danheisman's Blog

    • 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

    • 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