danheisman's Blog

    • 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

    • Playing Fast in Opponent's Time Pressure

      One of the most common errors I encounter, even among experienced players, is playing fast when the opponent is in time pressure (and you are not). It's very tempting to do so, and there are some advantages to playing quickly in those situations b... | Read More

    • 1973 Greater Philadelphia Invitational Championship (part 7 of 7)

      The seventh and final round was the only game on Sunday, so I had an entire day to prepare. I had a half point lead; a draw would clinch a tie for the title and a win, of course, made me the outright champion on my first attempt. My opponent was ... | Read More

    • 1973 Greater Philadelphia Invitational Championship (part 6 of 7)

      With the possible exception of Round 1 and a little bit of Round 2, all of the previous games were fairly unbalanced and all, without exception, were decisive. This changed in Round 6 when I got a nice opening advantage against Joe Weber, and cou... | Read More

    • 1973 Greater Philadelphia Invitational Championship (part 5 of 7)

      The first four games of this round-robin event were played on the previous weekend, and July 14-15, 1973 were the dates for the final three. My first opponent on the second weekend was Harvey Bradlow, an old friend/nemesis from our junior days (a... | Read More