How Bobby Fischer Eluded Me :)

How Bobby Fischer Eluded Me :)

NM danheisman
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Aug 1, 2018

Bobby Fischer was born in 1943 and brought up in Brooklyn, about 90 miles from where I grew up north of Philadelphia. Garry Kasparov was born in 1963 in Azerbaijan, about 6,000 miles away. I was born in 1950, so I am closer in age to Fischer than ...

Losing on Time is Much Worse Than Making Bad Moves

Losing on Time is Much Worse Than Making Bad Moves

NM danheisman
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Jul 28, 2018

Several years ago I played a series of 20 0 (20 minutes per game with no increment) games against an expert-level opponent. Being the better player, I often found myself in superior positions as time ran lower. For the sake of argument, let's say ...

Ken Boehm, 1949-2018

Ken Boehm, 1949-2018

NM danheisman
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May 4, 2018

Ken Boehm loved to play the rare Sicilian Four Knights Variation for Black (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6). So when top Western GM Bent Larsen came to Philadelphia in 1968 to play a simultaneous exhibition, Ken was very happy w...

The First Time I Met GM Bisguier

The First Time I Met GM Bisguier

NM danheisman
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Jun 29, 2017

I was saddened to see the recent passing of "The Dean of American Chess", GM Arthur Bisguier. My mind immediately went back to the first time I met GM Bisguier. I will never forget it, as it was the first time a GM ever approached me! I had ju...

New Book "Is Your Move Safe?" now available

New Book "Is Your Move Safe?" now available

NM danheisman
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Jun 11, 2016

My 12th chess book, "Is Your Move Safe?" is now available both from the publisher Mongoose Press and from Amazon. The idea for this book is simple and can be contrasted to other books: In almost all tactic books, you are told that the opponent's...

Get Better at Chess for Everyone: The Pilot

Get Better at Chess for Everyone: The Pilot

NM danheisman
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Apr 5, 2016

Hi! For 14 years I wrote a column with my best improvement advice for players of all levels. It won seven awards for "Best Instruction" in North America from the Chess Journalists of America. Yes, the name "Novice Nook" was a misnomer - it was n...

How Did John Keir win 6-0 in his 2nd Tournament?

How Did John Keir win 6-0 in his 2nd Tournament?

NM danheisman
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Mar 31, 2016

I like to tell the following story to my students rated under 1600: About 20 years ago I was giving lessons to John Keir's son, Clayton. John was an active member of our scholastic club and decided to become a USCF tournament director. After one ...

www.danheisman.com re-designed

www.danheisman.com re-designed

NM danheisman
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Mar 22, 2016

Last year around this time I got a quiet email from Comcast stating that personal webpages would no longer be served from their ISP. For a quiet little email, this was quite a shock, as my website www.danheisman.com had always been served by Comc...

Howard Stern and the 1100-rated Opponents

Howard Stern and the 1100-rated Opponents

NM danheisman
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Dec 7, 2015

When I first started coaching Howard he was little more than a beginner; his early online long time-control rating was about 900. After 6 months he was up to 1000. Around that time, we began a lesson and Howard said, "Dan, I think I have gone ab...

Should Beginners Play an Opening System?

Should Beginners Play an Opening System?

NM danheisman
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Sep 5, 2015

"Besides the Colle System, are there other opening systems that you would recommend a beginner to learn?" First, let me differentiate between a regular opening and an opening system. An opening system is one where it doesn't matter what the oppon...

"How Do We Get Better?"

"How Do We Get Better?"

NM danheisman
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Aug 8, 2015

"How do we get better?" "Uh...Follow the Golden Rule?" (The Pope is coming here to Philadelphia soon, so maybe he is a better one to ask...) After the "Q&A With Coach Heisman" show the above question was nominated by a viewer as best questio...

Why Don't Super-GMs Play the Morra Gambit?

Why Don't Super-GMs Play the Morra Gambit?

NM danheisman
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Jul 4, 2015

"Why don't super-GMs play the Morra Gambit?" was a question on Friday's Q&A with Coach Heisman show. In order to answer that question in more depth than I could during the show, I first would like to refer to an earlier Chess.com article "Wha...

What's the Secret Behind Chess?

What's the Secret Behind Chess?

NM danheisman
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Jun 6, 2015

Yes, "What's the secret behind chess?" was one of the questions on the "Q&A with Coach Heisman" show tonight. Unlike "What's the best way to learn X?", a popular question where my answer is usually "Do/play X with strong players (at least han...

Who Are the Best Players not to be World Champion?

Who Are the Best Players not to be World Champion?

NM danheisman
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May 2, 2015

"Who are the best players not to become World Champion?" This was a question on this week's "Q&A with Coach Heisman" TV show (first Friday each month from 5-6:30 PM ET). My first thought in answering this question was: When do we start? We p...

What's the Main Idea in the Exchange Gruenfeld?

What's the Main Idea in the Exchange Gruenfeld?

NM danheisman
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Apr 5, 2015

"What are the main ideas in the Exchange Gruenfeld?" This is a great example of the type of question I can't handle adequately on my show "Q&A with Coach Heisman". It's not that I don't know anything about the Exchange Gruenfeld - although I ...

What's Black's Plan After 1.e4?

What's Black's Plan After 1.e4?

NM danheisman
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Mar 7, 2015

"What's Black's Plan after 1.e4?" We tried a new format in "Q&A with Coach Heisman" (our Chess.com TV show the first Friday of each month from 5-6:30 PM ET). The first hour of the show was restricted to questions about positions - it could be...

To Some Extent, Chess IS Your Thought Process

To Some Extent, Chess IS Your Thought Process

NM danheisman
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Feb 6, 2015

"How do you improve your analytical and evaluation skills?" This is a big question, in my mind almost equivalent to "How do you improve at chess?" since the single biggest factor correlating to your playing strength is your analytical ability. Mo...

Biggest Mistakes of a New Coach?

Biggest Mistakes of a New Coach?

NM danheisman
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Jan 4, 2015

"What's the biggest mistake a beginning chess coach makes?" That was one of the questions on today's Q&A with Coach Heisman TV show (5-6:30 PM ET first Friday of each month). One listener offered "Not listening to the students!" and that has...

Gotta Get that Feedback!

Gotta Get that Feedback!

NM danheisman
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Dec 7, 2014

"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...

Answering a Question About Adult Improvement

Answering a Question About Adult Improvement

NM danheisman
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Jun 13, 2014

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 master...

When You're Way Ahead...

When You're Way Ahead...

NM danheisman
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May 5, 2014

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...

USCF Expert Don Latzel passes

USCF Expert Don Latzel passes

NM danheisman
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Apr 20, 2014

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...

Young Fabiano's Weekly Regimen

Young Fabiano's Weekly Regimen

NM danheisman
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Nov 4, 2013

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...

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