danheisman's Blog

    • Gotta Get that Feedback!

      "How can I best improve my play?" "Does doing X help me improve?" "My goal is to be an expert. How can I best get there?" These are very typical of many questions I get on our monthly Chess.com TV show Q&A with Coach Heisman (the first Frid... | Read More

    • Answering a Question About Adult Improvement

      This morning I received an email: "Dear Sir, Permit me to ask a question, that has been asked hundreds of times, why after years of playing and looking at hundreds of games of chess, I don’t improve? What makes a youngster become a grand mast... | Read More

    • When You're Way Ahead...

      The most well-known principle when you are way ahead in a game is to trade pieces, but I have found it's more accurately stated: Make fair trades of pieces but not necessarily pawns. There are some positions where you are way ahead and want to t... | Read More

    • USCF Expert Don Latzel passes

      Sadly, I got a call today from a mutual acquaintance telling me that Don Latzel was hit by a cement truck on Thursday and passed away - I assume he was driving at the time. Don was about 85. I always remember Don with a kindly smile and a good wo... | Read More

    • Young Fabiano's Weekly Regimen

      Before he moved to Italy and made a run up to the #3 ranking in the world (currently a close 6th), GM Fabiano Caruana grew up in New York City. Not surprisingly, in retrospect, he was always the top rated player for his age in the US. Among his t... | Read More

    • "Bobby Fischer's Move?" "Yeah, Right!"

      When I started playing tournament chess after my 16th birthday, it was a shock to me how horrible I was. In my first three USCF events (all 6-7 rounds each), I won exactly one game in each event. It's difficult to win that few, considering the swi... | Read More

    • The Wise Adult Syndrome

      Suppose you are driving a car at night and you come to a curve in the road. Do you:      1) Assume all is clear and just zoom on blindly, or      2) Assume there might be something there and slow down in case there is? If your answer is #... | Read More

    • The 95% Conjecture

      Suppose you could try your best (or as best you can) 95% of the time. That sounds pretty good, right? Let's assume the average chess game lasts about 40 moves. 95% of 40 is 38, so that means two moves each game you would not try your best. This o... | Read More

    • I Lost Because I "Didn't See" His Combination

      One of the reasons I hear quite often on why someone lost a game is they "Didn't see" something: the bishop that took their queen or the combination their opponent played on them, or the combination they missed that would have won. But there are ... | Read More

    • The IBM Player Story

      About 10 years ago I had a student who was an engineer for IBM in Delaware. His vocation is relevant because I want you to get the impression he was an intelligent, wise adult, very typical of my normal student. But learning chess and understandin... | Read More