danheisman's Blog

    • 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

    • There's Not Always A Clearly Best Move or Idea

      In previous articles, I have dealt with the fact that there's not always one single correct thought process that covers all situations (positions; time control issues), and I've also dealt with issues when a player states "I reach positions where ... | Read More

    • I'll Never Forget the Brilliant NM Alan Baisley

      The event was the first US Junior Closed Invitational Championship in 1966. The top eight junior players in the US are invited to play a round robin. It's the final round and things are tense among the young masters. Walter Browne of Brooklyn has ... | Read More

    • A Talk to Remember Coach Donald Byrne

      Donald Byrne is best known for losing The Game of the Century in the 1956 Rosenwald tournament to Bobby Fischer. This is great because it ensures him a type of immortality. It's also not so great since Donald Byrne was one of the great chess perso... | Read More

    • The Mythical "Capture with the Least Valuable Piece First" Principle

      Example 1: If White captures on e5 on the fourth move in the game below, which piece should he use to capture first? (The start of the blog may seem too easy, but it's to make a point, so stick with me and see what you might learn...) Of course,... | Read More

    • The Train Story

      As many readers might be aware, I started tournament play at age 16 as a really terrible player. It was not until my fourth tournament, after 8 months of play, that I won more than one game in an event. However, once I learned how to play "Real Ch... | Read More

    • The Barack Shock

      As a little background, my first book Elements of Positional Evaluation, was written (with my typewriter!) in 1974 but not published til 1990. One of the reasons it was initially rejected was that a GM, who represented a chess publishing house, do... | Read More