I contacted my supplier of this book by Alekhine and told him I will have to double my previous order for this book! He told me that first shipment went out last Thursday.

My friend Ed asked me if chess history is making its move. Kind of. Good chess history is always more fascinating than just a plain old openings book because of historians write from facts whereas opening books are often written by people who are NOT at the top of THEIR game even if they are Grandmasters.

I realize that what is going on so far is a “wish list” but it will be fascinating to see how Alekhine handled these people back then. His notes will presage his own ambitions and way back when he was a correspondence player himself just like Keres was.

The second book I will reveal, on the list, is Karolyi’s book on the way Carlsen handles the endgame. Those are 1-2 and the Endgame book won’t be out for several months.

Yes, it’s OK to UPDATE your wish list, Ed has already done so, and as a matter of fact he was my first customer for Alekhine’s CHESS DUELS book.


CARUANA beat Aronian today to take the lead in the Candidates race to the top because Karjakin only drew.

If Caruana wins the last game, he will be the Candidates winner–more power to him. He now resides in St. Louis! What a guy if he is able to win tomorrow.

Write me, about anything:


PS: I am going to have to put out a special list because my shelves are burgeoning with some truly great epistles.


SPOKEN FOR!! Life in the fast lane!

The other day when I published a list of new books we will have in stock from now through July, experience has told me this is always risky. Even though the vast majority of the listed books are still yet to be printed and shipped, this is a “feel” for what people “might want.”

I use the phrase, “might want” because in the end, all kinds of things have been known to happen (at the last minute).

We have a long way to go to “hear” from everybody, but so far the #1 pick is CHESS DUELS by Alekhine. In point of fact, they were ordered a few days ago, and already all the “probables” are spoken for! By that we mean, the number I ordered, have already matched the number the Butler was advised that people were interested in! That means I need to contact the publisher (who gets paid in advance) and tell him I will need ANOTHER batch the same as the last order and theoretically it could be even better than that.

But, before I go hog wild, it will be a good idea to see if that title keeps “trending.” These are games annotated, probably mostly the games of others, between 1893 or so to 1920. Alekhine’s notes are always interesting as many of you know. In fact one person wrote that this exercise increased Alekhine’s strength by leaps and bounds! No doubt.

Another book which is on many minds is Karolyi’s book on Carlsen’s Endgame skills. Again, not a surprise. And, Karolyi is a good author.

This is scary because just telling me you have an “interest” in a number of these titles doesn’t necessarily imply you will buy any of them from us! I wish it were so. It does show me that chess people are still interested IN chess books.

On the Alekhine Duels book there is not much profit at all for me in this book because shipping from Europe can be expensive. On the other hand, you could easily end up with a very nice and much admired book. If I am wrong, I will have some of these titles in spades for too long of a time.


I did mention the other day that if your “wish list title” converts to a BUY, you will get an extra dollar off of the net price of the book! It doesn’t sound like a lot but our books we sell to you are usually already discounted!

When the various books show I will have a “piece” on each one to confirm your willingness to purchase or not purchase. Since I do want to make the sale instead of it going to the Wal-Mart of books (Amazon), you can count on us pulling out the stops. In the meantime, the list may have expanded some and if it has, you will get a MAIL notification of that. Mail usually stays around while email is often deleted.

If you aren’t on our regular email list, I will reprint the list of titles below so that you can tell us if you have more than just a casual interest. Thus, you will be able to make a decision one way or the other when the time comes. Below is the list. Cut and paste if you know how to do that and send to:

The asterisk means that title is already in stock. The numeral in parentheses indicates (on a scale of 1 to 10) the probable desirability of this book by our audience. Since Chess Duels has a (5) and in fact is the #1 title being “wished” for it doesn’t mean I was way off base, it could mean that it was near the top of the list below, OR, people “woke up” and are excited about anything by Alekhine. Who knows?

*Carlsen vs. Karjakin 2016 by Alburt & Crumiller + Kramnik. In Stock.. (6)

Chess Duels 1893-1920 by Alekhine. Should be here in 3-4 weeks. (5)

*Thinking Inside the Box by Aagaard. Terrific. In Stock. (9)

The Full English Opening: Mastering the Fundamentals by Hansen. July. (7)

Playing 1.e4: Sicilian & French by Shaw. May.  (6)

The Schliemann Defence Move by Move by Tay. May or sooner. (7)

Essential Endgames (combined) by Flear, Ward… Maybe in 2 weeks. (6)

First Steps: The Scandinavian by Lakdawala. April. (6)

Masters of Attack by Raetsky. Combined. Maybe April. (7)

A Complete Guide to Queen’s Gambit Play by Raetsky… May. (5)

The Bb5 Sicilian: Move by Move by Hansen. May. (6)

Strategic Chess Exercises; Find the Right Way to Outplay Your Opponent by Bricard. July. (5)

The Shereshevsky Method to Improve in Chess from Club Player to Master. April. (7)

Winning in the Chess Opening: 700 Ways to Ambush by Kalinichenko. July. (7)

Great Games by Chess Legends by McDonald, Crouch… (combined). May. (7)

10 Great Ways to Get Better at Chess by Davies, McDonald… May. (combined) (5)

First Steps: Caro-Kann Defence by A. Martin. May. (6)

Simple and More Simple Chess by Emms. (combined) June. (7)

The Art of the Tarrasch Defence by Bezgodov. June. (6)

How Ulf Beats Black: Bulletproof Strategic Repertoire for White by Lakdawala. June. (7)

Strike Like Judit: The Winning Tactics of Chess Legend Judit Polgar by Hertan. June. (6)

Super Chess Kids by Zaninotto. June. (4)

*1.d4: King’s Indian & Grünfeld by Avrukh. In stock. (6)

*Everyone’s Second Chess Book by Heisman. 2nd ed. In stock. (5)

The Najdorf in Black and White by Smith. To be reordered. (7)

Endgame Virtuoso Magnus Carlsen by Karolyi. April? (8)

Bologan’s Caro-Kann: A Modern Repertoire for Black. July. (7)

It wouldn’t surprise us if a number of these books will show up a month or so earlier than predicted by the publishers, nor would it surprise us if some other titles get slipped in here while we are waiting for the above.

Either way we would be much obliged if you could drop us a line about titles you would like to know more about.


BOB, the Chess Butler


A couple days ago I promised to reduce the size of your library. I know it can be done because it was done in a major way in Rincon, a sort of suburb in Savannah, GA in 2008, by yours truly.

I was packing up to return to Davenport, IA where I live now.

I came up with 20 book boxes of stuff which would fill my return trip Ryder truck to beyond its capacity. 20 Boxes of books!

That included encyclopedias, lots of science books (which this library really wanted), books on great lawyers such as Gerry Spence, computer and software books up the yin yang.

They were glad to have them and I wanted the space saved.

If you think you have chess books you haven’t read you should have seen all the books on computers, Photoshop and who know what else that I hadn’t read and the chances of it happening were seriously remote.

Few of them were used books.

Hardbounds on how to make silicon infested computer boards, software on everything, and languages. At least $2-$4000 and probably much more, maybe twice that. Part of me felt guilty, but I had lived 24 years pretty much by myself. I’d feel even more guilty for keeping stuff I knew wouldn’t get read although I did use my Funk & Wagnalls books for research, pre internet and I have to say, the encyclopedias in those days were more valuable.

Today I was in line at the post office and this woman in front of me said she had moved at least 7 times. I said, “I bet each time you move it gives you a chance to throw a lot of stuff away!” I was wrong, she said she was a hoarder! Her 10 year old daughter said she was just like her Mom!

I stopped her with, “If you had a fire which destroyed everything you had saved, what would you do then?” She was stunned with the question and had no answer. Gave her Mom a hug!!!

In other words, temporarily save the chess stuff but throw out a lot of other things which will have no value, even on eBay or Amazon. The postage can be more costly than the items’ value.

Ask yourself THIS question, “Would I ever buy this again?” If the answer is ‘NO’ then pitch it!” Of those 20 boxes of books I unloaded at the Rincon library, there may have been 1 or 2 that I had regretted giving away!

If you are a hoarder, you are screwed because nothing I write will get you to change your mind!


After 11 rounds of the Candidates Event our own Fabiano Caruana still leads Mamedyarov by a half point. Fabi was born in the US. Aronian has completely collapsed. Kramnik has lost 4 games but is still fighting. Karjakin has come from last place to within shooting distance. Grischuk is a half point behind him.

Some months ago Chess Life had a featured article on Caruana which I didn’t get finished reading this morning. Impressive. I remember using a photo of him in one of my SQUARES magazines many years ago! So, I am hoping he wins because he will give Magnus a run for his money since someone reported that Caruana has extremely strong nerves.

Let me hear from you. I am told Iowa will be getting SNOW tonight so I need something different to read. Knowledge is a big deal, I hope you agree and get some knowledge.


Again I have been reading the late Mark McCormick’s book, “What They Don’t Teach You in Harvard Business School.”

I bought it a long time ago, and just am getting into it now. Bathroom reading. Important stuff.

I had been thinking about the Candidates tournament and how hard some of the contestants were working while keeping an eye on the 100 minute time-control. Life is really compressed. At the end of the day it really matters to some. Look at Aronian’s face and body language. Winning the world cup for 2017 meant next to nothing did it? Those guys, with a few exceptions (Ding Liren for instance) wanted to challenge Magnus for the title of world champion. They studied hard. In 2017 they performed well. Magnus is still at the top.

This is a double round robin. That means if you falter in the first half, you still have some kind of chance. Caruana tried hard to beat Liren, a defense maniac, but not an aggressor. This tournament would have been better with Nakamura in it.

Grischuk is now showing the teeth I always knew he had. Kramnik started out like a tiger and that loss to Caruana threw him for a loop.

Caruana seems to exhibit TRUE GRIT. He plays hard almost all the time. This is the guy Magnus has to be concerned about. I remember when Caruana won 7 games in a row, in St. Louis. He seemed unstoppable, and he was. Slight build, but a kind and active brain! He moved close to the St. Louis Chess Club so that he could be within walking distance. He’s a little guy, but his play isn’t little. Tukmakov was good for him as a trainer back then. Does he have anyone like that now?

He’s sober. In watching Simon Williams the other day he gave a big nod to Caruana. But, we mustn’t forget Mamedyarov either although Magnus seems to treat the Shak as a punching bag.

Like others, I wanted Aronian to win. He seemed to have the stuff. He got married, his mojo is gone. Now I want Caruana to win because, what else, he’s an American!

Do you watch with any kind of enthusiasm what is going on in the Candidates? You don’t? I have a feeling you would be hard to sell anything to.

Yesterday list 233 of the Chess Gazette was put out. Big, big, big discounts on the list at the back. Something you may have wanted to take a chance on might be in that list except now you can get it at a bargain! First order from that list for $100 or more is entitled to a 10% discount before shipping. Must be placed by today.

Time to MAKE decisions. Time to take control. Are you getting any younger? What are you going to do with all those books you have now? If I remember rightly, I will tell you tomorrow. Hint: Dump non-chess books first. Today I started throng out more programming languages books. Do I have time for PHP? Do I care? Answer: NO.



Do you remember times when you wanted to be the first to have something, BEFORE anyone else?

When I was in college there was no one like Roy Orbison (for the most part there still isn’t except for Gene Pitney). My sisters tried to get his latest vinyl records before I did. It was a contest and leadership in bragging rights! One sad thing was finding out that Roy was at the Col Ballroom (1963) while I was down in Keokuk, visiting family during CHRISTMAS vacation. What a bummer! Years later I did go to the Col and saw and heard Bobby Vee and Tommy Roe! What a blast.

Well if you are anything like I was, you can hook up with Ken MacDonald and get a copy of his luxurious coffee table chess book, NOW. PUBLISHED 12 YEARS AGO!!! The title?

The History of Correspondence Chess in Canada

Mike Vuolo (another Simon Williams fan) recently got one, loved it and my thinking was that it was a good way to promote it again. Only about 250 copies were made, and the price then was $55.00 and it still is!

The headline on the back cover said, “How did a handful of chess organizers overcome Canada’s vast open spaces to hold together a band of correspondence chess enthusiasts?”

The comments ended with, “Over 200 diagrams and dozens of never before published games, this book is certain to entertain and help future historians understand correspondence chess in Canada.”

The authors were Leonard Zehr and J. Ken MacDonald. Ken is a friend of mine since about 1970, when I was supplying books for the Canadian Correspondence Chess Association (CCCA). That would be tough to do today with the rates of international postage being what they are.

Ken paid Thinkers’ Press a big compliment when he wrote in the Preface:

“And finally, our editor Bob Long, who dragged us, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century with his editing. He did a wonderful job.”

Ken was a dream to work with because he wanted everything to be just so and he helped us out. We chose high-quality paper, binding, and three typefaces which put the icing on the cake. 253 pages. The gold stamping on the spine, including our logo, was first class if I don’t mind saying so myself.

Ken vacations in the winter in Florida, and as he keeps a couple copies of this book on hand while there, if you notify me you want one I can set you two up. A perfect and unique gift, almost one of a kind as it were, and cheaper postage!

Includes a heavy dust jacket to protect the wonderful cloth and burgundy binding. It’s a KEEPER.
Just drop me a line at: and you will have a beautiful addition to your library and one other thing, most collectors won’t have it. On top of that, each book is NUMBERED! Really!!!

Thanks to Lazaro Munoz for telling me I had originally forgotten to list the title of this book!


Just released, ISSUE #11 of Morphy’s Times & Games. 16 pages, some in color.

Stamps for Paul Morphy death anniversary, 1984. Never happen.

All the games Morphy and Loewenthal played in 1858, 14 of them, with Morphy scoring 9 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws. Morphy moved fast, a few games were long, a couple of those won by Loewenthal.

Did you know that after Howard “the Coward” Staunton turned Morphy down for a match. Then he went to Birmingham to play in a tournament where he lost to Loewenthal. Then Morphy played a match with Loewenthal and drilled him into the Twilight Zone although it wasn’t always as one-sided as you might have thought.

We reported that Isaac Kashdan, perennial meatball, once told an assemblage that Morphy could be beaten by a third-rate amateur, whoever that was!

Then there is chapter 6 of the amazing chess clubs of London.

Ready today for $12.95. Pay Pal works. Checks too. In PDF, 8.5 x 11, packed to the gills. Back issues are available or you can get them all for $99 with the last one, #12 being issued some time in 2018.



It was made apparent to me today, by someone I know, that often, or mostly, “success” eludes people because they can’t get out of their comfort zone, or, they are willing to let someone else do the work (if that is possible). Good books usually don’t try that approach.


I’ve seen this all the time when it comes to chess. In my life I have reinvented the wheel enough and, it’s work! Egaad, work!

At the chess club I used to belong to, after the results were in for the current week, if we had a good director we would usually get the new pairings by the weekend so that if we had some time we could start preparing for our next opponent, no matter who they were, using the weekend (there were those who would try to thwart this idea, by becoming directors, and who would “fudge” the pairings in their favor!

This had some advantages to both parties. 1) It would usually educate our opponent to SHOW UP, they could even prepare for us! 2) If they so chose they could even play something out of the usual, catch me off guard (as it were), maybe even gain some minutes on the clock. Some wanted to win so easily they would take, or hope, for the least resistance.

SIDE NOTE: The chess club was on the other side of the river from where I lived, and so the “Arsenal bridge” might be open for barge traffic unless I took a different route. If trapped because I didn’t leave early enough I could lose at least 20 minutes on my clock, they already had a Big Start. This happened once against my friend Stevie B. and when I finally did show up, he had a very pleasant smile on his face until I sacked a Knight 17 moves later and he went down the tubes.

3) Once I had to excuse myself to make a trip to the men’s room. My son Nate was in the playing room when I left and I asked him when I came back, “Did he move right after I left?” Nate said one word, “Yes.” I wanted my opponent to move quickly, and hopefully make a bad, but plausible decision because if he chose such a “tactic,” he would save himself a lot of thinking time, and myself too.

He took the bait instead of really examining the position. The better player wouldn’t normally do that unless he was “showing off.” Thus, my opponent died. I did nothing illegal, just took advantage of a human weakness, that was the notion of, EASY.

GM Reuben Fine wrote a book called CHESS THE EASY WAY. He had some great tactics in that couple dollars book. The book, published many years ago, sold many copies because David McKay didn’t publish many books a year back then, and the price was cheap enough, so the player who liked doing EASY found this no stretch and he could stay in his “comfort zone.” I wish I could get the rights to that book!


Years ago I disliked “Transpositions” from the orthodox so much I avoided them. But when I began to play the Richter-Veresov, against the advice of many books, I realized there were so many transpositions into other openings I started piling on the wins, the traps, and the points so quickly that it became one of the fastest ways of raising my rating. This can work at the tournament level, not so much as the correspondence level!

You have to wisely choose your weapons AND your battles.

For the past several weeks I have been trying to put the finishing touches on a new chess magazine (see recent Blog Posts). If you are interested in being advised about this publication when it finally hits the “news stands,” drop me, Bob Long, a line:

We will entertain contributions by others too. Easy can be harder than working smarter! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MR. LAZY.