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Two Man, Five Board, Five Minute

Two Man, Five Board, Five Minute

NM danheisman
| Jan 27, 2022

Two Man, Five Board, Five Minute is an aerobic chess variant that I played many times in college and quite a few times as an adult. It's tremendously fun and challenging. The rules are: 1) Five boards are set up with alternating colors (e.g. if ...

Spotting and Avoiding Tactics

Spotting and Avoiding Tactics

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

Getting Better at Chess for Everyone May 2016 There are basically three ways a tactic can occur, both for and against you: The opponent makes a threat for a tactic (or a check or capture) which either can't be met, or can be, but is missed...

Comparing Candidate Moves

Comparing Candidate Moves

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

Get Better at Chess for Everyone #3 June 2016   "When you see a good move, don't play it. Look for a better one." This is the Number 1 principle in chess. Over the years I have added for my students: "...You are trying to find the b...

How to Play When You're Winning Easily

How to Play When You're Winning Easily

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

Get Better at Chess for Everyone July 2016: How to Play When You're Winning Easily In all sports, you play much differently when you are winning easily: In baseball, if you are leading 8-0 in the 8th inning, you would not pull your fresh r...

Losing on Time is Much Worse Than Making Bad Moves

Losing on Time is Much Worse Than Making Bad Moves

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

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 ...

In Defense of Chess Coaching

In Defense of Chess Coaching

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

[Scene: Courtroom hearing on Chess Coaching. Dan on witness stand, a few hundred inquisitive spectators watching the proceedings...] Bard: You are aware of the accusation that chess coaches can't really help people play chess better - that they ...

Not "Play and win"? Worthless?!

Not "Play and win"? Worthless?!

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

Sometimes I hear intermediate level players protest that any problem that does not follow the normal "needs" of a chess game can't be helpful to your game. These "normal" concerns would include: White (Black) to play and win (if you are not 10...

Maximize Learning per Unit Time

Maximize Learning per Unit Time

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

I frequently get asked "When reading a book of annotated games, wouldn't you learn more if you studied the games slowly than read them quickly?" Of course that is true, but it skirts the real issue. And its clearly true in absurdum: you could stud...

A Gear I Don't Have

A Gear I Don't Have

NM danheisman
| Jan 18, 2022

When I first started playing, it eventually dawned on me that there were only two gears to play chess: Try your best or resign. For one critical part of how I reached that conclusion, please refer to The Train Story. In today's blog I would like...

Kramnik's Long Think

Kramnik's Long Think

NM danheisman
| Aug 25, 2021

I like to tell the following story to students because it gives them some insight into time management and criticality assessment. After he became World Champion, Kramnik was playing a match vs an engine for $1,000,000 to the winner. I believe i...

Playing Too Slow: a Professional's Opinion

Playing Too Slow: a Professional's Opinion

NM danheisman
| Oct 26, 2020

One of my former students, Trevor Harley, is a professional psychologist. I told him about my concern about students who play too slow and consistently get into unnecessary time pressure, which costs them game after game. These students know they ...

Move Every Piece Once...

Move Every Piece Once...

NM danheisman
| Mar 25, 2019

"Move every piece once before you move any piece twice, unless there is a tactic" is the most important principle (not goal!) in the opening. This principle is ancient. I found an almost identical one in Emanuel Lasker's book Common Sense i...

How Bobby Fischer Eluded Me :)

How Bobby Fischer Eluded Me :)

NM danheisman
| 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
| 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
| 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
| 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
| 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
| 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...

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