I have been to the emergency room twice in recent months, but so what.
Liz is worse. Liz is worse every day. Her jaw is holding, but her pain is increasing. This morning she said to me, “I feel like I’m dead.”
I stopped complaining about my aches and pains right away.
Liz needs help. Liz deserves help, if there is any karma in the universe. Must she spend her life in unending pain? Or will someone give her a chance at a normal life?
I ask, will Rex Sinquefield help Liz Taylor get new implanted teeth? That is the question.
Now we know Rex Sinquefield is a billionaire. We know he likes to give money away. For example, he gave Steven Tilley $100,000 (who, from his pictures, has all his teeth and indeed a high paying job) and then a little later, another $100,000. I’ll let the St. Louis newspaper Riverfront Times do the honors:
In 2009, Sinquefield contributed a single check for $100,000 for Tilley’s re-election campaign – the biggest single contribution Sinquefield made to any political candidate last year, according to records at the Missouri Ethics Commission. The same is true so far this year, with Sinquefield providing Tilley’s re-election campaign $100,000 on September 24.
But here’s the really curious thing about all that money. Tilley ran unopposed in both the August primary and in last general Tuesday’s election.
I should add that Mr. Tilley got all 8,394 votes that were cast.
So this is pretty interesting. We see that Rex Sinquefield will give money to someone who doesn’t need it—a politician running unopposed—and indeed gives more than three times what Liz needs to this gentleman!
Should a chess player help another chessplayer in need? I did. Will Rex Sinquefield?
So back to the basic question, indeed, question and answer, since I am often asked about Mr. Sinquefield, and when that happens, I answer like this:
Rex Sinquefield, famous chess philanthropist—yes! I’m way ahead of you, I wrote Tony Rich of the St. Louis Club already. Yes, I wrote him on November 3, 2013. I asked Tony to forward the email, which explained Liz’s situation, on to Mr. Sinquefield, in the hopes that as he guaranteed a never paid $64,000 Fischer prize at each US Championship, he would take a minute and a tiny percentage of his wealth to help a suffering but strong woman chess player.
Now, when people ask me this, the conversation always goes about like this:
Questioner: What did Tony Rich reply?
Me: Uh, no reply.
Questioner: Then what did you do?
Me: I sent a follow up letter to Tony Rich ten days later, November 13, and asked him to at least respond so I knew he received it.
Questioner: I can see where this is going.
Me: Yes, no reply to the second letter either.
Questioner: Did you give up?
Me: You know me better than that. I wrote Yasser Seirawan, who I know, who is also on the board of the St. Louis Club.
Questioner: And he didn’t answer.
Me: I’m supposed to be giving the answers!
Questioner: Did Yasser answer?
Questioner: We’re talking about November. Liz was already in pretty bad shape then. Did anyone answer in November?
Questioner: No Christmas spirit in billionaire land, I guess. How about January?
Me: Yes, Jan. 24th to be exact, two months and three weeks after I sent my urgent appeal.
Questioner: Let me tell you, he said, ‘There was nothing they could do.”
Me: Don’t rush me! He actually said, ““We are unable to provide assistance.”
Questioner: Say what?? Unable?? Guy’s a billionaire.
Me: Who just gave $200,000 to a political candidate running unopposed.
Me: You said it, brother.
So why should I go back to Rex Sinquefield after this debacle? Recall my eight categories in the previous blog—actually, just concentrate on number four: “Rich people: they are impossible to get to unless you have some connection.”
Of all the billionaires I have written over the past two years (I started a private campaign to help Liz long before we went public) none have ever replied—I mean not one, not a single word from Bill Gates and the like—until this highly dubious “We are unable to provide assistance,” reply that I got from Tony Rich. It’s factually false, it’s a terrible thing to say to a suffering human being, but it was a reply.
Not from the billionaire himself of course, from one of his people, but still … a reply, with a name on it.
So the answer to why I should try again is obvious: As I say above,
Rich people: they are impossible to get to unless you have some connection.
And I do have a connection with Rex Sinquefield. I am an International Master of Chess and I have played Magnus Carlsen (in fact I am writing a book on Magnus Carlsen) the very World Champion who Rex made sure came to the US for his first tournament here. Furthermore, I have a connection with frequent US Women’s Championship contender Tatev Abrahamyan: I donated to her cause!
And Liz has a connection to Rex, as a she is a fine female player and if she could only play pain free she would be playing for the US Women’s Championship, battling Tatev and Irina! For that matter, I’ll be in the men’s section, battling Nakamura and Kamsky, if I could just get the funds to play in the US Senior so I could qualify.
So let’s address the turndown—clearly middle management. Rex Sinquefield himself is far too smart to lie like a rug in public and say he is “unable” to help Liz.
So let’s address the numbers. One reads all about the “one percent”—the small group that Rex Sinquefield belongs to—and see if he is able. I have to admit I was surprised at the stunning concentration of wealth, and of how little $55,000 is to a billionaire.
Fortunately we have a point of comparison. A few years ago, when I was making about $6,000 a year as a chess player (I haven’t done my taxes yet, but I know it’s far less than that this year, unfortunately) I had an opportunity to help a fellow chess player. Tatev Abrahamyan’s father died, and she asked for help from the chess community. Of course I stepped right up and gave her $20 which was all I could afford. She wrote me a nice thank you note.
Now let’s consider that I had a net worth of $6,000 and I donated $20 to Tatev.
And we’ll consider that Rex Sinquefield has a net worth of $1,000,000,000 (though his worth is probably more than a billion according to most sources: Riverfront Times gives up and calls him a “gazillionaire”!) and he is contemplating donating $55,000.
What do the numbers tell us? It’s interesting that my high school algebra came right back to me: I knew I’d use it eventually!
So let’s do the math.
First, let’s see what percentage of my net worth was the $20 that I donated to Tatev. Here’s how you set up the problem of finding the percentage: T (for Tim) will equal the percentage of my net worth.
20 = T/100 x 6000
Multiply both sides by 100 and we get
2000 = 6000 x T
Divide both sides by 6000 and we get
.33 = T
Actually, if you want to get an A in your math class, the answer is .333333 etc. as the three will repeat indefinitely. But two significant figures (I can’t believe I remember these terms I haven’t used in over forty years!) is enough for our purposes.
In plain English, I donated one third of one percent of my net worth to Tatev.
Another way to explain this is as a straight forward multiplication problem—to get this answer, we must first divide!
20 divided by 6000 = .0033
This is useful as now we see that if we multiply $6000 x .0033 we get that same $20—well, not exactly. Because the .0033 is a repeated number, we actually get $19.80, which is close enough.
Now what happens if Rex Sinquefield would donate one third of one percent of his net worth (the same percentage as I donated to Tatev) to help a suffering chess player?
We know from the math above that we can get the answer by multiplying his net worth of 1,000,000,000 x .0033.
Here’s the problem again:
1,000,000,000 x .0033 =
And the answer is … drumroll please …
Three million, three hundred thousand!
Here it is in plain figures:
$1,000,000,000 x .0033 = $3,300,000
So if Rex Sinquefield were as generous to Liz as I was to Tatev, we’d get three million plus!! Of course I’m not asking for that much, but just in case, here’s what I’d do with the money: get the operation for Liz, pay for her rehabilitation (mainly easing her off the prescription drugs she’s on now for pain), pay all our bills, help a fellow chess player we know and then Liz and the boys and I will move to a chess friendly area where I will start the Timothy Taylor Chess School with a nice picture of Rex on the wall!
But I don’t expect that level of generosity, and I’m not asking for it.
I’m just asking for $55,000 to be paid to Dr. Jay Grossman so that Liz can get the All on 4 operation. The rehabilitation, the moving, helping a friend, the chess school—we’ll do all that like we do anything: with little money and lots of determination.
So what percentage of Rex Sinquefield’s worth is the $55,000 that we are asking for?
By now we know the drill—algebra! It works! In this case the percentage will be R for Rex.
The problem sets up like this:
55,000 = R/100 x 1,000,000,000
Multiply both sides by 100 and we get
5,500,000 = 1,000,000,000 x R
Divide both sides by 1,000,000,000 and we get
.0055 = R
What an answer! Nowhere close to my one third of one percent! This is five thousandths of one percent!
To update Fitzgerald, the one percent are very different from you and me!
Now I can’t wait to do the multiplication—remember, we must first divide:
55,000 divided by 1,000,000,000 = .000055
That is an astonishingly low number! I believe that we are talking about five hundred thousandths!
Let’s do the math the other way and make sure it works. If Rex takes his personal fortune and multiplies it by .000055, we get:
$1,000,000,000 x .000055 = $55,000
It works! Everyone is talking about the one percent these days, and income inequality and so on, but it’s hard to grasp until you look at the numbers. Even when you have the numbers in front of you like this, it’s very hard to grasp that $55,000 is an incredibly trivial number to a billionaire.
Let me try to put it in perspective. Imagine a typical street scene in downtown Los Angeles. I am striding along the street, wearing a good suit and carrying $1,000 cash in my wallet and some loose change in my pocket (I’ve never had $1,000 cash on me in my life, but at least one thousand dollars is a number one can imagine). A homeless person calls out, “Yo! Guy in the cool suit! Can you spare a dime?”
I reply instantly, “Good fellow, I would be happy to give you the same as a generous friend of mine gave to my lovely wife one day, that is, five thousandths of one percent!”
“Whatever, dude,” replies the homeless guy, “Can you spare a dime?”
I get my calculator out as I answer, “As I’m sure you are a cash customer, I give you my word that I will give five thousandths of one percent of the thousand dollars that is my cash on hand.”
Mumbling to myself, I say quietly, “Yes, I can easily get the answer by multiplying my $ 1,000 x .000055 and I hit a few buttons:
$1,000 x .000055 = $0.055
“Good fellow, I fear you ask too much,” I go on. “Five thousandths of one percent of my current cash worth comes to 5.5 cents, rather well short of the dime you are asking for. However, since the sun is bright, and I am feeling generous, I will round up. Here you are!”
And with that, I toss the fellow a nickel and a penny, and happily go on my way.
For that “nickel and penny” Rex Sinquefield can save Liz: stop her slow starvation, let her eat and speak like a normal person, let her be a good mother to our children and once again play chess.
I thought this was convincing enough, so I wrote Tony Rich on March 17 (three weeks ago) to arrange a face to face meeting with Rex Sinquefield, to see if he would be able to spare a “nickel and penny” to save Liz’s life.
And you know the answer … no reply!
So I’m going public.
My original plan was to book a round trip flight to St. Louis with the last of the Liz Health Fund ($550) and actually go to the St. Louis Chess Club. There I would have tried to find someone who would have led me to Rex Sinquefield, in the hopes that he could not deny Liz if I had a face to face meeting.
However, like so many of my “good plans” this one crashed and burned. Liz gets worse every day. Her pain simply can’t be described. She can only watch the boys (very rambunctious, 7 and 4 year old boys) for at most a few hours at a time, and just barely conceivably, for a full day. There is no way she could watch them while I am in St. Louis for a week or even three days. As I’ve reported before, the pain is so great Liz has great difficulty walking, and making the trip to the grocery store with the two boys would be virtually impossible. Even if we stocked up on food and froze some smoothies, what if there was an emergency? Such a trip would simply be too risky. I won’t put Liz through such anxiety and pain.
So I have had to think of something else.
And I can’t do much more on my own.
We need help. And there is something you can do. I’m asking all our supporters and readers of this blog if you would just go to the “contact form” at the St. Louis Chess Club and to the “contact form” on Rex Sinquefield’s website, and simply write four words: Please help Liz Taylor. Please take one minute, click on the links above, and give yourself some good karma: write those four words, “Please help Liz Taylor.”
If enough people write, maybe Rex Sinquefield will find it in his heart to save one suffering chessplayer.
Now I don’t care how he does it. He can do a straight donation, like maybe one third of a political donation (well, one third of $200,000 is $66,666, but I won’t object if he rounds up!
He can cut out the middle man and pay Dr. Jay Grossman $55,000 directly.
He can do the “loan option” that I’ve already offered.
And then I had a thought: a billionaire must have great lawyers! Great lawyers could break the rip off team of Eric Louzil and Dr. Rita Rosenthal! In other words, Rex Sinquefield could help Liz and make money!
I thought this was such a good idea that I immediately wrote to Rex on the contact form on his website.
Here is my letter, which I sent a week ago:
Dear Mr. Sinquefield,
My wife, the strong chessplayer Liz Taylor, is suffering worse every day through having no teeth. As I have written you many times before, she needs a $55,000 operation from Dr. Jay Grossman to give her new implanted teeth. She cannot eat and is slowly and painfully starving to death.
At this point, it is clear you are unwilling to donate to her cause or just pay Dr. Grossman directly. However, there is another option, let’s call it the “free market” option that you always extol.
I have a court judgment against Eric Louzil for a film I made (for which I was never paid) as I described in my blog – http://timothytaylorartist.com/2014/02/standing-up-for-ourselves/you-give-me-55000-and-i%e2%80%99ll-give-you-286601-94/
The judgment plus interest is now $297,000 (It was $283,000 when I wrote the blog, but keeps going up due to 10%/year California interest) I have been unable to collect this, as I can only get people who can work on commission, and they don’t have the money to take Louzil down. However, he and his wife, Dr. Rita Rosenthal, are really just a pair of two bit grifters and I doubt you and your legal team would have any problem with them.
I’m willing to sell my life’s work in this case for $55,000, but it would help enormously if we got another $20,000 for Liz’s rehabilitation and general return to chess.
So let’s crunch the numbers for a second. If you pay me $75,000, and you spend $100,000 on your legal team to take down Louzil (I doubt you’d have to spend that much, but I’m overestimating on purpose) then you’re out $175,000 and you collect $297,000, for a profit of $122,000. Actually, I’m sorry, my lawyer is still owed $10,500, so you’d still make a neat profit of $111,500.
Most likely more, as I think if Eric Louzil saw you spend say, $25,000, on a crack legal team I think he’d fold in a moment for fear you would buy up the other 50 or so judgments against him! That is a thought, you could probably clear a million or so on those judgments put together.
In this way you help Liz, make a healthy profit, and incidentally put a criminal lowlife (Louzil) out of business.
How do you like this deal?
Tim Taylor, IM
Needless to say, no reply, but if enough people write “Please help Liz Taylor” then there is hope that the reply will come.
Then maybe Rex Sinquefield will help Liz Taylor.