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danheisman's Blog


    • Joe Casey, Chess Player

      This past Thursday my friend and long-time student, Joe Casey of Delaware, passed away. He had been ill for a long time, but his passing was still a shock. Like my college coach, IM Donald Byrne, Joe only lived into his 40's, but will be long reme... | Read More

    • Missing Zugzwang as an Endgame Weapon

      One of my students' problems I often encounter in lessons is that inexperienced players, and even intermediates, sometimes underestimate how common and powerful zugzwang is as an endgame weapon. I think everyone recognizes the following:   ... | Read More

    • What's Worse? Missed Mate or Missed Trade?

      At our club tonight the following position occurred:             Black, an inexperienced player, did not wish to trade queens, and so played 1...Qa6?? allowing 2.Qg7# We know the tactical consequences of allowing 2.Qg7# are far wor... | Read More

    • Missed Chance at Copycat Immortality

      Just for fun, I decided before the following game to play it in the style of Capablanca: straightforward, simple. This is almost the opposite of my normal style, more Kasparov-like, of taking the fight to the opponent, setting him problems, and se... | Read More

    • Quick Guide to Chess Improvement Column

      Chess.com has brought me a new readership - that's very exciting and I thank both chess.com and you, the readers! I have written 11 chess books and several chess.com blogs & articles such as this one (with more to come!) but, so far, all the ... | Read More

    • A Very Clever Problem

      One of my all-time favorite books is Chess Curiosities by Tim Krabbe, now outdone by his website http://timkr.home.xs4all.nl//chess/chess.html. Chess Curiosities' first chapter is on castling. In the problem world the convention is: if you see a... | Read More

    • My Personal Principles/quotes

      Recently I posted a popular blog "Danisms" about chess terms I have created to help me in my instructions. Since this proved to be popular, I thought I would follow it up with a blog about principles or sayings that I have either made up, refined,... | Read More

    • My best composed problem

           One day I was writing a column on trapped pieces. I wanted to point out that you don't need to always capture the opponent's trapped knights in the corner right away, and neither should the trapped knight always sacrifice itself for a pawn... | Read More

    • Danisms

      Over the years, I have seen many recurring chess ideas that had no established names. Therefore, in the course of writing 11 books and over 135 columns, I have had to create names for these features. Some have even become accepted outside my domai... | Read More

    • The Amazing Power of Board Vision

           Before we do anything else, get out your stopwatch. Using the following position, I want you to generate two numbers as fast as you can and record your time: 1) How many legal moves does White have? and 2) How many of those legal moves che... | Read More