When Is Jesse Coming Back?

by admin on July 18, 2012

I think that the above question, or simply, “Where is Jesse?”, is the most common one I get when I talk with people about my gig for ChessLecture.

Jesse is, of course, Jesse Kraai, the Sensei of ChessLecture, the ChessLecturer par excellence. If you’ve never heard his lectures, you really owe it to yourself to subscribe for a month just so you can listen to them. They are little bundles of philosophy and chess and wit all wrapped up together. You will never look at chess the same way again.

But to return to my question, where is Jesse? His most recent lecture was on June 2, 2011, so he has now been absent for more than a year. At the time he stopped, I knew that he was going to Europe for the summer to play chess, but I thought he was going to resume his lectures after he got home. I also heard a vague rumor that he was writing a book.

While Jesse was away, ChessLecture had its change in management, and I thought that might have something to do with his continued absence.

Well, I finally asked the new management if Jesse is ever coming back, and I have good news. The answer is YES. But they don’t know when. The rumor was true — Jesse is working on a novel. (I hope it’s a chess novel! But I’ll read it even if it isn’t.) So he probably won’t be back until he either finishes the book or at least has it under control. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take him 50 years, as it did for Helen Hoover Santmyer. Novels can be finicky things.

Speaking of author stuff, let me venture slightly outside the lines of this blog and mention that I found out about a cool website called Goodreads, which is sort of like a Facebook for people who read books. You can review books, make friends, find out what they are reading, get recommendations from the computer, etc. The site also makes it possible for authors to set up pages for their works and blog or interact with fans. If you’d like to see my individual author page, it’s at http://www.goodreads.com/oddodddodo.

If any readers of this blog are avid book readers (and how can you not be?), I’d urge you to go to Goodreads and check it out. And let me know when you do! Right now I have 0 friends, and I’m feeling kinda lonely out there…

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cortiano July 25, 2012 at 3:17 am

Dana, it’s always a pleasure to read your column. You may not be a 3000 FIDE GM at chess, but, for me (and I’m sure for many other readers/fans) you are a 3000 writer. I want to thank you especially for the fantastic tip on Goodreads! Amazing site, man! Just what I’d been hoping/dreaming someone would drum up.
Excelsior! Ad astra!


Rob July 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Curses…just spent about 40 minutes listing books I liked/didn’t like, when I could have been studying chess.

Great recommendation.
Thank you.


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