Not too long ago I discovered what the pain of back ache is like. Briefly, you don’t want it! I’ve discovered many people have it or have had it but almost no one but hypochondriacs want to talk about it. I can’t blame them.
In February I had scheduled my fifth Chess Festival, days with GM Simon Williams. People were coming despite that it was in the middle of winter.
My back surgeon, a genius named Michael Berry, informed me it (the Festival) was likely not to happen. My “recovery” date (reasonable healing) would fall a day or two before the opening bell of the Festival! And that was if nothing went wrong between now and then. That would take the gift of mind reading. I don’t have that.
As long I was on strong pain medicine that meant “no driving.” Try to imagine how most of you would feel if you couldn’t drive. Limited, bugged, almost useless. (I went for about a year and a half with not having a car!) No trips to the post office. Virtually no rides to anywhere (such as church) because you are too tired to do anything. Stepping out of a car you had to be careful lest you fall, lose balance, or hit something.
So I cancelled THIS chess festival after talking with Simon and telling him about the back operation. A few told me they wanted no rescheduling! There were a few demanders! Some emails were upsetting as if somehow I planned all this so that I could keep their reservation money. Seriously? Apparently those few have never been out of commission due to a serious medical malady. I have almost 3.5 weeks to go to a reasonable recovery and even then I won’t be running around like a wild man from Borneo. Walking anywhere would be nice.
Tomorrow or the next day I should be getting some new books in. Want a free list with pictures (in color)? Just drop me a line. I can manage that! I think I will include some bonus items to whet your appetite. I have no money at this time, spent most of it on putting the Festival together. I have 40 boxes of chess sets and boards sitting in the hall way. I have all those books I printed to give to people for FREE when Simon showed up and no doubt would autograph them. Other expenses were for utilities, food (I hope that was OK). This, fortunately, had never happened to me before. What’s that say about “probability,” a subject I studied in college? More further down this blog.
NEW BOOKS COMING!
1: Apparently I do know how to SELL (???) since I am ALL OUT of all my SHELF OF McFarland books except one. And I will be having more new McFarland news too including info on a book which should have been published eons ago AND IT IS BEING worked on!
2: When there is money on the line most chess people, unfortunately are not risk takers. So this next piece of news will have somewhat limited appeal. Are you one of those? For several years I have had the idea of a GAME for people interested in chess without necessarily being a strong chess player! A fun game. A board game.
At one time, 1974-1984 I ran a games shop for my clientele called The Thinkers’ Emporium, the House of Table Games. What a hangout! People who were young back then, now grown to adulthood, remember it well and who now miss that part of their lives. We also sold chess books by mail as well as in the store.
So I’ve been thinking of developing a board game for chessists, something which might span the globe in different languages. No FIDE politics, no cheating, sensible (I hope) rules, and just a few hours playtime. For kids, adults, clubs, and board game enthusiasts. To design, make rules, package and the like takes time and money. My son Rob has already found a likely distributor since Rob works in a games and specialties warehouse out East! Most likely I would be one of the designers. It won’t happen overnight. Most likely we’ll need a lawyer to handle out of state investors. I started down that road once, many years ago, turned out I couldn’t trust my own lawyer! Fortunately, I lost no money, just a lawyer.
3: What kind of investors? If I had money I wouldn’t even bother with seeking people other than myself. Years ago when I was working for the US Army a guy I’ll call George wanted to invest in something I was doing because it made sense to him, he had some extra cash but I turned him down. He asked “Why?” I took a minute to frame my answer because I had always gotten along well with George (his real name) and I said, “George, you’re a nice guy and all but you would be calling me every so often with an idea or asking me ‘How’s it going?’ and in all honesty, until I am ready to issue reports, it would be a huge waste of my time, and yours.” It’s not like I left town or went on to do something else, but, surprisingly and unfortunately, George passed away! There will be a time for feedback and ideas.
The game I have in mind involves chess history and how to become a Grandmaster (on paper!), a subject which is more enlightening than most can fathom but which allows for further research taking you to mysterious and interesting places. For example there is a book I have read which is not on any chess bestseller list, which has some of the most meaningful ways to improve you have ever read! It wasn’t written by anyone well-known inside the USA. Take your game from “average” to the A side of things once you’ve been shown how.
How did I find such a book?
I was flat on my back, recovering from back surgery and had nothing better to do and it was an impressive eye-opener! When there is a little quiet time in your life you can focus better than you ever believed possible. Bring God into the conversation and the ideas start to flow. Does that turn you on or off? Whatever your answer it doesn’t scare me away.
4: How can you invest? What’s the profit? When will I start? Don’t know any of these answers yet. Read on.
A well known saying is “One can’t get blood from a stone.” Today, I am the stone because I don’t have the money for full refunds. I believe in restitution. I don’t see me, Bob Long, doing another Chess Festival anytime soon. I can say that my best friends, those I have known and dealt with for a long time, have not been pressing me. Can’t say that for everyone but then that’s where the word trust comes in and without that, we have nothing.
If you are willing to take chess sets, books, DVDs, etc. in return for what I owe you, you will receive in kind as soon as I am up and walking about with vigor. Send in your claims but you don’t have to be in an all-fired hurry about it (smile). I doubt if my doctor will take chess books for his surgery work.
Others who can wait, I will be glad to put you on the INVESTORS list (for the game I just mentioned). Tell me how much I owe you and what it was for, your name, address, and phone number (please). You will be on a separate list. Some people have told me they have already written this loss off because they are like that! Thanks. However, I do have a bunch of Simon Williams stuff I have already bought and paid for and I don’t mind your taking of books, DVDs and the like as partial payment. It will take a couple weeks to put the list together. If I sit too long my back can’t stand it.
Honestly, 2017 turned out to be a rough year for this kid. I had no idea, cross my heart, it would end this way. I have to get up for now, get a few groceries and a small Valentine’s gift for a very good friend and cards for my kids who took almost daily care of me while I’ve been incapacitated. I was pleasantly surprised at their all out support for their “old man.”
Thank you too,