all of us by buying all of us our dinners! Then Andrew played chess against anyone who wanted to play him. He was a crusher!!! Tim Crouse did well but he didn’t win. I think this was 2005 or 2006 (probably). Dale Suilmann elected to go back to MN that evening, a hardy breed. And, thank the Lord, Dale is still with us. Brave but not foolish souls.
So, in a few days we should have some more data to sling your way. As I said, I will report what Simon and I discuss. Hang on to your air fare tickets!
To try something that Gambit would do, the chess publishing company, does anyone out there have any good ideas of how we could encourage new attendees? Especially from the Chicagoland areas?? I am pretty sure that some of those who registered may not want to take a third chance on having a Simon Williams Chess Festival. All my life I have taken risks. Steve Lamansky recently told me that in the club he belongs to in the Ankeny/Des Moines area of Iowa that my name often comes up due to the fact I have brought many grandmasters to the Quad-Cities locale that he was able to meet and spar with.
Recently I received a review copy of Dynamic Decision Making in Chess. In paperback. It retails for $29.95 and it will be a few more weeks (most likely) before copies arrive here. In the meantime, if you like hardcovers, we already have them. $39.95 ret., or our price of $31.96. I reviewed this in a recent issue of The Chess Gazette.
Recently US Chess put a flyer in with the latest magazine giving reasons why US Chess Sales should be your Chess Shop of Choice.
- When it came down to published prices, their’s are the HIGHEST between here and Pluto. They get away with this detail by offering a “price match guarantee!” In other words, YOU do the work. Screw that. They will not be undersold they say. And they “constantly” have everyday low prices. Apparently they do not consider The Chess Butler as a competitor.
- You can pay by check or money order!??? Haven’t we been doing this since, forever?
- Same business day shipping on all in-stock items. “In stock items.” Pretty obvious they couldn’t do it if they didn’t have it, no? Have you ever tried navigating their online website? Before you do, go see a proctologist! Pain in the ass. No newsletter or “reviews” literature. 5000 items they stock. Well, we don’t have anywhere near that number of books, maybe they don’t have 5,000 items either especially when others tell me about their out of stocks, or advertising items, which aren’t in this country yet.
- Other things are geared according to chess clubs. We concentrate on excellent quality books. Their printed catalog performs as if they have never seen the book before! One line if you are lucky! That’s what I call detailed. If we did a printed catalog it would be out of date by the time you got your mail.
The whole process makes me tired. If I (Bob Long) can make at least one claim to fame it is that I know what I sell. I am not a low rated player. I’ve been doing this for years and years. I know chess, And, I won’t B.S. you. Get your free copy of the Chess Gazette by asking for it. With issue #227 we will be instituting a new look which will be even easier to read on your phone.
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