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danheisman's Blog


    • The Ways a Move Affects the Board

      Show an absolute beginner the position after 1.Nf3 b5 2.e4... ...and ask him/her "What does the move 2.e4 do?" Likely he will miss that this creates a discovered attack of the bishop on f1 upon the black pawn on b5. That's because beginners have... | Read More

    • Rusty Fill-in Plays Game

      One of our Main Line Chess Club (Gladwyne, PA) members, Dr. Robert Cameron, an emergency room physician, came in late tonight and missed the pairings for our tournament. So as a courtesy I asked Rob if he wanted to analyze or play a non-rated game... | Read More

    • Fischer and the Border Patrol - another D.Byrne story

      I recently posted a blog about a Donald Byrne story about his brother playing a hustler after they played tennis as teens (http://blog.chess.com/danheisman/the-hustler-gets-byrned). I mentioned that I felt I had an obligation not to let Professor ... | Read More

    • The Hustler Gets Byrned

      I just posted a story about playing a hustler on Rittenhouse Square (http://www.chess.com/article/view/my-game-against-the-hustler) but that reminded me of a story my college coach, Donald Byrne, told me. Since I consider it an obligation to not l... | Read More

    • Charitable EBay Auction for Trip to Howard Stern Studio Starts Thursday

      Please pass the word: Our annual charitable auction of a trip to Howard Stern's studio will begin this Thursday, Oct 11 at 6 PM PST on EBay and run through Oct 21. Net proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Holly Heisman Memorial Fund ... | Read More

    • Chess Skills are not Have and Have Not

      A student often says to me something like "Kasparov and Fischer have it - I don't" - referring to chess talent. It's as if they perceive that chess talent is a single thing and it's measured in 1 or 0. But that's not the way it works. Chess talen... | Read More

    • Improving Requires Extensive Practice Looking for Better Moves

      One of my favorite articles is The Fun of Pros and Cons (http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman94.pdf), where I begin with a set of key observations: "●     If you want to be a better player, you have to make better moves. ● If you want to ... | Read More

    • What's a Good Opening?

      Sometimes I get asked, out of context, "What's a good opening you recommend?", "What's a good opening for White?", or "What a good opening against 1.e4?". The problem is with the word "good". If by "good" you mean, the more winning chances, the b... | Read More

    • Improvement Books vs Thought Process Books

      On my Chess.com TV show "Q&A with Coach Heisman" this week one question briefly sparked a discussion of the controversial new book "Move First, Think Later" by Willy Hendriks, while another question involved thought process. Despite it's titl... | Read More

    • 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