danheisman's Blog

    • Howard Stern and the 1100-rated Opponents

      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... | Read More

    • Should Beginners Play an Opening System?

      "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... | Read More

    • "How Do We Get Better?"

      "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 questi... | Read More

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

      "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... | Read More

    • What's the Secret Behind Chess?

      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... | Read More

    • Who Are the Best Players not to be World Champion?

      "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... | Read More

    • What's the Main Idea in the Exchange Gruenfeld?

      "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 ... | Read More

    • What's Black's Plan After 1.e4?

      "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... | Read More

    • To Some Extent, Chess IS Your Thought Process

      "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... | Read More

    • Biggest Mistakes of a New Coach?

      "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... | Read More