AT THE CHESS BUTLER we live (or die) by putting our Thinking Caps on and dealing with those who get our Chess Gazette but for whatever reason will not be coming to the Chess Festival in two weeks. Truly a pity because it just about is all I think of.

I will be gathering names and email addresses to send to those who get the Chess Gazette and who I believe might still be interested in getting some great books, new, and recent. All will have at least 20% discounts and some, even more !!!

Lots of signed NDAs have started coming in and I thank you. It’s important.

Everything is here for the event except the score sheets for the simul. They will be here next week. They will be carbonless so that you can retain a copy and the Chess Butler will have a copy. I have to review them and send some samples to the American Chess Magazine for an upcoming issue. If for some “sketchy” reason you don’t want your games broadcasted just tell me that and those will not be sent to ACM. But consider being brave. Maybe making your scoresheet accessible will make you play better.

Because it is no-carbon required you will need to press a little harder on the top sheet. I know all this should be obvious but I have been in business for such a long time I can tell you right now, NOTHING IS OBVIOUS to some people. I don’t know why but that is the way it is. I will be toting up all those who have contacted me and letting the rest know that they have not escaped my clutches. This is called, “What a waste of time!”

If there is anything else you want to know, just drop me a line soon. I will be contacting the non attenders in a day or two.





Just got back this evening. Things to report about the Sinquefield. Good things and not-so-good things but they will be in the last Chess Gazette before the Simon Williams Chess Festival in a mere two weeks!!!


The Shock & Awe Playbook of Simon Williams’ games are here. We ordered 100 of them. About 40 will go FREE to those who paid to register at the Festival. Simon will be given some to take back to England and his fans.

We will have some to sell to the US troops of chess fans. $29.95 each, postage paid.  We may have a few autographed by Simon for his non attending fans. $39.95 for those, something Amazon won’t have.

The t-shirts are here and I have worn one to St. Louis.

If you have a camera and it makes a ping every time you take a picture, or about every time, they will put a “hex” on it and tell you to check it in because nothing should disturb the players even if their clacking shoes as they walk back and forth on an uncarpeted floor does! Different arrangement of tables than I last saw. I couldn’t, therefore, get photos of everyone.

The thing to see is the Chess Hall of Fame.

As is usual in August the heat was bad news outside.

The autograph signing session was downtown. I couldn’t find it on the website because it was hidden under layers of the website, always a terrible idea. My friend Peggy, who has lived in St. Louis her whole life said the idea of holding it in downtown St. Louis was a bad idea…we didn’t go there and it was in the evening. More in the Gazette.

The next issue of the Gazette will come out before the Festival. I may have some things to sell (and might run out of) before the Festival. Books sales have been almost non existent in the past 2 months. I don’t know if people are waiting to purchase at the Festival or what but that is not a good idea, especially for those who aren’t coming. I can’t guarantee I will have what you might want, no one could!


I HAVE BEEN TOLD that Gelfand’s second book will be here in a few days. Hardcover. To answer questions I have been asked: this is his newest book, the second one about DYNAMIC CHESS not the first one which is about POSITIONAL CHESS and was released last year! There will be a paperback version too but I don’t know when my suppliers will have it. What’s frustrating is that all of this stuff is written in the CHESS GAZETTE but some do NOT read the details in CG and then ask me about them. Is it too much work to read it correctly the first time? Are people only reading about it on their phone and then only in SKIMMED form? I was driving down the Interstate in St. Louis and a guy next to me was reading something on his phone and looking up every so often to make sure he didn’t run into the car in front of him. Can you really imagine that? You know it is an accident just waiting to happen. I have little faith in the continuance of civilization. We don’t need to be bombed into oblivion, just get killed in auto accidents. I was in a bad auto accident a couple years ago and I have NO phone with me. I just blacked out from a stroke. It too two years before they would let me drive again. That was a downer. In St. Louis I “let” Peggy do the driving while I drove on the Interstates–still having to watch with three eyes.


Lots of stuff going on in two weeks. The Friday night Pizza Night. The Saturday lectures on butt-kicking attacks, pastries, swap meet, video work on Saturday. The NDAs are still taking their time coming in. If they aren’t signed and returned you can’t watch Simon. I mentioned this months ago.


As you have seen, probably, the Chess Butler (Bob Long) has bombarded everyone senseless in attempts to give people a chance to make it to the Simon Williams presentation at the Fifth Chess Festival.

Now There May Be One More Reason to Come!

I was just asked if I would like to have coverage in an upcoming issue of American Chess Magazine of the Simon Williams’ event. OF COURSE, even though it will be too late to do us any immediate good except through this Blog and my own mailings. They asked for the background story (which is, I wanted someone big and entertaining), photos of the simul, which Kevin Schafer will provide, and some game scores of the simul (some folks like games).

Of course I can’t guarantee anything except it will cost you $220 to register for the event and the simul, there is always that chance you might show up in a near future issue of ACM. As my late friend Carol would say, “It could happen!”

Her other famous saying (with me) was, “You never know!”

And one other comment she made when she was describing the boxes we were selling for our Grand Turk chess set, “Sheer elegance.” I miss her. No slight intended to my friend Peggy who came up with a valuable source for the Saturday afternoon pastries (Aug. 19th) in the middle of one of Simon’s lectures. Of course the sponsor for such, Ken MacDonald is being thanked too–got to love those Canadians!

One Last T.h.i.n.g!

I just opened up the package of issue #3 of American Chess Magazine and it’s a Big Winner! Foisor (Sabina) has a great story on her win of the US Women’s Championship. I really liked Joel Benjamin’s commentary on how “cheating” still persists in important US chess events. I’m on his side about penalties (the big Red A, for example). Ivanchuk is back with more Shakespear, Inarkiev concludes the Carlsen-Karjaken match. Steve Doyle and his reaching out to Fine and Reshevsky was a special moment. Until then, Fine had felt ignored. All in all, maybe the best of the three! I am sending out some copies today, Don’t put it off: $36.60 for priority mail in the US except to California which is a little more: $41.45 and sent via priority mail. I’m short on time, but there are a lot of other worthy stories in issue #3 but the one I want to highlight is John Hilbert’s take on two American Chess Magazines which were in contention with each other for names, popularity, history, and readership. Fabulous! Don’t put it off or the last minute registrations for the Simon Williams’ event. You’ll have a couple days of chess heaven, for each! Welcome everyone! (It’s only money and we know you can’t take it with you!)

Bob Long

Editor in Chef (I am going out for a gyro, chief story in the next Chess Gazette!)


Waiting for the 18th—take a little trip to Davenport!!!

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.


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!


SIMON, in one of his works said that in his opinion, tactics beats everything else in chess. While at the stratospheric level the BIG GMs might disagree they would immediately agree that tactics are hidden in almost all calculations, especially strategical ones. True. So you have to play to block out tactics, if you don’t then it is like the theme from DRAGNET. The boom gets lowered.

A couple weeks ago Simon sent me some details of what he wanted to cover in his attack and tactics lectures. Here they are for review. Subject to possible changes:

1) Typical sacrifices to crush the Sicilian (shows some games with typical sacs ending in mate). Often these attacks are reminiscent of attacks in some other openings too.

2) The Sicilian fights back! (now it’s Blacks time!) Equal time and equal effects.

3) The lazy way to become an attacking Grandmaster. (Going to show simple patterns of attack. An opening that leads into a middlegame attack). Simple patterns, who can’t use that?

4) Jumping into your opponents mind. (Showing examples of how important it is to think about your opponent’s ideas). Getting into a customer’s mind is important, so it is when it comes to chess.

5) The most shocking attacks of all time! This is a Williams original!

6) How to calculate better. Who, on this planet, could not use this?

Over the years I have met and known those who played good defensive chess, chess where it was hard to beat them. When they came up against a John Lutes or some other amazing tactician, you would spell their quick demise as KRUNCH. No, it wasn’t an obvious blunder (or mistake) it was the Grim Reaper coming for them. This has to make players nervous when they played Tal, or Simon Williams. You will get to see this on August 19th and the 20th.


I was just told that 30 rooms have been reserved at the Ramada Inn in Bettendorf, Iowa. That’s cool and Leigh said they were responsible for around 60 nights! That could really help us afford the exhibition hall which was pegged at $750.00. That’s why not too many people will try something like a SIMON WILLIAMS CHESS EVENT. There are so many things to think of and fortunately God has my back because a lot of things are in the 4 page brochure I am mailing out this week, including a stamped envelope for returning the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement, even if you had already sent one to me). Put the rest of the mailing in YOUR wallet!

Included are phone numbers, reminders, shuttle information from the airport (please let Lynn Hunt know as soon as you know).


This is going to be an extravagant and wonderful event. Info on the SWAP MEET has also been included, i.e., more details. Someone asked how am I going to handle “straight swaps” such as book for book. I don’t know EXACTLY, but I suggest everyone have a sticky note inside (or on) their item of what they believe the value of the item is. Then we both have something of value. One of you pays me the 10% and the other pays me 10%, you exchange items and the deal is done. The two sticky notes have to be close to the same amount or I judge the sale item on the higher value, 10% for each. So let’s be friends, no scamming. Let’s be legitimate.


That’s what we are all after. The current ticket price is $200 and still $20 for the simul rate while seats last!

Any other questions

Your buddy Bob and his 3 year old sidekick Jack.

PS: If you play Simon in the simul and you get beaten, instead of being “waxed” we will say you’ve been “Simonized.” GROAN. Choose a brand new, book prize from QUALITY CHESS. CLASS, all the way.


It looks good. They’ve been ordered. You know they are counting on us to pick up the shirts as I have already received the bill! The shirts will be ready next week.


I discovered something cool this evening. I found, in an old Chess Life newspaper, a plaque commemorating Paul Morphy made for the Log Cabin Chess Club. I’ll have more info in issue #10 of the MORPHY TIMES & GAMES magazine. The next issue will be out after the CHESS FESTIVAL is over.




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.




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